Nigel Duncan on fishing: Anglers are flocking back to Stenhouse

Anglers are flocking back to Stenhouse Fishery and they are catching. Willie Smith, James Philp and Donald McKenzie are among those who have hit double-figures at the venue which is popular for fishermen from the Edinburgh and Lothians but has been closed recently because of algae.
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Staff have put a lot of hard work into the re-opening and the water clarity is now 100 per cent according to bosses and there were 11 boats out on one day in midweek on my visit.

Floating lines have worked well recently in the more settled weather with CDC, shipmans and cruncher patters also accounting for good numbers. Thustain said: "For example, three anglers hooked into 30 fish on one day and that is a good number.

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Dry flies have proved one of the best picks from the box, including daddies, but the mid-week sunlight forced the fish down. However, anglers were still able to tempt trout, particularly in the West End of the lake.

Chris Empson on the beach at Musselburgh. Nigel DuncanChris Empson on the beach at Musselburgh. Nigel Duncan
Chris Empson on the beach at Musselburgh. Nigel Duncan

Fast glass have also been working but Graham Thustain (cor), the fishery manager, said that midge tip lines were expected to be more prominent as the Autumn rolls on and he said: "We've been busy and people should phone first to check on availability before travelling as we have been really busy since we re-opened."

Lake of Menteith report that the lake has been stocked again with nearly 900 fish ahead of the 130th Scottish National Trout Fly Fishing Championship Final which takes place on Saturday. (September 17).

Aaron Kennedy was crowned Scotland's youth national fly fishing champion after rounds at Harelaw near Glasgow and the Lake of Menteith. The youngster came from three fish behind to take the trophy and he is now part of the team - aged 12 and over and under 18 - which travels to Wales for the Home International.

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Linlithgow Loch report there were 24 boats out in the past week and fish were taking Ally McCoist, buzzers, blobs, cormorants, FAB, cat boobies and snake patterns. Ian Dobbie returned eight fish on buzzers in one session and returned 7 fish in another.

Team Scotland in talk-in ahead of the world championships in Croatia. Picture Derek BradyTeam Scotland in talk-in ahead of the world championships in Croatia. Picture Derek Brady
Team Scotland in talk-in ahead of the world championships in Croatia. Picture Derek Brady

Anglers are connecting with fish but dropping them or being snapped. Bosses continue to stock regularly and boats are available on most days for a full day or four-hour sessions. Call 01506 671753 or book online.

Nearby, Bowden Springs boss Jim Gargaro reports that Jim Bryce hooked into ten trout and a best of 5lb on lures.

Onto sea fishing and Dunbar-based Scottish international Chris Empson won round nine of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's summer series by hooking into 16 fish for a total measure of 375cm during a pegged match on Belhaven Beach.

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Keith Forbes from Musselburgh was second with 12 fish for 281cm while Barry McEwan from Port Seton, who made his debut for Scotland alongside Empson earlier this year, third on 262cm from 11 fish.Stuart Fairbairn (Haddington) was fourth with nine fish for 238cm and Shaun Gardiner (North Berwick) fifth with eight fish for 198cm.

Opening parade at the world carp championships with Joanne Barlow front left and her daughter Emily on the right. Contributed by David BarlowOpening parade at the world carp championships with Joanne Barlow front left and her daughter Emily on the right. Contributed by David Barlow
Opening parade at the world carp championships with Joanne Barlow front left and her daughter Emily on the right. Contributed by David Barlow

Robert Mackness from Edinburgh claimed sixth place with eight fish for 189cm and local angler, Alan Brown (West Barns) was seventh with four fish for 86cm while Grant Olesky (North Berwick) had three fish for 67cm and claimed eighth position.

James Ogilvie (Haddington) was ninth with one fish for 19cm and he said that colley, flounders and a weaver fish were hooked during the event fished with a three-foot swell and a stiff breeze on a flood tide.

Most fished mackerel bait on a three-hook flapper and the final leg will be on September 21 at a venue to be decided.

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Derek Anderson, skipper at Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth, said this has been a bad spell because of sea winds but George from North Berwick landed a 9lb cod last Sunday on squid. He added: "There are still plenty mackerel about."

