Edinburgh added to the calendar of sea fishing events

Last winter the fishermen of Falkirk and some work colleagues got together to organize matches. Then the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) held one of their Team Scotland qualifiers in Newhaven in February. Ian, who is retail manager at the Edinburgh Angling Centre, has set his sights on thinking and he is now closing the gap between capital games with an eight-game series on Friday nights along the coast of ‘Edinburgh.

Venues will include Seafield and Newhaven. Gipsy Brae to Silverknowes could also be an option, but that will be decided later. However, none of the sites chosen will be outside the boundaries of Edinburgh. The prizes were donated by The Fishing Megastore and the winner will receive a £100 voucher, the second £60 and the third £40. They can be spent in-store at the company’s Granton outlet or Glasgow Angling Center or online. The top five scores in the series will count towards the final score and all matches will be £10 with a draw and 100% payout.

Entry into the league will be automatic when entering the draw and Campbell said matches will be fished on a catch and release basis, with a minimum size limit of 15mm. Undersized fish will not count. The winner of the match will receive ten points, the second eight, the third seven points until the eighth who will receive two points. All anglers catching fish will receive one point.

Ian Campbell at Granton Harbor with Newhaven in the background. By Nigel Duncan

He explained: “Three hooks is a maximum, but there are no bait and hook size restrictions. Matches will be on a Friday evening with registration and the draw from 6:15-6:30 p.m. and the fishing will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m..”

Lugworm, mackerel and ragworm are generally used in the Edinburgh area on clamshell rigs and cod, whiting and plaice among the regular species landed. The first match is scheduled for Friday October 28th at Seafield and registrations will likely be pending at Seafield Road East EH15 1TB. Anyone interested is welcome to sign up on his Facebook portal and Campbell plans to post regularly on the Scottish Shore Angling Match Group site.

He said: “I’m a keen pole fisher and there’s nothing like it in Edinburgh which is a shame. Some friends and lads in the shop had friendly matches last winter and then the game against Scotland arrived. It got me thinking and I decided to try to organize something this winter and here we are.” Anglers don’t have to be mega casters or expert anglers to get in and Campbell said, “Fishing alongside someone who has experience can help anglers progress.”

Seafield and Newhaven – anglers are advised to have studded boots as it can be slippery on the breakwater – will be the main locations, but Gipsy Brae is an option. Campbell said: “There is fish at Gipsy Brae as we have tried, however, we hope to encourage people to come and participate to develop their skill level. The aim is to give anglers something to competitive in the Edinburgh area during the winter and it’s an event that we hope will get people out in the fresh air on a Friday night.”

Newhaven Breakwater. Photo: Nigel Duncan

Campbell, by the way, was one of the bravest competitors who braved the elements to compete in the recent Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) match. The skippers congratulated the competitors who took part in their Open Shore event in Elliot Beach, Arbroath and they said it was a fantastic performance in really tough conditions with heavy seas flowing. The wind topped 40 mph at one stage according to Campbell and Bruce McLean (Stranraer) topped the podium with two dabs and a coley. Runner-up was Scottish international Nuno Santos from Glasgow and Zone A winner was James Duncan from Arbroath, who caught the biggest fish, a 33cm flounder, and Alan Combe (Kirkcaldy) who won the Zone B.

Other dates of note are the Scott McNicol Memorial Open at Castle Douglas on Saturday October 22, the Iain Reid Memorial Open in the Leven area on Saturday and Sunday November 19 and 20 and the St Serfs Open on Sunday December 18 (noon to 6 p.m.). Additionally, Mike and Chris are hosting their popular Cod League again this winter with the first of five games scheduled for Saturday, December 3, fishing from 2:00-7:00 p.m. (registration 12:30-1:00 p.m.) at the Victoria parking lot in Arbroath. Everyone leaves at 1:00 p.m.

The other dates are Saturday January 14, Saturday January 21, Saturday February 4 and Saturday February 11. Times will be confirmed. The venue is Carnoustie at Ferryden Lighthouse and admission is £10 and SFSA rules apply. One rod and three hooks maximum. The weigh-in takes place at the Victoria car park and closes one hour after the end time of the match. Call Chris on 07872 944807 for details.

Elsewhere, Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth departs at 8am on Saturday 22 October and Sunday 23 October. Call 07860 804316. Fly fishing and Allandale Tarn reopens on Monday 17th October after the holidays. Opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Tarn is always closed on Tuesdays. Glencorse in the Pentland Hills closes October 15 for the winter. Boss Bill Taylor is taking bookings for next year.

Drumtassie bosses have confirmed Chris Mulholland was third in the Trout Masters event at Draycott. Fishing Manager Leeanne Aitchison said: “Chris made us proud and that was our proudest moment. Absolutely fantastic.”

She also confirmed that the trout fishing fee until the end of December will be £15 catch and release all day. Six hours on the bait pond will cost £20 and there is a £2 discount for disabled and OAP customers over 65.

The West Lothian Angling Association has relaunched its monthly fly tying evenings at the Mid Calder Community Center (7pm-9pm). Everyone is welcome, even to chat. Organizers say they have a limited number of tying stalls and people are asked to bring their own.

Meanwhile, this year’s champion of champions is Lochend Fly Fishers’ Graeme Lynch. Graeme was fishing at Hotel Bay at Lake Menteith near the shore. He landed 19 trout and second, also from Lochend Fly Fishers, was Mark McNaughton with 17 trout. Albacats’ Gregor Fleming finished third with 15 trout. The lake continues to fish well at Hotel Bay and along the shore to Lochend but all drifts are producing plenty of catches including Gateside and Malling Shore. Many more of our local fish to enter with 500 so far this week with more expected.

Robert A. Glidden