THE top sea anglers from across the British Isles travelled to Scrabster to compete in the annual SALC 2017 Home Nations Boat Championships last weekend.
Competitors from all four home nations took to the sea between Dunnet Bay and Thurso Bay where more than 3000 fish were landed during two days of competition.
England took gold, winning the competition for the second year in a row, with Scotland – who included Thurso resident Peter Redshaw – taking silver, and Ireland bronze.
Scrabster last hosted the competition eight years ago and officials said it was the perfect location for the two days of fishing.
Lead skipper Christopher Bennett from Glenmoriston provided two of the three boats used for the competition, Hebridean Warrior and Eau de Mara, which are both based at Wick harbour.
He underlined that when Scotland were asked to host the championship, organisers immediately knew Scrabster was the perfect location.
“Scrabster was chosen as the location for the competition due to the quality of the fishing in the area. When inviting four countries to take part in a home nations competition, you want to choose a location that is going to be a showcase. So as the host nation it was important to us to host the competition somewhere we could be proud of,” he said.
“Scrabster certainly delivered that showcase as the competitors caught an exceptional amount of fish.
During the two days competition, each home nation had five team members and a manager, where they would go out on two eight-man boats and one four-man boat.
Event organiser Ally Campbell, from Stornoway, who also competed for Scotland, said the standard of angling over the two days was outstanding.
He said he was disappointed Scotland just missed out on gold but said it was their best performance in a number of years.
“We have improved on recent competitions as we have been either been third or fourth in the last six or seven years,” he said.
Second was a good result and we were not far behind at all so we could have easily won it.
The standard of fishing was excellent and the top anglers were getting 120 to 130 fish each.
“Most of the fish that were caught were cod and haddock. The standard of fish at Scrabster was excellent,” said Mr Campbell
“Next year we hope Scotland can go one better.”
The prizegiving took place at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso where the victorious England team was presented with the winning trophy.
The SALC 2018 Home Nations Boat Championships are due to to take place in Cork.