In The Swim: Ayrstrike 2008 winner, David McAuley
In The Swim: Ayrstrike 2008 winner, David McAuley

COARSE anglers have just one chance left to qualify for the Scotland’s richest fishing prize, Ayrstrike 2009.  The last qualifying heat takes place on Saturday week (May 16) at Dormont Lake near Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire. The winner will join 15 other qualifiers in the final of the £3000 competition at Spring Water Fishery, Ayr on May 24.

Dormont hosts a mixed species of roach, carp, bream, eel, chub and perch.  Tench to more than 8lb are also on offer. Eight anglers have registered for the match.

Heats for the competition, part of the Burns an’ a’ That! festival, started last autumn and the qualifiers to date include Scottish internationals Ewan Weed and last year’s winner David McAuley, as well as several other 2008 finalists including Colin Hart.

So far more than 200 anglers from across Scotland and northern England have battled it out for a place in the final.  Numbers of participants are broadly similar to last year, the first time the event was held. Scottish Federation of Coarse Anglers president, Gus Brindle, said today:

“It is very encouraging to see interest holding up in what is only the second year of the competition.  It shows that reaction to what is an exciting and testing event is positive.”  The standard of fishing in the final which will feature many experienced competitive anglers, was guaranteed to be high, he added.