Shore Angling Home Internationals: Barry McEwan gets thumbs-up despite hand injury

Barry McEwan today gave a thumbs up to making his Scotland debut in next month's Shore Angling Home Internationals in Dorset after suffering a hand injury in an accident at work.

Barry McEwan at Dunbar Harbour.
Barry McEwan at Dunbar Harbour.

The self-employed carpet fitter from Port Seton was using an angle grinder in a house in Gullane when the incident happened.

He bandaged his left hand and drove 20 miles to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and there were fears that he may have to withdraw from the Tartan team for Weymouth.

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McEwan said: "I've used an angle grinder many times but I'm lucky it just missed my finger. The swelling is going down now and I will be fine for Weymouth."

Thankfully, the 45-year-old is right-handed and so he has been able to continue preparing rigs for the international but he admitted: "It was really close to doing real damage. Now, I'm really looking forward to competing for Scotland for the first time. I last fished Chesil Beach as a teenager on holiday and things will have changed.

"We've got three official practice days before the competition and we'll be working out what works for the different species of fish they have down there."

Chris Empson, who is also a member of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League based in East Lothian, is also making his debut but experienced international Mike Kyle from Dalkeith has withdrawn from the team initially announced last December. Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers officials say the event clashes with a family holiday.

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Brian Maxwell from Saltcoats takes his place and the rest of the team is captain David Neil (Saltcoats) and Nuno Santos (Glasgow) with Bruce McLean from Stranraer the travelling reserve.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Ladies Sea Angling team have received a donation of £100 from William Kennedy Plumbers towards their trip to the Shore Angling Home Nations Championship in Weymouth.

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They have also received goodie bags from Ben Butler and various products from Cox & Rawle including bait elastic and the ladies, youth and juniors teams have also received £260 each from a recent raffle.

Gill Coutts, one of the squad, said: "As a self-funded team we really appreciate the help and support which they have given us and such coontributions make a difference towards reducing the costs for each individual member."

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Kirkcaldy-based St Serfs Sea Angling Club have donated £200 to Scotland's junior team for the Home Internationals and the cheque was received by Scott Henderson, the first club member to represent the national team at junior level.

Meanwhile, Scotland's carp fishing team earned a hard-fought victory over an Army Select despite missing two Lothians-based members of their squad.

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Ewan Roberts was laid low by COVID and Drew Taggart was too busy in his fishing tackle shop in Livingston to make the trip to Norton Disney near Lincoln, a 16-acre gravel pit currently holding fish up to 40lb with a good head of fish in the 30lb range.

That allowed team manager Kevin McConnell to bring in two trialists for the only warm-up match before the squad 12-man team heads for the world championships in Hungary.

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The anglers fished in pairs during the 48-hour event which allowed them to gain match experience fishing in spells by day and during the night, working out tactics, bait application and also sleep patterns.

However, the world event from September 21 to 24 is over 72 hours with anglers restricted to their pegs and McConnell said that working together is essential.

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The trip is self-funded and Scotland's last world championship event was pre-COVID in South Africa which cost each angler around £3,000. This time, the team will drive to Hungary, a trip expected to take 29 hours.

The lake is around three hours away from the recent venue for the invitational WalterLand Masters in which Scotland made their debut with a quartet of James Woodrow (Cumbernauld), Gus Brindle (Dunfermline) plus David Corcoran and James Dornom from Edinburgh.

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The carp team will have to stop over in Germany to pick-up bait due to restrictions on the ferry from Britain to France and McConnell said: "It's been over two years since we last got together as a team, so the match against the Army was a useful exercise for us.

"Unfortunately, we did not have a full squad, but the guys learned a lot. It was fished in hot conditions and the carp had just spawned. Because of that, they were congregated in one part of the lake and, if you weren’t in the right peg, then it was a struggle."

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McConnell extensive homework has been done on the Hungarian lake and he said: "A river was dammed in 1975 to create the lake so there is a channel around 15ft to 18ft deep in the middle at between 160 and 200 yards from the bank.

"World events have been held here previously, including the world championship in 2017, so it is a proven venue and the championship was switched to Hungary as it was due to be held in the Ukraine. A trip there is obviously not possible at the moment.

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"There are practice days but the guys can't afford the time for that, so we are doing as much as we can from distance to prepare."

Scotland v Army: John Sweetland (Sanquhar, Ayrshire), David Hearns (Clydebank), Keith Findlay (Catterick), Ralph Reddy (Middlesbrough), Alister Kirkhope (Hamilton), Greg McLaren (Blairgowrie), Steve Warwick (Cumbria), Ross Thorley (Helensburgh), Mark Harmon (Wales), Andy Holdaway (Milton Keynes), Kevin McConnell (Larkhall).

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On to fly fishing and Linlithgow Loch bosses report that Alan McGregor and his partner returned ten fish caught on buzzers and fabs and Mr Graham returned six using a DI 3 line and black/green snakes.

Grangemouth AC, Linlithgow Rose AC and Linlithgow AC visited while Ian Dobbie returned 13 fish caught on dries and fabs and returning nine fish taken on bloodworm patterns in 25 feet of water on a second visit.

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He was out again with Jimmy Russell and they returned 21 fish caught on buzzers and fabs while George Pollin returned ten tempted by buzzers. Boats are available on most days for a full day or four-hour sessions. Call 01506 671753 or book online.

Black Loch near Falkirk report that 72 rods were out, 137 fish kept and 96 fish were safely returned.

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Favourite fly patterns included buzzers, damsels, yellow owl, sedges. Dry flies were also catching when the temperature increased and Chris Stonely had a good day, returning 14, mostly caught on a sedge.

Hot spots were Reedy Bay, School Bay and the South Bank and visiting clubs included Pentcaitland and Falkirk Fly Dressers. The fishery is open from 9am till 4.30pm Monday to Sunday. To book call 07527254811 or message on Facebook.

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Bowden Springs report good fishing with black damsel producing a 7lb trout for Jimmy Mollon, anything yellow worked for Andy Clayton who landed five and Connor Robertson who tempted four on a buzzer, best 7lb, with Ian Telford netting six on buzzer and Barry Prentice landing a 9lb brown trout on a snake. The fishery is now closed every Wednesday.

Glencorse boss Bill Taylor reports excellent sport with one boat catching and releasing 40 during their session and John Michie from Townhill AC released a brown trout estimated at 16lb. Poaching patrols are now being undertaken on a regular basis.

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Tweeddale Millennium near Gifford is open from 7am to 5pm until further notice and Markle near North Berwick is fishing really well with any colour of daddy longlegs on a floating line producing. Open seven days from 8am to dark.

Finally, the sixth round of the Edinburgh and Lothians Corse Angling Club's Summer Series at Orchill near Auchterarder saw Darrin Ferguson win with 23lb 12oz, Scott McGhee second with 20lb 8oz, Chris Sloss third on 18lb 10oz and John Parella fourth on 17lb 5oz.