Fishing: Scotland's women team going to World Carp Championships for the first time but need sponsorship

Scotland will be represented by a women's team in the World Carp Championships for the first time this summer, but they are looking for sponsorship.

By Nigel Duncan
Friday, 18th February 2022, 10:41 am
Updated Friday, 18th February 2022, 10:41 am
Joanne Barlow, Scotland's carp fishing team captain, with a 17lb-plus carp. Picture contributed
Joanne Barlow, Scotland's carp fishing team captain, with a 17lb-plus carp. Picture contributed

Currently, the squad have to fund equipment, training days, travel and entry fees themselves and captain Joanne Barlow admitted: "It is very expensive."

A six-strong team has been assembled with four based north of the Border, Catherine Robertson, the vice-captain, and Niki Wildman, both from the Glasgow area, plus Margo Robinson from Dumbarton and Lynda Chisholm from Duntocher.

Joanne is Brighton-based and Eleanor Mitchell is from Wokingham, but the team are seeking extra bodies to form the nucleus of a strong squad to build for the future.

Jamie McHale and the Bass Rock Shore Angling League winter league trophy. Picture contributed

Squad training starts in March with the English-based members and the Scots getting together to swap information.

Joanne and Eleanor plan regular trips to Scotland to practice with the rest of the team at a suitable location and the world event, which is held over 72 hours, is at the Linear Complex in Oxfordshire at the end of August.

The opposition will be strong with France among the favourites along with England. Joanne said: "The French run their squad like a military operation.

"England have been together for some time and are also strong and Wales have a quality team, mixing experienced anglers with new blood.

"Other teams will come from all over Europe including Holland, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and Italy. We are a new team and our objective is to work together and to fish as hard as we can in this our first major competition."

Half of the Scotland team have long-time fishing experience and the rest are on a steep learning curve. The girls are braving the winter weather to be out practising, putting in the hours, and it is not just the fishing techniques, it is learning to live around a bivvy.

It is not a level playing field as the skipper explained. She said: "It is massively expensive to fish for carp and the girls currently have to fund everything themselves including entry fees to competitions, travel and equipment.

"Other teams, for example, have sponsorship and also have their fees paid."

Discounts from many of the big tackle manufacturers helps as well as support from DNA Baits but it all adds up and Joanne said: "Sponsorship from other tackle manufacturers and from Scottish companies would be a massive help.

“This is Scotland's first time in the world championships and that is surely worth supporting. Overall, we want success for Scotland in the long-term, but we also want to see more women out there fishing.

“We have six girls at the moment and that is the minimum number required for a world championship team.

“We would love to have more women onboard to help us pick our strongest team and to assist us at the event. It would also help us to develop the squad for the future."

If you would like to get involved contact Joanne by emailing her at [email protected] or via facebook @Carpteamscotland

On to sea fishing and Jamie McHale won the 12-round, Bass Rock Shore Angling club's winter league with the Gifford-based angler 26 points ahead of the rest of the field.

He was the only angler to bring a fish to the scales in the final round and his two-bag total weighed 2lb 2oz. Shaun Gardner took overall heaviest fish during the series with a 4lb 12oz cod.

James Ogilvie, one of the organisers, said it was bitterly cold during the final round with snow flurries and rain with wind gusting between 20mph and 25mph, but there were no swell in the rover match around Dunbar.

Conditions throughout the winter, he said, had been tough but he was pleased with the turnout over the dozen matches.

McHale, who has been consistent throughout the series, beat off a strong field including two recent recruits to Scotland's international team, Chris Empson (Dunbar) and Barry McEwan (Port Seton).

Steve Biskup (North Berwick) was second overall with 38 points and the rest of the results were: J McHale (Gifford) 64 points; 2 equal, S Biskup (North Berwick) and Chris Empson 38; 3 Barry McEwan (Port Seton) 36; 4, Shaun Gardner (North Berwick) 32; 5, Neil Anderson (North Berwick) 24; 6, Alan Brown (Dunbar) 18; 7, J Ogilvie (Haddington) and C Ogilvie (North Berwick) 10; 8, Stuart Fairbairn (Haddington) 8; 9 Nicky Brown (Dunbar) 6; 10 equal, Cameron Cunningham (Port Seton) and William Stafford (Edinburgh) 4; 11, Dale McCallum (Port Seton) 2.The club's annual meeting will take place as soon as possible.

Aquamarine Charters of Eyrmouth hope to be out again this weekend, weather permitting. Last weekend anglers from Dunbar and some regulars returned with with 15 keepers while 25 were put back.