Plenty of fish at Ullapool competition

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Prize winners line-up  Photo: Noel Hawkins

There was a marine weekend at Ullapool last week as the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Project teamed up with the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network to host some fishing activities at Ullapool harbour.

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Photo: Noel Hawkins

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Photo: Noel Hawkins

The weekend started with an assembly at Ullapool Primary School discussing SSACN’s shark tagging program. On Saturday over 80 younger sea fans were treated to an afternoon of marine games and crabbing at Ullapool harbour, capturing crabs on lines they made and in nets as well as fish, urchins and starfish.

Throughout the day 13 local boats were out fishing in Loch Broom and as far as the Summer Isles and the 52 participants landed a selection of 14 species of fish.

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Norrie Gillies with the 7.5lb pollock which won the heaviest fish award Photo: Noel Hawkins

Competition winners were: Adult heaviest fish, Norrie Gillies, aboard the ‘Burach’, with a 7.5 lb pollock; Adult longest fish, Sandy Eaton, aboard the ‘Shetland Liner’, with a pollock measuring 63cm; Adult most species, Louis Neate, aboard the ‘Grumpy George’, with nine species.

The juniors section was a bit of a clean-up on the part of young Lachie MacPherson, aboard the ‘Burrach’: Junior heaviest fish, 4.4lb pollock; Junior longest fish, ling 71.5 cm; Junior most species, 5 species. Skipper most species: Spanner aboard the ‘Grumpy George’, nine species.

Prizes were sponsored by local businesses including the Seaforth Inn, Norwest Outdoors, Ullapool Campsite and Lochbroom Hardware and the trophies and cups included a recently discovered Junior Most Species ‘Angie Allan’ cup that had not been used since the 70s when the angling competition at Ullapool was a huge international competition.

A barbeque at Ullapool Yacht Club afterwards put the catch to good use and also saw an additional prize for best fish dish going to John Mackenzie.

SSACN is a charity that was founded by older anglers and hopes to pass on the skills and enthusiasm for angling to the next generation whilst encouraging sensible and environmentally friendly practices. The Trust’s Living Seas Project is an ongoing program encouraging sea and marine awareness and usage in the north west Highlands. This coming Saturday (27th August), the Living Seas will be attending the Summer Isles Festival at Coigach Village Hall in Achiltibuie where they will be sponsoring presentations and cooking demonstrations by local fishermen and cooks encouraging the use of the region’s sustainable seafood and shellfish.