Nigel Duncan on fishing: Edinburgh and Lothians coarse angling title chase goes down to wire

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Martin Pearson leads the championship chase in the summer series organised by Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club after coming second in match seven with five rounds still left.

He totalled 46lb 12oz in the match which started in dull, overcast conditions but finished in bright sunshine on Snake Lake at Orchill near Auchterarder in Perthshire.

Mark Gleave won with 51lb 2oz to claim his third victory of the season so far. Bruce Lawrie was third with 44lb 12oz and John Perella fourth with 38lb 3oz.

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Overall, Pearson has 172 points, Tommy Lauriston is second with 160 points, Perella third on 155 points and Gordon McKay fourth with 149.5 points with Heather Lauriston fifth on 147 points. However, that could change as from the next match anglers can drop their poorest results.

Joanne Barlow and Nikki Gordon (right) with one of their carp landed during the event.Joanne Barlow and Nikki Gordon (right) with one of their carp landed during the event.
Joanne Barlow and Nikki Gordon (right) with one of their carp landed during the event.

Interestingly, the locations of the leading anglers so far this season shows the spread of this friendly and popular club administered by Edinburgh-based Geoff Lowe. Pearson is from Dunfermline, Cleave lives in Auchterarder, Lawrie comes from Aberdeen, Perella is from Errol, McKay lives in Methven in Perthshire and Heather and Tommy Lauriston are from Cumbernauld.

Elsewhere, Scottish international James Woodrow won the Sunday Open at Magiscroft hooking into 20lb of carp and 36 ide for a total of 43lb 3oz on the Island Pond with 32 of the ide arriving in the first hour but only four more in the next four.

Scotland's men's carp team go into the world championships in France later this year in buoyant mood after winning a match against the Army and e-military with the decision going to the wire.

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Scotland won with five points with Army on seven points and the ex-military edged out after weigh-back. They also had seven points. The lead changed hands three times in the final eight hours and the winning margin was only 1oz.

Martin Pearson bankside at Orchill. Picture: Tommy LauristonMartin Pearson bankside at Orchill. Picture: Tommy Lauriston
Martin Pearson bankside at Orchill. Picture: Tommy Lauriston

Also south of the border, Joanne Barlow, captain of Scotland's ladies carp team, who make their debut in the world championships this year, has qualified for the semi-final of the British Carp Angling Championship with her partner Nikki Gordon after what was described as 48 hours of "hard" fishing. Nikki fished the event along last year as Joanne was hurt in a car accident in Dundee after a Scotland training session with the Tartan sea angling team on Tayside.

On to technical stuff now and a new pellet waggler product is being heavily marketed by several companies.

One of them is Daiwa and they have teamed up with top angler Will Raison who has been hand-making dozens of versions over the years and they claim to have perfected the flight shape and float-to-load ratio in three sizes, 7g, 9g and 11g with a recommended retail price of £4.99.

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The PR blurb said: "Each features hi-viz, built-in flights and a fully-loaded brass base. easily adjusted, the base also carries a lightweight splash disc and a spare to halt the float from diving too deep.

Millhall Reservoir near Polmont. Picture: Nigel DuncanMillhall Reservoir near Polmont. Picture: Nigel Duncan
Millhall Reservoir near Polmont. Picture: Nigel Duncan

"Balsa is recognised to offer excellent buoyancy and stability, especially when windy, a must for effective bait presentation and a high catch rate. The natural wood look is protected by a low glare varnish which we have kept to a minimum to protect the casting balance of the floats."

On to fly fishing and debate over bung fishing is likely to intensify with the marketing of the drop back bung. Manufacturers claim this "revolutionises" small still water indicator fishing, particularly on challenging days with light winds and under-pressure fish.

Fulling Mill say: "At times, an increase in hittable takes in the region of 40 per cent to 60 per cent over standard indicators is possible. The drop back casts better, strikes easier and coverts more takes than a standard indicator."

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Basically the drop back is marked with dots so you need to rig up the correctly weighted flies to load/cock the bung.

Moving on and Rio have two flurocarbon options on the market, their regular fluoroflex freshwater and also fluoroflex strong.

Simon Gawesworth for the company said that the regular is a medium stiff nylon with a good knot strength and tensile strength which is "excellent" for throwing slightly bigger flies and streamers and casting in the wind.

The strong version has a higher knot strength and a higher tensile strength and is claimed to be a much more supple and good for fishing buzzers and nymphs and smaller flies when good presentation is required and when anglers want more movement of flies under water.

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The lines are the same diameter (2x or 0.229mm) but the strength difference is "immense", he claimed, with one of 8lb and the other at 11.2lb.

Locally, Allandale Tarn near West Calder and Kailzie Trout and Salmon Fishery near Peebles have re-opened after being closed due to the hot weather but Drumtassie Coarse Fishery is closed.

Bosses hope the work will not take longer than two or three weeks and Leeanne Aitchison said that a pipe burst has caused the closure and Scottish Water are repairing. She added: "Please bear with us."

Elsewhere, two new Coulam boats have arrived at Lake of Menteith to replace two older boats and more are scheduled to arrive in the next few months.

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Remember, casting experts Steve Peterson and Andy Smith will be at Edinburgh Angling Centre at Granton this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to answer questions and give free lessons as well as showcasing Scientific angler lines.

Locally, Millhall report that the hot weather continues to make it tricky for anglers and the fish appear to be shoaling up into small pods searching for cooler water. Top tactic was straightlined buzzers on floating lines with the Vicar in holographic red, green and gold bands working well. Some anglers suspended their buzzers under a bung, accompanied with an egg fly, and they too had success, but there were also some fish taken on intermediate lines and damsel nymph-type lures.

Best returns recorded included M Oliphant and G Paris who each returned ten fish and D Blair returned 15 fish on straightlined buzzers off the dam.

Finally, the chance to fish fee alongside some of Scotland's top anglers with the opportunity to represent at world and European level is being offered by the Scottish National Fly Fishing League (SNFFL).

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This is Scotland’s internationally recognised body, tasked with team selection for the world, european, world masters and five nations fly fishing championships.

Archie Fereguson, the press officer, said: "We are looking to recruit a few guest anglers to support our competition days. If interested, you’ll be invited to fish two of four sessions with one other angler from Scotland’s Premier League.

"Guest anglers will be expected to fish to Fips-Mouche, International Sport Fly Fishing Federation rules, and may be asked to fish once or twice throughout the season. It would also be a great opportunity to experience competition at this level and even provide an opportunity for inclusion in future leagues."

Those interested are asked to provide a brief description and list their experience by contacting Archie Ferguson at [email protected]