Stormcats Tope Fishing Festival 2010

The annual StormCats Islay Tope Fishing Competition took place on Lochindaal on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd August. Conditions on both days were variable ,with heavy swells to start each day which improved as the day went on; overhead conditions included most Scottish West coast weather including rain, mist, wind and sunshine.

Seventy anglers took part on 22 boats over the two days, a mixture of adult male, juniors and females. The £20 entrance fee is donated to charity, along with a large contribution from St James’ Place Wealth Management of £1000; the total raised was £2200 which is split between the RNLI and local charity Islay & Jura Sick Kids’ Fund. The majority of anglers are local to the island but there are regular competitors who travel form different parts of the UK to fish. Anyone interested in fishing this competition next year will be made very welcome.

StormCats are a local boat building company owned by Gus Newman who was the founder of this competition 5 years ago; he donates a prize of £400 for the heaviest tope caught over the two days and he enjoys seeing many of his boats out on the loch with keen anglers aboard. Other prizes are donated by local distilleries and businesses and are awarded for the second and third heaviest tope as well as heaviest fish and heaviest bag, alongside prizes for winners in the female and junior section.

Altogether eleven tope were tagged and released over the two days and this is a new record for this competition. Of course there were many more lost beside the boat, lots of runs that got away and extended tales of close encounters! We’re looking forward to receiving information about any of these tope if they’re re-caught somewhere else.

The smallest tope caught was 25lbs and unbelievably the heaviest tope prize was shared between two that weighed in at 44lbs each. The next size down was 43 lbs, all very close in weight. In previous years, we have had tope to over 60 lbs. All tope were in excellent condition and returned unharmed.

Having made contact with the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network through James, some of the Islay anglers are planning on taking part in the Sharkatag weekend next summer.

Storm Cats Tope Fishing Competition 21st and 22nd August 2010 Results
Tope
1 £400 donated by StormCats and bottle of Lagavulin
Shared by Gilbert MacLellan and Jason Mitchell, each with a tope of 44 lbs
2 Port Charlotte Hotel meal voucher and bottle of Kilchoman new release
Scott McGurn with a tope of 43 lbs
3 £40 donated by Anvil Art and bottle of White Horse
Lyle Heads with a tope of 36 lbs

Heaviest fish other than a tope
1 £50 from Islay Ales and bottle of Bowmore
Hugh Campbell with a lithe
2 Bottle of Ardbeg whisky and glass
Annie Gredley with a dog fish
3 Laphroaig whisky
Alex Williams with a mackerel

Heaviest bag of five fish
1 Bruichladdich whisky
Hugh Campbell 12 lb 10 oz
2 Jura whisky
Hilda Ramsay 4 lb 11 oz
3 Bunnahabhain whisky
Julie Stichell

Ladies’ Prize
1 £50 and tablet donated by An Gleann Tablet
Annie Gredley
2 Laphroaig whisky
Gillian McAulay
3 £10 and bottle wine
Julie Stichell

Junior
1 £50 donated by Billy the Butcher
Frazer Matthews
2 Fishing rod donated by Minty Cracknell
Millie Mitchell

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