Stenhouse Fishery this week. Picture by Nigel DuncanStenhouse Fishery this week. Picture by Nigel Duncan
Stenhouse Fishery this week. Picture by Nigel Duncan

Onto coarse fishing, and Scotland finished a disappointing 26th out of 33 nations in the world championships in Croatia. James Woodrow from Cumbernauld proved Scotland's top angler, finishing 88th, with Davie Corcoran from Edinburgh, in 100th place overall out of 173 anglers.

David McAuley from Wishaw was 102nd, James Dornon (cor) from Currie, Edinburgh, came 117th and Colin Hart from Coatbridge finished in 143rd place out of the 179 anglers who contested the two-day match (Saturday and Sunday) on the River Drava. Serbia won the prestige event with Italy second and the Czech Republic third.

Gus Brindle, Scotland's Dunfermline-based team manager, admitted that the Scots had been "caught out " by the smart tactics of "local" teams who did not show their hand in the five days of practice. They only brought out their bolo rods - short for Bolognese - when the match started. Bolo fishing is a technique which combines using a specialised long rod and float.

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The opposition were feeding fish balls of groundbait and Brindle said that this enabled them to catch more quickly while fishermen using waggler and slider tactics had to wait for their float to settle. The Scots, he added, had targeted catfish, but the size of the fish being landed got smaller as the contest went on.Brindle admitted: "We could have used too much joker (an insect lavre similar to bloodworm) into our top-up balls and that brought smaller catfish and bottle top skimmers into the peg. Once they are in they are really difficult to get through to the bottom to target the better fish."

Corcoran, he said, did really well on Day One, catching over 300 small fish for a fifth place in his section, a really good result as he had Serbia, Poland and the Czech Republic in his group, some of the best teams in the event.

Brindle added: "In the D and E section we got really caught out, as did a lot of the other teams, as the locals set up their bolo rods, throwing balls of groundbait and catching catfish.

"You can get the fish hooked and back in in the time it takes a waggler (float) or slider to settle. We did not see any teams practice it at all (in practice) and it was a bit of a surprise. We did get caught out as did a lot of the Home Nations."

At home, Darrin Ferguson completed his silverware double by winning the Knockout Cup, an even run by Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, at Orchill near Auchterarder, to add to his championship win. He beat Stewart Ritchie in the Knockout Cup Ffinal held on a tough day for fishing.

The angler also came second overall on the day and 24-hours later he won the open sweep at Magiscroft near his Cumbernauld home with a weight of 56lb. The second-placed anglers weighed-in with 40lb and third 29lb.

Ferguson said: "The top weights on Saturday were 10lb-plus, 7lb-plus and 6lb-plus and it was a tough match. My weight on Sunday came from a supposedly bad area."

The club host a rod and reel only event at Orchil today (SAT) on the Outer Snake Leke with all in at 10.15am. All-out 4pm.Meanwhile, Joanne Barlow has vowed to step-up her bid to create Scotland's first-ever ladies carp team after being a member of the marshalling team for the world championships in Oxfordshire last week.

Brighton-based Barlow said all the teams who competed were so supportive of tthe initiative to create a Scotland team to compete in next year's world championship.

She said: "It has been an absolute honour and privilege to be part of the marshalling team. Meeting and working with the bosses and managers of each team and the competitors of eight nations has been an incredibly humbling experience and has left me with many treasured memories.

"I have contacts from other teams offering support and advice to help me with organising and preparing our team. The encouragement and support from each nation has also inspired me to continue driving forward with the dream of Scotland having its first ever ladies team at next year's competition. Roll on 2023."

The Alex Clark Memorial event will be on October 16 at Broom near Annan and there are 30 pegs available on Queensberry and Wallace lakes.

The draw takes place the night before and it is all-in at 11am and all-out at 4.30pm. Entry is £25 and message Grant Clark is you wish to compete in the event sponsored by Blakes Bait. Popular Broom hosted the Sunday Open last weekend and the top four all had weights of over 120lb.

Rosen Arsov won with 132lb 8oz with Ian Whitson second on 131lb 2oz, Mark Acton third with 131lb and Wayne Trouve (cor) fourth with 123lb 4oz.

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