Scottish anglers left frustrated after tough test on Croatian banks

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James Woodrow, Scotland's top rod in the World Coarse Angling Championships, admitted to feeling human again after an enjoyable but tough trip to Croatia.

The Cumbernauld-based angler finished 88th in the field of over 170 and he admitted to being frustrated when things did not go as expected.

Woodrow, and other members of the five-man team, revealed what the Tartan lads were up against, including rivals have a support staff of up to eight and their own chefs. Scotland had two support staff and no chefs.

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What's more, tactics changed at the last minute with Continental anglers bringing out their bolo rods, a style of fishing the Scots are not used to. However, the Tartan team are determined to move significantly up the rankings in future world competitions.

Darrin Ferguson in action at Orchill earlier this season. By Nigel DuncanDarrin Ferguson in action at Orchill earlier this season. By Nigel Duncan
Darrin Ferguson in action at Orchill earlier this season. By Nigel Duncan

Overall, Woodrow said he felt as if it was coming together in practice only to then have a "stinker" of a session.

He admitted: "It blew your mind with it not going as expected. I suppose it was no real surprise that we all struggled on match days. I returned a ninth and eleventh in the 17 man sections and the team finished a disappointing 26th out of 33."

Woodrow - nicknamed Woody - added: "I really enjoyed it at times and learned loads, but it was just so frustrating when you think you are on it then, half an hour into the next practice session, and you're already thinking: 'No, that isn't right.'"

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Serbia won gold and the team which also included Dave McAuley, who made his debut at the event.

McAuley, a specialist product manager at Tackle Guru, finished 102nd, two places below David Corcoran from Edinburgh, and the Wishaw-based angler said: "I was in contention for decent section points only for my catch rate to slow down compared to the first two hours which put me down the section to finish 12th and 10th."

The match was split over two venues due to low water levels and that, said McAuley, made it even more difficult as Scotland had to learn about both with limited practice time.

He added: "The main venue was virtually all pole and whip fishing. The other venue we thought would be more slider (fishing) at 25/35m. On the Thursday and Friday, when we practiced on the main venue, it changed to fishing with long bolo rods with 10g to 12g bolo floats at 25m.

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"For us, this was a totally new style and, with no practice or the right equipment, it was almost impossible for us to score any decent points in these sections.

"Even though the result doesn’t reflect it, the team worked extremely hard to work out the best method for a better result.

"When you see so many countries now with six to eight man support teams on the bank all week picking up information it is very difficult with only the team and two other men on the bank."

Derek Brady, who acted as one of the two support staff for the team, said: "We had a world champs event where you have three sections on one venue and two sections on another venue 40 kilometres away.

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"Our lads are really good anglers and they did reasonably well in the A, B and C sections catching roach, skimmers, catfish and even the odd carassio, but in the D and E sections it changed completely and became a bolo match giving us four bad scores on both sections on both match days."

Brady added: "When you look at the other teams with their large entourages with bank runners for every competing angler, with the Italians and a couple of other teams even bringing their own chef with them, it shows what we're up against.

"However, there was a lovely touch by Team Italy when their chef came over after practise day five with bowls of pasta for all our guys. Class act indeed."

Meanwhile, Darrin Ferguson, the club champion and Knockout Cup winner, added another title to his collection this season when he won the rod and reel competition organised by Edinburgh and Lothians coarse Angling Club.

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He netted 49lbs at Snake Lake on Orchill Fishery near Auchterarder and second was club stalwart Tommy Lauriston with 16lbs 12oz with his daughter, Heather Lauriston, third on 14lb 13oz.

Sea fishing now and Chris Stringer from Newcastle won the Erskine Open run by the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers with 32 fish with David Neil from Ayr second with 23 fish and Neil Cutler, also from Tyneside, third also with 23 fish.

Brian Maxwell (Ayr) was fourth with 18 fish and the junior winner was Ayr-based Callum Brown with 22 fish. Bruce McLean from Stranraer had the longest fish, a cod of 46cm.

Meanwhile, onto fly fishing and congratulations to Colin Wilson who hooked into a 4lb-plus brown trout on the River Almond this week, the biggest reported so far this season.

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On to stillwaters and Bill Taylor, boss of Glencorse Reservoir in The Pentlands, said fishing has improved of late and there have been some outstanding bags with a number of cracking brown trout being caught and returned. His season finishes on October 16.

Nearby, Clubbiedean report that Greg Gifford and Nathan Horner had 14 to the boat while David Menzies and Ross Morrison had 20 fish between them. Lures and fry patterns working well on midge tip.

Sean Williams had 14 during his session at Harlaw fishing a marabou bloodworm under an indicator and Robin Persaud (cor) tempted six fish.

At Black Loch near Falkirk, anglers have been catching on foam daddies, buzzers and yellow owls but they are beginning to switch to intermediate lines as the water cools. Penicuik Angling Club are among the recent visitors and anglers are asked to note that the water is now closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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The fishery is open from 9:00am till 4:30pm Wednesday to Sunday. Call 07527254811 for information and bookings.

Robert Birrell tempted ten fish at Bowden Springs and a best of 7lb on yellow dancer, egg and squirmy wormy patterns.

J Mollon tempted a 10lb trout on an Ally McCoist and D McMahon hooked into a 12lb rainbow on a black and silver lure.

Drumtassie Trout Fishery near Blackridge celebrate their fifth anniversary with a fun day on Saturday (September 24) from 9am to 3pm with a bouncy castle, candy floss, clay pigeon shooting a raffle and prizes.

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Allandale Tarn boss Iona Allan confirmed that normal hours will resume from Saturday, September 24 (always closed Tuesday) with fishing until 8pm.

Finally, Tyler Hay of the Lintrathen club near Kirriemuir caught 18 fish for 38lb 13.2oz at Lake of Menteith to become the 130th Scottish National Champion.

The angler fished a bung during the event and said: "This was always a competition I wanted to win."

Second was his boat partner Martin McCafferty of Future Fly Fishing Club with 13 trout for 28lb 13oz and third Gregor Fleming of Bridge of Weir Loch AC who also landed 13 trout but for 26lb 10oz.

A total of 273 anglers entered the heats and the top 18 anglers in the final qualified for the Scottish teams next year with Derek Marklow of Loanhead and District AC squeezing in at No 17.

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