Silver Series postponed and winter cod series rescheduled as travel restrictions hit leisure fishing

The pandemic has hit leisure fishing. The proposed Silver Series, which was due to feature some of the top anglers in the Central Belt, is postponed and organisers are rescheduling the popular winter cod series which is already underway.

By Nigel Duncan
Saturday, 21st November 2020, 7:00 am
Edinburgh angler Darrin Ferguson fishing at Orchill. Picture: Nigel Duncan
Edinburgh angler Darrin Ferguson fishing at Orchill. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Magiscroft owner Ronnie MacLeod, one of the organisers of the Silver Series, said that travel restrictions imposed by the Government this week made it impossible to run the event at this time.

Around 30 anglers, including Darrin Ferguson, a leading angler with Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, were due to take part in the five-event series which carries a top cash prize of £150.

MacLeod said that Magiscroft is closed for three weeks but the series is due to start on December 13 with follow-up events on December 27, January 10 and 24, and February 7. The four best scores count.

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The popular fishery near Cumbernauld, which attracts many pleasure and competition anglers from the Lothians, was shut for ten weeks earlier this year when the first wave of COVID-19 hit.

However, Eliburn Reservoir at Livingston will remain open with social distancing measures in place, although secretary Emma Ford said anglers should not travel to the reservoir from outwith the local area. Those who fish are asked to follow social distancing guidance.

Round Six of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's winter series last Wednesday at North Berwick was cancelled due to heavy winds and the third round of Mike and Chris' winter cod league was due to be today but it has been cancelled along with the fourth round which was due to be fished on Saturday, December 5.

Chris Horn, one of the organisers, said the scheduled dates of rounds five, six and seven are January 15 and 22, and February 13.

Last Saturday's match on marks around Arbroath saw the best turn out for a league match in the history of the event.

First was Pete Bauld with nine fish for 25lb 7oz. Alfie Brown was second, also with nine fish, for 24lb 10oz and was third Rab Gallagher with eight fish for 22lb 6oz. The heaviest fish was hooked by Antony Cole and it weighed over 8lb 7oz. The angler was not in the league.

Horn said: "We now have 48 competing with the heaviest cod so far in the league a fish of 8lb 3oz from last Saturday."

On the positive side, Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth have, weather permitting, a charter scheduled for Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

Popular fly fishing venue, Pottishaw near Whitburn, closed on Friday night at 6pm for an indefinite period and owner Fraser Thomson said: "We all have to do our bit and as I serve a lot of customers from outside West Lothian it’s easier and less complicated to close."

However, Allandale Tarn near West Calder, plans to remain open and owner Iona Allan said: "We are an outdoor sporting venue and considered low risk, with strict protocols in place to prevent communal contact areas.

"When fishing at Allandale, only one person is allowed in the office at any time and our public toilets are cleaned regularly with sprays for handles etc provided for public use, as well as various sanitizing stations placed around the fishery."

They are closed every Monday and Tuesday over the winter but otherwise open 9am to 4.30pm.

Also staying open are Drumtassie near Blackridge and Bowden Springs at Linlithgow. There, owner Jim Gargaro requested that anglers comply with Government travel guidelines. He is open six days but closed on a Tuesday.

Rosslynlee near Penicuik is also remaining open seven days a week and owner Nicola Perfect reports fine recent returns including 31 from regular Jamie McLeary and 18 from another regular, Gordon Bunce. Jock Dyet and Rab Amos have also weighed-in with heavy bags and beetle, buzzer, daddy, bloodworm and damsel patterns have been scoring.

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