The lure of Scotstown
AWARD-WINNING sea anglers visited Scotstown Beach near Peterhead last week where they held their renowned Home Nations Championships competition.
The Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers held the traditional event at the popular beach involving competing anglers from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.
Some 60 anglers competed in total to claim either gold, silver, bronze or dark bronze medals, and finished off their weekend with a dinner at the Waterside Hotel in the town.
Speaking to the Buchan Observer on Friday, SFSA president Mike Horn said that the event had gone superbly so far, and that Scotstown Beach was chosen because of its ideal location.
He said: "This competition is held every four years and so we like to vary our location. We have been to Montrose and the time before that we were in Fort William so we decided on Peterhead this time around.
"Today has been fantastic and we are hoping tomorrow goes just as well. We chose Scotstown Beach mainly because of its great location and it produces great fish. It's also great for Peterhead's local economy to have a fair crowd around the town."
Mr Horn explained that the competition is split into five different zones - and within each zone there are three categories including juniors, youths and seniors.
With the youngest anglers taking part aged 16 and under, the event gathers a varied group of competitors.
Vice-president of the organisation, Ian Hardie, said: "The juniors have caught some big fish and there has been a total of seven catches so far today. The main fish they have caught have been turbot and flounder. The bait we are using consists of 50 ragworms, 4 mackerel and 20 per wrap of frozen lugworm.
"The size of hooks the anglers are using vary from between two and six, but it is up to each individual what they use on the day."
Although there were no local anglers competing at the event, Barry Nicol from Crimond came very close to making it through to the final stages.
Mr Hardie said: "There were no local anglers this time around but there are several girls competing. England and Wales have ladies teams, and England turned up here with two girls competing in the youth section.
"As soon as there is a third nation of ladies, and it is looking likely to be Scotland, they will be added to the event.
"Tomorrow we will be out at Rattray Head opposite St Fergus cemetery and tomorrow night will be hectic, but overall it's been absolutely great. We do like to push the boat out a bit in Scotland!"
The four nations are governed by the Sea Angling Liason Committee (SALC) and have been since 1979.
Mr Hardie added: "With regards to the location of the organisation this year, we like to rotate it. We've held the event in Fort William and Montrose in the past, and in two or three venues off the West Coast. But realistically, what we are looking for is fine, safe beaches in a great location which are able to accommodate the large amount of anglers from the four nations, and that is what we get in Peterhead.
"We hold international qualifiers in order to pick the Scottish team, and we have a good team so hopefully the results will prove that."