Fishing: Trout Anglers’ Club ready to open doors again after makeover

Bosses of The Trout Anglers’ Club, Edinburgh, have brought the organisation back from the brink and their building re-opens early next month (December) after an extensive facelift.

Saturday, 27th November 2021, 10:44 am
Jim Gargaro outside the Trout Anglers' Club in Edinburgh. Picture by Jacqueline Gargaro

The 100-year-plus organisation saw numbers dwindling prior to the world-wide pandemic so they decided on a major renovation looking to mount a recruitment drive once Scottish Government restrictions had been lifted.Now, that revamp is complete and the club re-opens on December 3. Jim Gargaro, the club’s president, said they would initially open on a Tuesday and Friday to gauge interest.Linlithgow-based Gargaro, a former Scottish international angler, said that the club at 29 Dundas Street would also be available for functions and meetings and a programme of events is also planned by the committee. Details will be announced soon.The club has a bar, fully-equipped kitchen, comfortable lounge with leather seating, a quiet room, full-sized snooker table and function area for around 60.Gargaro, who runs a popular fishery in West Lothian at Bowden Springs, said that in 2019 the membership slumped and it was then that officials decided on the makeover which has been masterminded by a design consultant.The club’s high ceilings and cornices have been featured in the design and photographs from the past will adorn the walls.The organisation initially started life in Rutland Square and moved to Dundas Street in the 1960s and Gargaro said: ‘We welcome interest from fishermen and clubs in the area and would encourage them to join and use the club and talk about fishing matters."It is a beautiful building with much to offer and membership is open to anybody.’The cost is £60 a year and application forms are available by writing to secretary Gordon Bell at the club. The address is 29 Dundas Street, EH3 6QQ. Ring 0131 556 6656.Elsewhere, Allandale Tarn have confirmed they are closing over the winter from December through to March. The last day of fishing will be Monday, November 29.Owner Iona Allan said: "It's been an unusual and varied last two years or so at the fishery and I'm pleased to say busy once we re-opened after the first lockdown."We've pondered closing over the winter for the last few years but have always fished on through for as long as Jack Frost permitted."However after about 35 years of all year round fishing, I'm finally taking a break."Musselburgh and District Angling Association confirm that grayling permits for the River Esk from the estuary to the A1 are now bookable by e-permit and the season starts on December 26 and runs to March 14. They are £15 plus a booking fee of £4 and there are 50 permits available.West Lothian Angling Association, whose water now runs from Breich to Newbridge, report that they sold 270 season tickets last season, a 10 per cent increase. Scot Muir, the secretary, said they will soon be setting the date for their annual meeting.Sea fishing now, and Mike and Chris’s Winter Heaviest Cod League starts tonight (November 27) and it incorporates five sweepstakes on Saturday nights in darkness.You can call/message Chris on 07872944807 for more details but the venue is Carnoustie to Ferryden Lighthouse and the entry is £10 payable on/prior to any event.You can join at the first or fifth match or anytime in between and there is a 100 per cent pay out which is likely to be first and second dependent on entry numbers.If for any reason the full number of matches cannot be completed eg COVID the organisers will pay out after three matches.Match dates: Saturday, 27 November, fishing 16.30 to 21.30 with registration between 15.00 and 15.30 at the Victoria Car Park, Arbroath and all depart at 15.30; Saturday, 4 December, fishing 15.30 to 20.30, registration 14.00 to 14.30 at the Victoria Park car park, Arbroath DD11 5BL and all depart at 14.30; Saturday, 15 January, Saturday, 22 January and Saturday, February 5, times to be arranged.The socially-distances weigh-in is at the Victoria Car Park closing one hour after the match is finished. Anglers must be in the queue by then.Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers rules apply including minimum landing size limits and anglers should use one rod with a three-hook maximum. This is a Penn Sea League counter.The seventh round of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League is hosted on Wednesday, December 4 and look at the club's Facebook for details of the boundaries and registration point.The results of the free-to-entre East Coast Big Fish event organised by Chris Empson last Sunday saw Andy Brown from Musselburgh catch the heaviest cod of 3lb 2oz and Ryan Barnett from Penicuik was runner-up with a cod of 2lb 12oz.Conditions were ideal for cod, cold with a swell and coloured water.Empson, who was third, plans to host another similar event in the near future but it will be weather dependent.He said: "We'll go again once I see the forecast. It will be a rover event where people pick their own marks. On this occasion a number of anglers moved to different marks to find the fish. For example, I went to three different marks."Elsewhere, Jim Keith from Stranraer won the Ian Reid Memorial, two-day, event at Leven with Simon Hogan from Cumbria second and Alec Bell from Kilmarnock third. Steve Mason (North-East England) and Stewart Falconer (Arbroath) tied for the longest fish on day one and Stevie Potts (North-East England) the longest on day two in a field of 66 with fishing conditions of flat calm making it tricky for competitors.Coarse fishing now and Chris Paton (Glasgow) won the first round of the Del's Fresh Produce Silver Series on the main loch at Magiscroft near Cumbernauld with 10lb 2oz with James Woodrow (Glasgow) second on 9lb 10oz and Dave McAuley (Wishaw) third on 9lb 6oz.Scot McGhee, a member of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, was 11th with 3lb, one place below the organiser Derek Brady on 5lb 6oz.The next round is on December 5, the third on December 19 then January 2 and 16 with the top prize of £200, runner-up £150 and third £100.

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Jim Gargaro