Fishing: Falkirk footballer tops as top trout boss at Linlithgow Loch

Tom Lambert on the pontoon at Linlithgow Loch with Linlithgow Palace in the trees behind him. Photo by Nigel Duncan

The man who graduated from Linlithgow Rose in senior football is storage manager for the Forth Area Federation of Anglers who administer Linlithgow Loch, a water popular with anglers from across central Scotland and even as far north as Northumberland.

He is part of a management team that has created water with a strong reputation for quality fish and reopened March 1 for the new season with good early season reports.

The 25-year-old organization reports that bookings for boat and shoal fishing are encouraging and the hard-working committee plans to keep the fishery open until the end of October.

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The view of the main lake from the Drumtassie parking lot. Photo: Nigel Duncan

Their 20 boats and a Wheelyboat for disabled anglers are moored to a pontoon just yards from their well-appointed clubhouse which includes a kitchen, washrooms, including a disabled facility, pantry, conference room and a office.

It is close to the large Water Yett car park accessible from Linlithgow High Street and current fishing hours are 9am to 4pm, seven days a week. Evening sessions are due once the clocks change.

Damsel, cormorant, cat whiskers, yellow dancer and Ally McCoist patterns as well as Kate McLaren, Montana red or green nymph, cruncher and buzzer flies traditionally work well.

Dry flies also catch Dads, Fflies, CDCs (Brown), Black Spiders and Sedges and Hare Ear Nymphs have been known to tempt resident Rainbow or Brown Trout.

Behind the keyhole, Drumtassie’s new coarse fishing lakes are taking shape. Photo: Nigel Duncan

A leader between 12ft and 15ft on a floating, sinking or intermediate line is suggested and the usual is three flies on barbless hooks.

The boats all have anchors but anglers can use their own gear and the pontoon is only 150m from the car park allowing easy access.

Tom Lambert, the club secretary, confirmed that the record water trout is around 10lbs and the club restocks regularly with fish from a minimum of 2.5lbs with some up to 4 books. They use Yarrow and Kindrochet based on Borders near Crieff.

The water has an average depth of about 15 feet, but some channels can reach between 35 and 40 feet.

Popular areas include Town Bay, Ponsonby Bay, Hatchery Bay while the north shore towards Bo’ness allows shore fishing, although anglers have a good walk to get there. The tree-lined area can work well at the right time of year.

Locals say the best time to fish is in the morning until 11am then later when the weather cools and a full day charge is £33 for an angler with a five fish ticket and £62 for two anglers sharing a boat Monday to Thursday with the price dropping to £34 and £64 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Anglers who prefer to catch and release pay £25 or £46 for a boat from Monday to Thursday and this price increases to £26 and £48 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reservation is recommended.

Life jackets are provided and youngsters over the age of seven can fish with a parent and, for those anglers who enjoy pike fishing, there are big fish in the loch but you can only fish for them fly.

Meanwhile Scottish Water has been contacted by the Evening News after deep potholes were found leading to Loganlea in the Pentland Hills.

The response was: “”Scottish Water has engaged a contractor to carry out repair work on sections of road which it owns. All necessary work would be the responsibility of the respective landowner.”

Loganlea reports that buzzers, bloodworms, hare’s ear and lures are among the models that tried to fish in difficult conditions due to the wind, while nearby Glencorse reopens on March 19.

Clubbiedean above Colinton restocked this week and launched their boats. The reservoir is now open seven days a week for day tickets from 9 a.m. to dusk and buzzers, yellow apps and olive bunnies have tightened queues for pass holders who fished in the water during the winter.

Allandale Tarn near West Calder reopened on Friday March 11 and at Bowden Springs near Linlithgow Gordon Reid attempted a 15-pound trout with a yellow dancer on an intermediate line. Simon Jones landed a 12-pound rainbow and owner Jim Gargaro confirmed he had restocked the fly pond this week with a double-digit 20 trout.

Pottishaw near Whitburn held a fundraiser for member Vince Manning who rides the Big Battlefield Bike Ride in June and nearly 30 anglers took part, some from as far away as Fife and the Borders. Several beautiful fish were landed.

Drumtassie skippers report that Bert Smith caught a 21lb trout and Kathleen Mallon a 15lb fish this week and the fishery’s new coarse pond will open on Saturday March 26.

Skippers have pointed out that big game fishing is a day water ticket, but anglers wishing to fish at night must pay a £95 membership fee. Fishermen still have to pay for a daily permit. More common fish were to be stocked in two of the three coarse ponds.

In Midlothian, Rosslynlee near Penicuik confirms that they are open 8am-5pm until the end of March, then their hours will change. Skippers remind anglers that they are currently cash only. Kevin Walkinshaw and Alf Ball were the top rods last weekend with nine fish apiece. Kevin used eggs and Alf buzzers and damsels.

At East Lothian and Markle, skippers restocked all three lakes and eggs and bloodworms under a bunghole, hot head and green and white lures were tempting fish. A fisherman hooked 12 in a single session.

Stenhouse in Burntisland on Sunday March 13 hosts the second round of this year’s Scierra Pairs, one of Britain’s top fly fishing competitions.

The Sea Angling and Scottish Sea Anglers Federation second league game takes place at Riverside Drive, Dundee on Sunday 3rd April.

The size limit is 18cm and anglers can only use two hooks. There is an upper limit of 60 anglers and a number of well-known Lothian anglers are already in the field.

Derek Anderson, skipper at Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth, will be organizing charters, weather permitting, from Saturday 19th March. He has ten tonnes of frozen squid for sale in 10 kilo boxes for £12 a box to use as bait.

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