Fishing: Three new Scotland caps in the women's Home Internationals team

Scotland will be represented in the women's Home Internationals at Weymouth this summer with three new caps in the five-strong squad, one of them from Edinburgh.

By Nigel Duncan
Friday, 13th May 2022, 12:54 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 2:03 pm
New caps Joanne Barlow (left) and Gill Coutts with flounders. Picture contributed
New caps Joanne Barlow (left) and Gill Coutts with flounders. Picture contributed

Brighton-based Joanne Barlow, captain of Scotland's ladies carp team, has joined Gill Coutts (Largs), Lesley Maby (Penrith, Cymbra), Karena Duffy (Egremont, Cumbria) and Buffy McAvoy from Edinburgh, in the team confirmed after a two-day squad session at Tayport and Carnoustie last weekend.

Broughty Ferry-based Kevin Lewis, the team manager, who is assisted by Philip Pape, said the team have bonded exceptionally well and would face other squads from England, Wales and Ireland who are also in similar transitional phases.

He said: "We fished two areas, Carnoustie on the Saturday and Tayport on the Sunday, to give the girls experience of different locations and conditions and they all got into fish.

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"We also covered rig building and tactics and we will have weekly video sessions to discuss things before the event scheduled from July 4 to 8. The girls will also practice on their own in local beaches and Lewis added: "This is, we hope, the nucleus of the team for the future."

Coutts, a regular competition angler in mixed events on both sides of the Border, said it was a dream come true to represent Scotland in a major match.

And she added: "Three of us are new caps and we're on a steep learning curve but we had an awesome weekend of training, caught plenty of fish, learned new techniques and I am part of a fantastic team. I can't wait for the match in July."

Barlow said: "We have a fantastic group and we practiced casting on an estuary and also on a beach location, two entirely different situations. All of us blended really well and there is a great team spirit."

Kyle Kirkwood with part of his his record bag of 161lb at Broom. Picture contributed

Scotland have also named the youth team for the Home Internationals also at Weymouth and they are Michael McLoughlin (Cumbernauld), Andrew McLean (Stranraer), Luke Burns (Kirkoswald), Calum Culbert (Tory) and Darragh Maginnis (Glasgow). Manager is Billy Buckley from Uddingston.

Meanwhile, Kyle Kirkpatrick has carved a niche in Scottish fishing history books with a stunning match return of 161lb of fish in one day during a major competition on a Scottish commercial course fishery.

The apprentice joiner tempted chub, bream and ide, plus two small carp, to his worm and maggot-baited hook on a medium pole at Bruces' Acre lake in the Broom Fisheries complex near Annan on day one of the Eddie Bibby Broom Spring Festival.

Kirkpatrick left the rest of the field of 27 in his wake - his haul was more than double the next recorded on day one - and it was achieved on a peg which the 18-year-old had never fished before.

Scottish Ladies Sea Fishing team: (l-r) Phillip Pape, assistant manager, Buffy McAvoy, Karena Duffy, Joanne Barlow, Lesley Maby, Gill Coutts, Kevin Lewis (manager) on Tayport beach. Picture contributed

That's despite the teenager being a regular angler at the popular fishery which attracts big number from Central Scotland and as far afield as Aberdeen, Inverness and Wick as well as North-East and North-West England.

However, Kirkpatrick did not win the event. Mark Acton was first with five points and a total weight of 228lb 12oz against the local anglers 323lb 12oz but he had six points.

Third was Barry Young, also with six points, with 218lb 2oz.

The previous commercial match record is reported to be 135lb by Rob Swan and the size of the haul on the first day of the event surprised even Kirkpatrick who used a medium pole for the entire day.

Oscar Chalmers, aged 12, from Edinburgh with his first ever pike caught within two minutes of the start of the Daiwa Prorex League match at Lake of Menteith. Picture by Bryan Chalmers

The fish did not start coming into his swim until around noon, and he admitted there were then a few flat times but the angler - who is equally adept with method and waggler tactics - believes that a nearby bridge, providing some cover, was a major factor in his success which happened despite a changeable wind, normally a downer for fish.

