Life's a beach for Scottish sea angling master and apprentice team

Billy Buckley and Michael Mcloughlin are the toast of Scottish sea angling having produced the best result by a Tartan team on the international stage for 24 long years.

Mike Connet (left) and Jock Kettles at Glencorse. (Picture: Nigel Duncan)
Mike Connet (left) and Jock Kettles at Glencorse. (Picture: Nigel Duncan)

The pair won silver medal in the World Shore Angling Pairs in France and surged up the table in a field of 28 from 14 after the first day to seventh on day two then third and finally, with a tremendous final session, into the silver medal slot.

Buckley, who is manager of the Scottish Youth team which competes in the Home Internationals in Weymouth, Dorset, in early July, and 19-year-old McLoughlin, who is in that team, tweaked their terminal tackle after the first day and were rewarded. They moved from plain to pyramid leads after missing a number of bites on the stunning beach of Mimizan near Bordeaux which is skirted by sand dunes and likened by Buckley, to Lunan Bay.

Bass, bream and mullet, including a 47cm fish hooked by apprentice electrician McLoughlin, were tempted during the four-day event with the final two days fished in 30c-heat.

There was a swell in the first two days and then two days of calm and Buckley, a health and safety officer, originally from Stevenston in Ayrshire and now living in Uddingston, and Mcloughlin from Cumbernauld, are the first Scottish team ever to have fished this prestige event.

Buckley, 54, said: "It has been 24 years since Scotland won gold in the world championship, that was in 1998 in Denmark in the world team championship.

"This has been a long time coming for the country and for me as I've been fifth with the world team previously and tenth in the individual world event and it is a great result for the country."

The pair fished side-by-side on the beach and self-funded the trip - they received some tackle from manufacturer Tronixpro - which involved flying from Edinburgh to Bordeaux and then hiring a car for the 90-minute drive to the location where they finished only six points behind the French but a distance ahead of third-placed Germany.

Brian and Michael with their medals. (Picture: Supplied)

David Neil, public relations officer for the SFSA, said: "This is a fantastic result and a well-deserved medal for Billy after many years competing at world championships. As for Michael, I'm certain he now becomes the youngest Team Scotland angler to win a world medal."

A Scotland Select fishes against a Wales and England side at Elliott Beach near Arbroath on Saturday with 18 anglers taking part in a non-capped event to provide anglers on the fringe of the Scotland team a chance of competitive action. The SFSA host the latest round of summer fixtures at Riverside Drive, Dundee, on Sunday, with all 60 pegs taken. There are no restrictions on bait and locals indicate that the river is full of crabs.

Aquamarine Charters boss Derek Anderson confirms that he is now running midweek trips but he needs a minimum of ten anglers to cast off from Eyemouth.

His weekend trips sail at 7am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday depending on demand and weekday trips sail from 8am.

Billy Buckley (left) and Michael Mcloughlin at their peg on the beach. (Picture: Billy Buckley)

On to fly fishing and Jock Kettles and Mike Connet once again used local knowledge to win the Glencorse heat of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's leading fly fishing competitions.

Kettles, Scotland's international captain from Bonnyrigg, and Edinburgh-based Connet hooked into 28lb 6oz of trout and also earned time bonuses. Boats left the harbour at 9am and the pair were back in by 11.15am with their eight fish.

Second were Alistair Watson and Barry Watson with 27lb 6oz who were first back on the pontoon with their eight fish by 11am, 15 minutes ahead of Kettles and Connet, and third position went to Borders-based father and son team, Kenny and James Hope 26lb 3oz who were back at the jetty by 11.30am.

Connet said: "We had plans in mind when we left the harbour and knew the reservoir had been stocked two days before. We also knew guys had been out practicing in the build-up so we sidestepped Plan A which was to fish the bay just up from the harbour.

"It was the last chance saloon for us and we're back in the Grand Final on Sunday, August 28. This will be our third time at Llyn Brenig and we've been top ten three times."

At the Lake of Monteith, Roddy McIntyre, a retired inspector from the Lothian and Borders Police, is the individual Scottish police national champion for this year, beating 47 other anglers to claim the silverware.

He bagged 14 fish during the 54th National Lochstyle Championship and they were all released.

McIntyre said: “I started off at International Bay, on a 6ft fast sink tip with two diawl bachs, a buzzer and cat booby.

"I had a quick fish at 9.15am but decided to move away from the boat pressure and went to the Lochend and picked up another then noticed the fish were very close to the surface.

"I changed to a floating line and worked the road shore, steadily building a bag mostly on the diawl bachs, with a couple taking the booby.”

The runner up was Alan Gilbert, a serving inspector with Police Scotland at Dumbarton, with a total catch of 12 fish. Alan caught his fish on a combination of dries and third was Keith Anderson retired superintendent from West Lothian with 11 fish.

McIntyre and Gilbert will represent Police Scotland in the individual event at the Police Sport UK National at Chew Valley near Bristol in June 2023 and 242 fish were caught on the day.

The team event was won by East A which included Jim Walker, Brian Clifton, Malcolm Miller and Keith Anderson with a total catch of 27 fish.

Anglers who will represent Police Scotland at the Police Sport UK 5 Nations Championship at Lake of Menteith in September 2023 are: Roddy McIntyre (captain), Alan Gilbert (vice-captain), Keith Anderson, Kenny Miller, Brian Clifton, Jim Walker, Paul Barr, Alan Dickson, Malky Macormick, Kenny Hall (all East), Harris Campbell, Brian Carnegie, Bob Robertson (all West), David Mateer (Highlands and Islands). Reserve: Calum Fraser (East).

Bosses at the Lake of Menteith confirm they have a gutting sink with access to a tap, hoses, cutting board, chain mail glove, knife sharpeners and fillet bag but anglers need to bring your own knife and place the guts in the bucket and bosses. Bosses hope to encourage anglers to keep more of their locally-sourced, rod-caught free range trout.

On the water, there has been a significant mayfly hatch and dry fly tactics have been the best method. Bill Rammage and Alan Bernard netted 14 and Colin Riach and Jimmy Millar had 12. Tom McBride and Alec Rennie had 16 on dries, mainly off International Bay.

On to coarse fishing and Scott McGhee has consolidated his position at the top of the Summer League hosted by Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club but Darrin Ferguson has climbed into second position with Tommy Lauriston now third.

In the Knockout Cup, John Parella beat Heather Lauriston (19lbs 5oz), Ferguson beat John Hannah (8lb 3oz), Roz Cassidy (14lbs 11oz) beat Erik La Clog (did not weigh in) and Sandy McKay (21lbs 9oz) beat Bill Hamilton (10lb 9oz).