Scots angler Scott McGhee beats five-time world champion at UK-wide event

Surprise packet Scott McGhee will today be bankside fishing in the fifth round of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club Summer Series at Orchill near Auchterarder only days after finishing in the top 15 in a major national event, beating top anglers including a five-time world champion and fishermen who feature regularly on YouTube with instructional videos.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 4:55 am
Scott McGhee will return to fishing in the Edinburgh and Lothians only days after finishing in the top 15 in a major national event.
Scott McGhee will return to fishing in the Edinburgh and Lothians only days after finishing in the top 15 in a major national event.

And the 40-year-old could have made the top eight had a double-figure carp hooked five minutes from the end of the three-day event not made one last escape bid and snapped McGhee's 6lb-plus line.

That slice of bad luck is now behind him and McGhee aims to at least make the top ten next year in the Diawa Pole Masters which last week featured over 120 leading anglers including YouTube video star Jamie Hughes who was tenth, 'Fishing Guru' Andy Bennett and ex-world winner Alan Scotthorn.

Two Edinburgh-based anglers also fished, David Corcoran who was 21st and was second overall on Day 2. He also won a section during the event near Warwick won by Midlands-based match angler, Mitch Davidson, who collected a substantial money prize plus a pole worth an estimated £7,000 from the event sponsors.

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George Glen, also from Edinburgh, was in the field and finished 70th. Other well-known Scots anglers fared well, including James Woodrow (Cumbernauld), who was 75th, Mark Lyons (Glasgow), 36th, Colin Hart (Bellshill), 42nd and Derek Brady, 111th. Fife-based Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, was 87th.

McGhee, an IT consultant from East Kilbride, admitted to being "nowhere" in his previous two trips to the coveted competition, but he put in hours of homework, including chatting to seasoned competitors, and he spent two days learning the water ahead of the event on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The angler - sponsored by Bait Tech and Cadence - realised quickly that he needed to fish "winter style" as the conditions were forcing the fish deep.

Day One saw him having to quickly make rigs bankside to accommodate the water depth of around eight feet and he believed he was last in his section until the last 90 minutes when he began to hit fish, bringing him back into contention.

Day two saw McGhee draw an end peg and he believed he was really struggling until another late surge saw him shoot up the places and on the final day the weather was blisteringly hot forcing another change of tactics. He finished the day on 52lbs, two pounds short of the winner.

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The former Scottish Angler of the Year, who is currently second in this year's Scottish Angler of the Year title race, was introduced to the sport as a ten-year-old by his grandfather, Frank.

He was introduced to pole fishing as a 17-year-old by Nigel Foulds of JB Angling Centre, Kirkintilloch, and the rest is history.

He said: "In 2018 I had a good year and won Scottish Angler of the Year and I want to keep building on that in Scotland, but fishing in England is a different ball game."

Last week has been a huge confidence boost and McGhee said: "In the last five minutes of the match I hooked into what I believed to be a double-figure carp.

"I was just about to net the fish when it took a last lunge and shot off down an off-shoot and I couldn't recover it. If I had landed the fish then I would have made the top eight."

However, McGhee, who is currently second in this year's Scottish Angler of the Year title race, is already booked for next year and the hunger for more success is there. He declared: "My intention is to do everything I can to win it."

However he is more than willing to share his extensive knowledge and Geoffrey Lowe, chairman of ELCAC, said: "Scott has offered to spend time with members after our matches, discussing his set-up and his tactics.

"That is the beauty of a club like ourselves where total novices can be fishing alongside anglers who are nearly professionals."

Currently, John Parella leads the ELCAC summer title race with 95 points with Darrin Ferguson second six points adrift with two members both on 82 points, Roz Cassidy and Heather Lauriston.

Meanwhile, Glencorse is one of the most popular waters in the Lothians and it is no surprise that anglers have been urging owner Bill Taylor to start evening sessions.

So, he has agreed and they are due to start from Tuesday, July 6 and are scheduled to run until mid-September.

Taylor said: "I had a number of requests from anglers who can't get to the water at other times because of shifts and other work-related reasons.

"Also, weekends have been fully booked for some time."

The evening sessions will be on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and they will start at 5.30pm.

His day sessions finish at 4.30pm and he said: "That hour will give me time to clean the boats and get them ready for the new customers. The evening sessions will close at 10pm."

Glencorse has 11 boats at the picture-postcard water above Flotterstone near Penicuik and only opens if three or more boats are booked. That will apply for the evening sessions.

Fishing is by booking only and Taylor said: "Catch and release and kill tickets are available for the evening sessions." Ring 01968 678709 for details.

The water has been fishing well recently with a variety of patterns scoring. Sedge, sedgehogs, CDC on a floating line and sub-surface buzzers, hothead damsel and blobs have been producing quality fish.

Sink tip lines have proved popular with anglers and fish have been tempted all over the 103-acre water which produces best on a west wind.

No anchors are allowed, only drift fishing, but drogues are permitted and Glencorse allows fishing under a bung.

Finally, a proposed friendly competition with two heats and a final has been shelved for administrative reasons.

Elsewhere, the Gulls Nest Club have been among the visitors to Linlithgow Loch and they returned 29 fish mostly tempted on cormorant and okey dokey fished on intermediate lines.

The Scottish Youth Fly Fishing Team have also visited and returned 32 fish mostly caught on diawl bach and cormorant on midge tip lines.

Linlithgow AC enjoyed their annual day and they hooked 16 fish for 45lbs mostly on diawl bach and buzzers while regular Nigel Muckle returned 11 on tequila blobs.

Overall, weed is starting to show in the margins, but there is plenty of fishing water available and bosses continue to stock weekly.

Boats are available for most days for full day or four-hour sessions. Evening sessions start at approximately 4 pm until dusk. Call 01506 671753 for details.

Bowden Springs boss Jim Gargaro reports that both his ponds are fishing well. Mr Buchanan landed a 10lb rainbow on the fly and Raymond Birrell an 8lb brown with a mix of patterns doing well including Ally McCoist, black buzzers, beetles and various dries.

Sea fishing now and experienced James Ogilvie was top rod in the fourth leg of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League at Seacliffe Beach near North Berwick on Wednesday.

The Haddington angler landed four fish for 93cm and Musselburgh-based Jimmy Green was second with two fish for 53cm.

Alan Brown (Dunbar) was third with 42cm from two fish and Simon Swift fourth with a 21cm fish.

The Scottish Shore Angling Match group hold their second match of the season at Lunan Bay near Montrose on Saturday, july 3. Registration is from 11.30am to noon and fishing from 13.30 to 18.30.

There is a three hook stipulation and an 18cm size limit and all bait will be supplied (mackerel and black lugworm. Entry is £25. Interest is high and there will be a limit of 60 competitors with several already listed from the Lothians area including Mike Kyle and his son Stuart from Dalkeith, David Cooper from Edinburgh and Barry McEwan from Port Seton. Full details on the group's Facebook page.

At Eyemouth, Aquamarine Charters report brisk business in their mackerel trips. Ring 07860 804316 for full details and, for the record, they have rods on board for those who don't have their own equipment. You do have to bring your own bait.

Finally, catches in the Union Canal appear to be picking up according to social media.