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Boat Fishing Events 2011

17th July - Fun Fishing Day Port Ellen. All entrance fees to prize money. £5.00 entrance fee for junior and adults.

13-14th August - Tope Fishing Competition - Bowmore Harbour. First prize £400 cash plus other prizes available. £20.00 adult, £15.00 junior (under 16)

11th September - Port Ellen Fishing Day. £15 adult, £10 junior (under 16)

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Events to watch out for in 2011

Watch this space for more dates and details of the following events coming up in 2011...

Boat Jumble: StormCats will be holding a boat jumble sometime in the spring. A chance to buy and sell new and second-hand boating items.

Tope Fishing: Stormcats will be hosting their annual Tope Fishing Festival on Loch Indaal during the summer of 2011. For previous years' events take a look at the posts below.

Splash for Cash: The StormCats crew are providing water safety at the Splash for Cash event on 24 April.

Moville Columba Challenge and the Festival of the Sea: This year we will see a new festival emerging on Islay, namely The Festival of the Sea. This is a community event designed to embrace all things of the sea and our expressions of and relationship with it e.g., boat building, sea-survival, seafood cookery, art and photography, maritime history, sailing, whisky tasting (smuggler's reward!!), canoeing, seal spotting, fishing to name a few! There will be a programme of events spanning several weeks leading up to the actual festival day on Saturday 9 July. Then on Sunday morning 10 July will be the launch of the Molville Columba Challenge. More details on this site as the full programme unfolds

The Moville Columba Challenge and Festival of the Sea is a South Islay development initiative.
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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
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

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

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Islay Tope Fishing Festival 2010

Islay Tope Fishing Festival 2010 will be held on the weekend of the 21st - 22nd August. The start will take place from Bowmore harbour at 10 am - 5 pm booking in starts at 8,30 am.

Contact Jess or Gus on 01496 300129 for more details or email

The record for the competition so far is 64lb BUT last week a commercial fisherman allegedly had a 100lb Tope in Loch Indaal

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Tope Fishing Festival 2009 -Second time Lucky

The Tope eluded us all in August, a result of the amount of freshwater entering the Loch Indaal in Bowmore and the stormy conditions. Undeterred StormCats organised another days fishing from a different venue, Port Ellen and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

Dave Williams from County Durham was the winner with a 38lb Tope, which he caught from his Stormcats boat Jessica -Sian. He won £500 cash and a bottle of Lagavulin, so it was worth the long journey from the North East-Well done Dave.

The other prize winners were: Both second and third Tope prizes were safe for another year despite everyones efforts.

Heaviest Bag
First prize – Hugh Campbell £50 cash and bottle of Bowmore
Second prize John Macdonald £25 and bottle of Bruichladdich
Third prize – Dugald MacKerrel £10

Heaviest fish other than a Tope
First Prize Hugh Campbell £50 bottle Jura
Second Prize Ashley Hock £25 and bottle Ardbeg
Third Prize Dugald MacKerrel/John Macdonald £10 and bottle of White Horse

Ladies Prizes heaviest fish other then Tope
First- Julie Stitchell who took away some tablet and £50 from An Gleann Tablet
Second- £25 Karen Cracknell
Third- £10 Alex Williams

Junior Prizes
First Prize- Johnathan MacArthur Rod and reel donated by Stormcats and £25 cash
Second Prize Lyle Heads £10 cash and MacTaggert 10 swim voucher
Third Prize- Millie Mitchell £10 cash
Booby prize donated by Islay Heads to Graham Harrison for jumping ship.

Check out all the images in the Media Gallery

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Tope Festival 2009 - The first Day

Below are some photos of boats leaving for the 4th tope fishing festival which when we left the harbour at Bowmore at 10 am the wind was sw 15 mph, but within 2 hrs the wind had picked up to 36 mph with gusts of 50 mph so I think most of the boats surfed home as the seas picked up to 1.5 - 2 mtrs. The boats were drifting to quick and a decision was taken to postpone the comp till the next day at 9 am with some mackerel, pollock and even a lumpsucker caught I think sunday is going to be an interesting day.!!!!

Watch this space!!!!!!!!!!!

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Breaking News

Minty Cracknell Starts off the Tope season last Sunday with a 37 lb Tope which was tagged and released in Loch Indaal on Islay. Watch this space for a gallery update.

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Commonwealth Fly Fishing Islay Scotland 15-19 June 2009

Teams from Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, New Zealand and South Africa with compete for the championship, which was previously won by the Scottish Team in New Zealand. Events will be held in June at Loch Gorm, Loch Kinnabus, Finlaggan and Ballygrant.

The event which is completely catch and release format with the actual competition being over 3 days both bank fishing and drifting boat fishing. In the week following these championships the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships will be held on Loch Gorm Islay.

StormCats were a part sponsor of the Commonwealth fly fishing competition on the Island of Islay this June.

StormCats provided 4 boats.
2 x NEW StormAnglers and also 2 x StormFishers which are a year old provided by Jim McHarrie (who has 2 x StormFishers for hire for fly fishing on Loch Gorm on Islay)
The weather conditions were windy and wet, typical unpredictable Scottish weather and this was a challenge to many of the Anglers.

Scotland won the competition with a total off 227 fish
England took second place with a total off 190 fish
Australia were third with a total off 134 fish

Islay is recognised as having a place in the International fishing map, we have also attached a photo of the winning team. Well done Boys

The photos attached were off the StormCats being used during the competition

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Tope Fishing Festival 2009

Following the success of previous years, the fourth Stormcats Islay Tope fishing festival will be held on the weekend of the 15-16th August. This will take place in the Loch Indaal, off Bowmore harbour. If you are a boat owner and interested in taking part in this exciting event off the beautiful island of Islay feel free to contact Gus or Jess at StormCats.

As always there will be some tremendous prizes up for offer, and plenty of refreshments to celebrate the occasion.


If you are interested in coming to Islay for this weekend of fishing in a perfect location, contact us as we will be happy to assist with any travel or accommodation arrangements.


For more information check the Tope Fishing Page


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Round Islay Boat Trip

’A Day to Remember’

Postponed due to bad weather- to be rescheduled June/July 2009

Experience Islay’s stunning coastline and hidden gems which cannot be seen from land - the dramatic cliffs of the mull of Oa with their stunning rock patterns, the famous soldiers rock, hidden caves, remote ruins, golden eagles, wild mountain goats and an ever changing, diverse landscape.


All boat owners and their guests, passengers and sea adventurers are invited to join us for the first StormCats Round Islay boating trip, which will take place in May this year. We will leave Port Ellen in the morning, cruising at around 20 knots and head west round the coast and take in the scenery, sunbathe on deck, perhaps cast a line or two and stop at various points of interest to explore along the way.


Then, just before we reach home, we will stop off at Ardbeg, almost as famous for its lunches and breathtaking views as it is for its whisky, where we will enjoy a leisurely meal and perhaps a dram or two.


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