Nigel Duncan on angling: Pike enthusiasts lured back to Linlithgow Loch for end-of-year catch

Pike fishing enthusiasts bring the curtain down on angling at Linlithgow Loch for the season this weekend when more than 30 visit for a popular annual event.

Anglers at Linlithgow Loch this weekend would love to emulate Livingston-based Neil Irvine, who landed a 22lb pike on a 5 weight rod, size 12 Dennis the Menace buzzer and six pound Maxima ultragreen line at Pottishaw near Whitburn in 2019
Anglers at Linlithgow Loch this weekend would love to emulate Livingston-based Neil Irvine, who landed a 22lb pike on a 5 weight rod, size 12 Dennis the Menace buzzer and six pound Maxima ultragreen line at Pottishaw near Whitburn in 2019

The loch is noted for pike in excess of 20lb and the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland have booked all the boats for Saturday and Sunday.

It is fly fishing only and the event is catch and release.

The big fish may be tagged so that anglers can record their weight the next time they are netted and the pike alliance list three branches, Glasgow, Central and Ayrshire, and they fish several lochs in Scotland, including the Lake of Menteith and Harelaw near Glasgow.

Formed in 2001, the alliance say they are committed to conserving, protecting and promoting pike and pike angling in Scotland.

And they claim to have grown into being Scotland's largest single species angling group developing effective representation within local and national bodies.

Their website is It says they are looking for members and the cost is £22 for adults, £1 for juniors and £13 for those over 65 and £28 for a family of two adults and two juniors. One of the benefits it says is being able to take part in exclusive pike fishing events like the one at Linlithgow.

And one of their members, Eric Dey, is pictured on its social media site having landed a pike of around 20lbs during a lure evening this summer.

Tom Lambert, secretary of hosts, the Forth Area Federation of Anglers, who administer the water, said that 36 anglers had booked and fishing would be from 9am to 4pm. He confirmed that trout fishing at the water has now closed for the season and will re-open again on March 1.

Nearby, Mr Strachan had a great day at Bowden Springs, near Linlithgow. He landed give fine fish including one of 11lb, another of 10lb and a third of 7lb using a wotsit and black rabbit.

Loganlea boss Karen Jack confirmed that the water is now closed for the winter but says that you can book boats for next year on 07412 079031.

Chris Mulholland won the Scottish Ladies Fly Fishing team fund-raiser at Drumtassie near Blackridge with 21 fish in awful weather. Second was Ronnie Couper also with 21 fish and third Andy Brown with nine fish. The event raised over £550.

On to coarse fishing and Tommy Lauriston, a stalwart member of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club (ELCAC), recorded his first win of the year at Magiscroft Fishery near Cumbernauld.

He was fishing on the Island Pond and it rained whilst setting up and for the first two hours of the match. The winds were fishable on the shorter pegs.

Tommy landed a bag of 24lb 6oz, just under four pounds ahead of Frank Smith with 20lbs 10oz and Shug Smith 15lb. Other ELCAC members were also there including Roz Cassidy (10lb 8oz) and Heather Lauriston, Tommy's daughter with (10lb 12oz).

And he followed that up this week with a third place in the regular midweek matches also on the Island pond at Magiscroft with a bag of 18lb 3oz.

Dave Birchall was first with 26lb and Scott Laird second on 21lb.

Other members of the ELCAC were also in the field with Geoffrey Lowe, chairman of the club, netting 8lb 8oz, and Rox Cassidy, who was fishing two pegs away, just behind on 7lb 10oz.

There is a sweep tomorrow with the draw at 9am and all-in at 10.30am. Out 3.30pm and there are spaces as apparently there are a number of other matches elsewhere.

Sea fishing now, and The Jim Boyd Memorial is tomorrow (Sunday, November 7) fishing from 2pm to 8pm at Stevenston Beach with registration from noon to 1pm. The registration point is in the car park at Stevenston Shore towards the Saltcoats side.

It is a measure and return match with a 20cm minimum size limit. Two hooks only and minimum size four hooks with a £15 entry.

Organisers say that it is pre-book only and all fish must be taken to the angler on the next peg to be measured and witnessed, not shown from a couple of yards away.

Elsewhere, provisional prizes have been announced for the Ian Reid Memorial at Leven Beach which is a Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers counter.

The overall winner collects £450, second £350 and third £250 and there are zone prizes (three zones each day) of first £100, second £75 and third £50 with the prize for the longest flatfish £100.

Organisers say all prizes may vary if the numbers attending alters.

A total of 60 pegs are available and entry is £40 with lugworm and mackerel the only baits you can use. Hook size is minimal six and registration is from 9am to 10am at the Caravan Site, Level Promenade Car Park on both days.

It is also a measure and return event with no size limits.

Fishing is from 11am to 3pm on the Saturday and noon to 4pm on the Sunday with the presentation at Burt's Bar, Buckhaven, at 4.45pm on the Sunday.

Contact David Dobbie on 07940 111 729 or Alan Combe 07872 899791.

Details of the Clyde Open Sweepstake have been confirmed. It is on Sunday, 28 November at Port Glasgow from 4pm till 8pm.

It is a two-hook and 20cm limit with a £15 entry.

There is a 100 per cent pay out, 50 per cent for the longest bag and 50 per cent for the longest fish but no angler can win both.

You must phone to book and the contacts for this event are Ken Greason 0141 649 6269 and Jim Kilbride 07984 620 942.