Nigel Duncan on fishing: Changing of the guard at Malleny Angling
There has been a changing of the guard at Malleny Angling, who administer popular Harlaw Reservoir and bank fishing at part of Threipmuir Reservoir in The Pentland Hills above Balerno.
Long-standing chairman Jim McComb has stepped down after six years. McComb has also spent four years as a director and more than a decade in official duties, including that of head bailiff. Edinburgh-based McComb, a retired electrical engineer, who worked off-shore for many years, was encouraged to become a bailiff by former secretary Alan Holbrook and he will continue as a committee member this year, buying fish for the water, but will hand that duty over next year. He said: "It has been a privilege to serve as chairman and it is comforting to know that I leave my official role with Malleny Angling in a financially sound position and, for the future, in very capable hands."
McComb becomes an honorary member of the club and he was presented with that accolade by incoming chairperson, Nigel Duncan, at the well-attended annual meeting in Balerno which heard that the club faces a number of challenges in 2023. Robert Ross also retires as a director but will remain as company secretary and a committee member until the 2024 annual meeting when he plans to fully retire.
Ross has been an official of the club for 15 years. Rob Horsfield remains as treasurer and a director for this year before he retires in 2024. Incoming directors are Paul Kenny and Alastair Lyndon and they will be supported by Steven Oliver, who is head bailiff. He was presented with the Chairman's Trophy which recognises a member who has provided a special service to Malleny Angling. McComb said Oliver was well worthy of recognition and added: "Steven who has taken over in challenging times and run the seven-day operation well."
Oliver told the annual meeting that being a bailiff is a fundamental and necessary task undertaken by a few for the good of many and he added: "We owe a great debt to those who come forward."
Well-known octogenarian angler, Ronnie Robinson, continues to administers catch returns, a vital role for the club who have also confirmed prices for the season which opens on April 1. A day ticket on which an anglers can kill three fish will cost £28, an increase of £3, and a day ticket on a catch and release basis is £23. Evening permits have been discontinued.
McComb argued that the increase is in the face of a significant increase in fish costs plus price increases for insurance among other cost rises. Fishing times for members are from 6am with a finishing time of 10pm in April, September and October and 10.30pm during May, June, July and August.
Day ticket anglers can start fishing at 8am and anyone interested in fishing the water should note that bailiffs cannot issue permits. They must be bought online at the club's website, Malleny Angling, and any angler arriving without a permit will be turned away.The not-for-profit club, which is run by volunteers, also runs a busy Facebook site called Malleny Angling with weather reports, information and pictures plus instructional videos and all relevant information is posted.
Meanwhile, John Jackson, owner of Tweeddale Fishery, near Gifford, is offering anglers a special deal of £200 for a whole year of unlimited fishing on his popular water on a catch and release basis only. The owner, affectionately known as Jacko, believes this initiative will be popular with anglers, but it applies to fly fishermen only.
He has three ponds at the popular fishery, a bait pond, a fly and bait facility and his productive fly pond and the popular fishery has been producing good numbers recently, despite the poor recent weather. He has re-stocked twice in recent weeks.
Glencorse boss Bill Taylor has asked anglers for their thoughts as he is considering opening for a couple of nights mid-week during the summer if there is any interest. He is also considering hosting a competition by invitation only. Once again he is asking for feedback. He re-opens on March 18.
Nearby, Loganlea re-open for the season on Saturday (March 4) and Morton Fishings, now under new ownership, re-opened yesterday (Friday, March 3) and he is offering free tea and coffer plus sandwiches on opening day, Saturday and Sunday.
Linlithgow Loch re-opened for the season on Wednesday (March 1) and has been fishing well with a 10lb brown trout tempted on the first day when 15 of their 20 boats were out. Suggested early-season patterns here are diawl bach and cormorant.
Nearby, Millhall near Polmont report their water is fishing well with a anglers reporting catches of up to 20 during their session with various lures among the best patterns. In fact, nearly 1,000 fish have been caught and returned since the fishery opened for the season on February 20.
Allandale Tarn near West Calder re-opens on March 11 and Pottishaw near Whitburn is fishing well. Anglers have been tempting rainbow trout to 8lb and brown trout from 5lb to 14lb on various lures to an intermediate line.
Bowden Springs boss Jim Gargaro reports that John Kearney had 20 fish on worm patterns with Robert Birrell netting 12, and a best of 9lb, on various patterns including an egg while Billy Wilson had 11 and a best of 8lb on buzzer and RAB patterns.
And John Kerr and Gary Hamilton netted 20 to the boat at the Lake of Menteith using bung and cat bug tactics but the catch of the day was a 25lb 8oz pike which was tempted by Kerr on the cat bug. Sea fishing finally and the venue for round 11 of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's winter series was changed at the last minute to North Berwick as the gates at Dunbar Harbour were closed due to weather.
Seven anglers fished the Rover match with only one angler weighing in one codling. Everybody had fish but all were undersized so Scottish international Chris Empson's 2lb fish won the heaviest bag and heaviest fish prizes. The final round is on Wednesday (March 8) at a venue to be decided this weekend. See the club's Facebook page for details.