Fishing: Scotland women’s team for first time at World Carp Championships, but need sponsorship
Currently the team has to fund equipment, training days, travel and entry fees themselves and captain Joanne Barlow admitted: “It’s very expensive.”
A six-person team was assembled with four people based north of the border, Catherine Robertson, the vice-captain, and Niki Wildman, both from the Glasgow area, as well as Margo Robinson from Dumbarton and Lynda Chisholm from Duntocher.
Joanne is based in Brighton and Eleanor Mitchell is from Wokingham, but the team are looking for additional bodies to form the core of a strong team to build for the future.
Team formation begins in March with the English-based and Scottish-based members meeting to exchange information.
Joanne and Eleanor are planning regular trips to Scotland to train with the rest of the team at a suitable location and the 72-hour global event is taking place at the Linear Complex in Oxfordshire at the end of the August.
The opposition will be strong with France among the favorites alongside England. Joanne said: “The French run their team like a military operation.
“England have been together for some time and are also strong and Wales have a quality squad, mixing experienced anglers with new blood.
“Other teams will come from all over Europe including the Netherlands, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and Italy. We are a new team and our goal is to work together and fish as hard as we can. possible in this first major competition.”
Half of the Scottish team have long fishing experience and the others are on a steep learning curve. The girls brave the winter climate to train, spend hours, and it’s not just fishing techniques, it’s learning to live around a bivvy.
It’s not a level playing field as the skipper explained. She said: “It’s extremely expensive to fish for carp and the girls currently have to fund everything themselves, including competition entry fees, travel and equipment.
“Other teams, for example, have sponsorship and also get their fees paid.”
Discounts from many of the big tackle manufacturers help as well as support from DNA Baits but it all adds up and Joanne said: “Sponsorship from other tackle manufacturers and Scottish businesses would be a help. considerable.
“It’s Scotland’s first time at the World Championships and it’s certainly worth supporting. Overall, we want Scotland to be successful in the long term, but we also want to see more women fishing.
“We have six girls at the moment and that’s the minimum number required for a world champion team.
“We would like to have more women on board to help us choose our strongest team and to help us during the event. It would also help us to develop the team for the future.
If you would like to get involved, contact Joanne by emailing her at [email protected] or via facebook @Carpteamscotland
Moving on to sea fishing and Jamie McHale won the Bass Rock Shore Angling club winter league in 12 rounds with the Gifford-based angler 26 points ahead of the rest of the pack.
He was the only angler to bring a fish back to the scales on the final round and his total of two bags weighed 2lb 2oz. Shaun Gardner took the heaviest fish of the series with a 4lb 12oz cod.
James Ogilvie, one of the organizers, said it was extremely cold in the final round with snow showers and rain with winds gusting between 20mph and 25mph, but there was no swell in the rover match around Dunbar.
Conditions throughout the winter, he said, had been tough, but he was pleased with the turnout over the dozen matches.
McHale, who has been consistent throughout the series, beat a strong field including two recent Scottish international signings, Chris Empson (Dunbar) and Barry McEwan (Port Seton).
Steve Biskup (North Berwick) finished second overall with 38 points and the rest of the results were: J McHale (Gifford) 64 points; 2 tied, S Biskup (North Berwick) and Chris Empson 38; 3 Barry McEwan (Port Seton) 36; 4, Shaun Gardner (North Berwick) 32; 5, Neil Anderson (North Berwick) 24; 6 years old, Alan Brown (Dunbar) 18 years old; 7, J Ogilvie (Haddington) and C Ogilvie (North Berwick) 10; 8, Stuart Fairbairn (Haddington) 8; 9 Nicky Brown (Dunbar) 6; 10 ex-aequo, Cameron Cunningham (Port Seton) and William Stafford (Edinburgh) 4; 11 Dale McCallum (Port Seton) 2. The club’s annual meeting will be held as soon as possible.
Aquamarine Charters of Eyrmouth hope to be back this weekend, weather permitting. Last weekend Dunbar Anglers and some regulars returned with 15 keepers while 25 were handed over.