He fed the swim regularly with chopped worm and maggot plus hemp to keep the fish interested and he revealed: "I fish Broom every weekend and have been doing so since I was seven.

"I first came with my dad, Ian, but he is more of a traditional angler with fly and float."

Kirkpatrick normally carries three keep nets but had to borrow one from a neighbouring angler before the weigh in and he revealed it is not his biggest ever catch weight in one day.

Fishing with John Wright, who built Broom 27 years ago, Kirkpatrick fished Boddington Water, one of the top big-weight match venues in The Midlands, and netted 230lb in one day, mainly carp weighing between 10lb and 15lb each.

The Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland (PAAS) hosted the first of their Daiwa Prorex lure series at The Lake of Menteith and the fishing was tough with the bigger fish proving elusive.

However, two fish over 20lbs were tempted by the 70 anglers and the catch return included 170 jacks (fish below 10lb), ten into double-figures and two at over 20lbs, the biggest caught by Gerry Hainey at 20lb 8oz.

Alan McComisky leads the event with Si Lawson, Corran McIntosh, Andy Irvine and Neil Harryman taking the next places.Oscar Chalmers, age 12, landed his first pike within two minutes of the start and went on to soundly beat his dad, Bryan, editor of esox magazine published by PASS.

Meanwhile, Martin Pearson won matchday three of 12 in the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club's Summer League with a bag of 29lb 3oz at Alex's Pond at Orchill near Auchterarder.

He beat a field of 21 with Scott McGhee second on 23lb 15oz and John Perella and Ian Sloss third equal on 23lb 12oz. The next round is on May 17 at the same venue.

Fly fishing now and the River Esk-MDAA are organising a river bank clean up on Sunday (May 15). Meet at the Job Centre car park around 10am.

Bags will be supplied and you don't have to be an angler to join in, just have an interest in the river.

Markle in East Lothian is currently enjoying crystal, clear water and is fishing really well with floating lines performing best with stoneflies, buzzers and humpy dry flies all producing fish.

At Bowden Springs near Linlithgow, Paul Dancer had 11 with a best of 10lb on CDC and black app and Connor Robertson nine with his best at 9.5lb on buzzer patterns. Brian Scott also had nine and a best of 8lb on buzzers.

Drumtassie also report good sport on their fly loch with Eric Cook hooking into 18 fish including two over 10lbs and Davie Robertson 14 including two doubles. The new coarse pond continues to receive favourable reviews.

At Allandale Tarn near West Calder, the fly and bait ponds are both fishing superbly with top-of-the-water the best method with small black dries, beetles and gnat patterns plus smokers on size 12 all producing.

Nearby Cobbinshaw host their annual open day on Sunday July 3 (11am to 5pm) and attendees can fish free for three hours as a guest on a catch and release basis.

Bangour report four doubles caught and released.

Into the Pentland Hills now and Harlaw report exellent fishing with double-figure catches recorded. Fish are responding to black buzzers, rainbow nymph and small black lures.

At nearby Clubbiedean, one angler had 15 to the net on a variety of dry flies.

Lake of Menteith confirm that the midweek Fario 2022 Boat League is underway with new rules limiting fly size and a spokesman said: "We are looking for new members and this is an ideal friendly competition for stillwater novices to learn new skills."

Their evening sessions start from 5.30pm and the first heat of the Scottish Club Championships is on Saturday, May 14.

Black Loch near Falkirk have had 47 boats out with 21 fish kept and 60 returned and favoured patterns included buzzers, cormorants, damsels and diawl bachs.

Dry flies have started to produce as the water temperature rises with floating lines, midge tip and Di3 favoured.

Finally, back to sea fishing and Stuart Fairbairn from Haddington won the first leg of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's ten-leg summer series with two fish for 42cms at Belhaven Beach.

James Ogilvie also from Haddington was second with one fish for 26cm and new Scottish international Chris Empson third with a 22cm fish in difficult conditions.

Anglers in the pegged match had to contend with a strong swell, heavy kelp and a bitingly cold wind once the sun disappeared and only three cards were returned.