Stornoway Sea Angling Club’s final competition of the 2012/2013 was the Shore League Championship, with the April Monthly held on Saturday, April 6th at Ardroil Beach over in Uig.
Ten hardy anglers braved the wintery elements on the day, making their way over to Uig for a day on the beach fishing.
Hopes of a good day’s fishing on the day were pretty mixed, as April is generally not the best month for shore fishing, as many of the inshore fish take to the deeper water for their annual spawning, but Ardroil had fished pretty well in the previous weeks, so there was a chance of a good fishing to be had, despite the time of year.
Going into the last competition of the league, in the overall championship it could not be closer, with Gordon Mackenzie leading with 264.10%, and just behind him, Gillies Mackenzie on 256.41% in second place, so it was still everything to play for on this final day.
Fishing an incoming tide forced the competition to be held at the south end of the beach, and conditions were pretty good, despite the coldness - there was a bright blue skies above, a nice calm sea, and of course with the picturesque Uig hills as a backdrop, all together it had the makings for a near perfect day for sea fishing.
However, despite all this, the main element required just didn’t turn up in numbers – the fish! Also early as the day progressed, the weather changed, the clouds moved in, and rain and sleet began to fall, but still - everyone was enjoying the day, with the odd small turbot or flounder coming ashore as the hours ticked by, and the tide rushed in up the beach.
At the end of the day, a very worthy winner was Iain Murray, with 31 points (five fish two species) for 100%, out fishing everyone else by a long shot.
In second place was Gillies Mackenzie with 25 points (three fish, two species) for 80.65%, and in third place Gordon Mackenzie with 23 points (three fish, two species) for 74.19%.
The longest fish of the day went to Harris angler Steven Morrison with a 28cm flounder.
Overall, it had looked like Gordon Mackenzie had done enough to see off a challenge from Gillies to win the league, as with 15 minutes to go Gordon had two turbot and a flounder, and Gillies only had two turbot.
With not much fish getting caught at the time, this didn’t look like it was going to change at all. A change of tactics by Gillies though, launching his baits out as far as he could resulted in him winding in a flounder, the extra species points, and the fish being slightly bigger than Gordon’s flounder gave him enough points to snatch the overall league championship away from Gordon with just minutes remaining.
The final standings for the 2012/2013 Shore League Championship with six competitions fished, with the best three scores of each angler counting, in first place Gillies Mackenzie with 280.65%, runner-up was Gordon Mackenzie with 264.10%, and in third place was Joe Campbell, with 212.47%.
The first ever Shore League Championship held by the club proved very successful, with a fantastic turnout of 25 anglers taking part since the monthly competitions began back in November, seeing five different winners of the six monthly competitions. Hopefully the same faces and a few new faces will be seen when the shore league starts again next November.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Stornoway Sea Angling Club this year, one of the events held by the club will be a two day Western Isles Shore Open competition, fished over two days on September 20th and 21st, entry will be at £10 per day, with a top prize of £500, and various other prizes. There will be no restrictions on numbers taking part, so please get in touch with the club for more information.