A good craic at this year’s Shore Fishing Open

Looking to hook the best catch of the day
Looking to hook the best catch of the day

The Western Isles Shore Fishing Open competition was fished last Saturday on the Traigh Mhòr beach in Tolsta, with 25 competitors from all over Lewis and Harris of all ages and sea fishing experience.

The weather conditions on the day to start with could not have been better, with a nice calm sea, light winds and crisp November sunshine.

That, mixed with a tide that is usually just perfect for fishing the Traigh Mhòr, a good day was anticipated.

The competition began at 9.45am when it was high tide, and competitors were fishing an outgoing tide all day long, casting various kinds of baits into the sea to try and tempt a flounder or turbot to take.

With everything seemingly so perfect for the day to start with there was just one thing wrong... the fish forgot to turn up!

All fishing is very unpredictable, and for a beach that usually produces good number of nice sized flat fish, Saturday could not have been more different from the norm, with just the odd fish getting caught here and there, and on a whole they were pretty small in size overall.

However, despite the lack of fish, with the good weather conditions up until the hailstones later in the afternoon, the lack of fish didn’t dampen spirits, and everyone was having a good craic with other anglers taking part, which more than made up for not much action at the end of the rods, ensuring that everyone had an enjoyable day.

The winner of this year’s Western Isles Shore Open was junior angler Josh Campbell from Point with 27 points (a catch made up a good sized flounder and a small turbot).

In second place was Gillies Mackenzie with 23 points (a catch made up of a small flounder, and two small turbot), and in third place was Gordon Mackenzie with 22 points (a catch made up of six small turbot).

In total there was 27 fish caught on the day, and the winner of the longest fish was Donnie Whiteford with a flounder of 30cm.

A big thank you to everyone who turned up for making the day so enjoyable, despite the lack of fish getting caught!

For anyone interested, Stornoway Sea Angling Club will be holding a number of shore competitions over the winter months and into the Spring, with the next one pencilled in for December 1st.

Anyone interested in taking part, or in joining the club, please get in touch with the clubhouse and keep an eye on the club forum.