THIS year’s annual Kirkcowan Fishing Competition took place last Saturday.
The day was a great success, drawing in record number of anglers despite worries that the Bladnoch and Tarf would be in flood, as they had been the previous two years.
Thirty six adults and nine juniors competed this year, fishing from 08.30 until 17.30 throughout the River Bladnoch from Kirwaugh to Shennanton above the A75 bridge and on the Tarf, to upstream of the A75 bridge.
The Bladnoch and Tarf give a great range of fishing opportunities, whether you are a salmon, trout or coarse fish angler. The river height on Saturday satisfied many anglers and a wide range of fish species came from most of the fifteen beats available on the day.
Anglers were jubilant at prize giving and none more-so than the six adults who landed salmon during the day. These included two salmon that came from the Tarf caught by Scott Pagan and Allan Wright. On the Bladnoch - Dennis Hughes, Jamie Ribbens, Paul Ryman and Bobby Greenhill each landed a salmon with Bobby winning ‘Best fish’ for his 9lb salmon caught on High and Low Barness, lower Bladnoch. Winner of ‘Best Bag’ went to Stephen Fairhurst who was presented with the ‘John King’ cup for Best Coarse Bag. John King was a keen angler who fished the Kirkcowan Fishing Competition each year and rarely failed to win Best Bag for roach and perch he often returned with from his favourite spot on Shennanton. John sadly passed away earlier in the year and will be fondly remembered by all who have previously been involved in the competition. Stephen Fairhurst won this year’s best coarse fish bag for six pike up to 16 lbs in weight, caught on Redbrae. In the junior section, all prizes came from the Peter Greasley Memorial fund. Connor Wright took home 1st prize and the Peter Greasley Cup for three trout and a perch, returned on the Tarf. Abbie Ribbens took home second prize and the Bill James Trophy for two pike caught at Torhouskie. Third went to Lisa Wright for one trout and two perch caught on the Tarf. A selection of fishing rods and reels, fishing bags, a bottle of Bladnoch Whisky and some smoked kippers made up the winner prizes, kindly donated by Paul Greasley, Glasgow and Galloway Angling Centres, Bladnoch Distillery and Galloway Smoke House.
Some superb prizes were also on offer in the tombola, generously donated by many Newton Stewart, Wigtown, Kirkcowan and Glenluce businesses. Dick Scott was winner of the Sharpes Belmont fly rod in the five pound board. Alistair McGaw came 2nd - taking home a spinning rod and reel, Scott McIlwraith 3rd – taking home a bottle of whisky and a side of smoked salmon (donated by Sir Michael Wigan), Davy Hart 4th - winning a spinning rod and reel and Malcolm Middleton 5th – claiming a £20 Home Hardware voucher.
Galloway Fisheries Trust would like to thank Tina and Kevan of the Craighlaw Arms for a tremendous buffet and organising sponsorship from Belhavan Best. To Paul Greasley for additional funds to the Peter Greasley Memorial fund, Jonathon Haley and Dick Scott for tombola prizes and all River Tarf and Bladnoch proprietors who kindly donated use of their beats for the day. The day would not have been possible without much organisational help and Galloway Fisheries Trust would like to thank Colin Richardson and the Craighlaw Arms proprietors Tina and Kevan who made the day a great success, raising £676 for the Galloway Fisheries Trust.