Significant win for Scotland duo in major carp competition

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Scotland captain Catherine Robertson and Niki Wildman scooped £1,000 and the silverware by beating 64 other male anglers to win the Wyreside Lakes and Campsite Winter Open, and they hope the success prompts other women to come forward to boost the national team.

Catherine Robertson hailed her trophy triumph with Niki Wildman as "up there" with the greatest moments in the short history of Scotland's ladies' carp team.

The pair took the silverware and £1,000 in the 48-hour, Wyreside Lakes Fishery and Campsite Winter Open, with a bag of 96lb 6oz, and the clinching fish of 17lb arrived in the final 20 minutes.

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Robertson, Scotland's new team captain, and Niki, a long-standing member of the squad, and an angler who leisure fishes at Drumtassie near Blackridge, led the competition early on but slipped to fourth.

Catherine Robertson (left) and Niki Wildman with two of the fish they caught at WyresideCatherine Robertson (left) and Niki Wildman with two of the fish they caught at Wyreside
Catherine Robertson (left) and Niki Wildman with two of the fish they caught at Wyreside

They lost two two fish at a critical time but recovered and that late catch brought their total to six, the biggest bag of all the 33 pairs in the event near Lancaster.

Catherine admitted they were lucky in the draw, pulling a corner peg out of the hat, but they had to endure. The heavens opened as they were setting up their camp and rods and she said: "Conditions then were simply grim, we are soaked to the bone, but we powered through, got changed and worked hard together over the 48 hours."

The pair have never fished together before and conditions were tough, cold nights when carp did not feed, and patches during the day when there were no bites.

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Saturday afternoon was particularly tough and Catherine, a Rangers fan, was about to tune into the radio to listen to the game against Motherwell until an angler in the neighbouring peg told her the score from Ibrox. In fact, two of the four lakes used failed to produce fish at all.

Niki (left) and Catherine with the trophy and chequeNiki (left) and Catherine with the trophy and cheque
Niki (left) and Catherine with the trophy and cheque

Thankfully, their peg allowed margin and distance fishing, and two fish arrived within ten minutes of each other. Catherine, who recently took over as captain of the Scotland team from Joanne Barlow, revealed that two newcomers have been added to the squad, Kimberley Lee, and Lynne England.

Kimberley picked up a carp rod last year after fishing with another team member, Margo Robinson, and Lynne started fly fishing about 12 years ago in Aberdeenshire but moved to Yorkshire and discovered carp fishing.

Catherine, a mum-of-two revealed that squad have ruled out competing in this year's World Championships in Latvia which is deemed too soon after the loss of forer skipper Joanne Barlow and Ruth McCormack who also competed in the world event in France last Autumn.

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A fixture against The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineeers (REME) in England is in the pipeline and also a Tri-nations event in Northants. Scotland won silver last year at Wyreside, near Lancaster.

Catherine, who works in the Lismore Bar in Glasgow's West End, a Partick-based watering hole well-known to whisky aficionados from home and abroad, and tagged the Highland pub in the middle of Glasgow, will also team up with her Tartan Team vice-captain, Eleanor Mitchell, to tackle one of the biggest events on the carp calendar later this year.

There, the 39-year-old angler, who is originally from Taynuilt in Argyll, hopes to turn heads again, and she stressed that the squad are still seeking numbers.

Onto fly fishing and Stevie Plank (Stirling) won Heat Three in the Scottish Stillwater Bank Championship at Allandale Tarn, but only just, and it was tough going for the competitors.Plank caught six fish, his first at 9.06am and so did second-placed Ben Scordecchia but his first fish was at 9.09am. Other qualifiers were Ross Black (West Calder) with five fish, Kevin Andrews (Kilmarnock) with four, Stephen Cowan (Linwood) and Sean Wilson (Whitburn) with three each and Steve Fraser (Shotts) and Toby Lomas (Linwood) with two each.

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The next heat is at Millhall near Polmont on Saturday and it is full and on Sunday Heat Five is Raemoir at Banchory with the first semi-final at Waterfront in Ayrshire on Saturday, March 30, and the second at Lochter at Inverurie in Aberdeenshire the following day. Scott Mudie reports a great response and the Ballo heat in the Kingdom Fly Championships is full on Sunday, July 14, with only a few places left at Eden Springs.

That date has been switched to Sunday, August 4.Onto sea fishing and Craig Ogilvie from North Berwick was seventh on day two of the European Open Beach Championship in England and finished 13th overall in the Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championship near Hull last weekend.

The self-employed joiner hooked under-sized fish on day one and landed a dogfish in his first cast on day two, but dogfish don't count. He then landed a 4.5lb fish. On his second last cast his rod was ripped from his rod rest and he lost what Ogilvie felt was a really big fish and the East Lothian angler said: "I'm very happy with my performance and got some good prizes."

Barry McEwan (Port Seton), a Scotland international, was 36th.Locally, match six of seven in the Edinburgh Winter Shore League is at Newhaven tonight (Friday, March 8) and Easthouses-based Mike Kyle leads the race for the title with Gordon Lyall (Edinburgh) only two points behin with Stevie Souter (Edinburgh) third on 25 points and organiser Ian Campbell (Falkirk) fourth on 21. It is all to play for.

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Chris Empson, who won the summer league, has been confirmed as the winner of the winter competition in the series run by the Bass Rock Shore Angling League. The Dunbar-based angler had 48 points with another Scottish international, Barry McEwan (Port Seton), second on 32 points.Steve Biskup (North Berwick) was third five points adrift with Jamie McHale (Gifford) and Willie Stafford (Edinburgh) joint fourth on 22 points. Other placings: 5, Stuart Fairbairn (Haddington) 10 points; 6, Keith Forbes (Musselburgh) 7 points; 7, Alan Brown (West Barnes) 4 points; 8, Graham Meadows (St Boswells) 2 points. Finally retail, the Glasgow Angling Centre host their open weekend from Friday to Sunday at Unit 1, The Point Retail Park, 29 Saracen Street, Glasgow G22 5HT.

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