The 44th Western Isles Open Boat Championships was fished out of Carloway, Isle of Lewis on July 25th & 26th in scorching heat. Light winds and flat sea conditions ensured boats had the full choice of fishing areas and a wide variety of species were boated.
Edinburgh-based Steve Souter won his boat on both days amassing 364 points to lift the Western Isles Open Boat Champion title. Top local angler Gillies Mackenzie also recorded double boat wins, as did Alistair Forsyth from Inverness to finish second and third respectively.
Perhaps the biggest story of the weekend was the capture of a potential new Scottish boat record John Dory by veteran Inverness angler Graham Forbes (see separate story). Graham’s fish of 2lb 6.5ozs is in the process of being ratified but smashes the existing record by more than 1lb! It also claimed the prize for best specimen.
Species caught included megrim, spotted ray, dab, cod, ling, scad, mackerel, herring, launce, spurdog, lesser spotted dogfish, red and grey gurnard, haddock, whiting, pollack, coalfish, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse and poor cod.
The Ladies Championship was won by Mari Macdonald of Stornoway. The Two-man team title went to Steve Souter and Gillies Mackenzie, while the Four-man event was won by Gus Mackenzie, Alistair Forsyth, Steve Souter and Gillies Mackenzie. Heaviest fish winner was islander John Nicolson with a 9lb 11.5oz spurdog.
1/ Steve Souter, Edinburgh – 200% (364 pts)
2/ Gillies Mackenzie, Stornoway – 200% (318 pts)
3/ Alistair Forsyth, inverness – 200% (312 pts)
4/ John Nicolson, Stornoway – 183%
5/ John Speirs, Oban – 178%