Pristine conditions for the Viking anglers

THE ANNUAL Viking Angling Festival was held last weekend in three ideal days of fine weather. The competition is open to locals and visitors, though this year only four of the 48 competing anglers were from outwith Shetland. The largest local angling competition of the year, it was fished from Scalloway and based at the Scalloway Boating Club.

Fishing was very good overall with 8,368lb of fish landed in total which equates to an average of 180lb per angler. Most of the catch this year was ling with tusk, whiting, lesser-spotted dogfish, gurnards, wrasse and a variety of other species featuring in lesser degrees.

The competition adopted a change of rules this year to feature a points system based on the catch of the boat upon which the angler was fishing. The heaviest catch per boat was considered as being 100 per cent and each other angler aboard the same vessel had their catch assessed as a percentage of the heaviest catch. This gave everybody an equal chance of winning overall. The winning angler for each day was the one with 100 per cent and the heaviest catch overall. Over the three days of the competition anglers had to try to increase their percentage by winning in their boat repeatedly.

Of the 16 boats and 48 anglers taking part, after three days only four anglers had won their boats on each day, giving them the accumulated points total of 300 per cent.

These winning anglers were Charlie Hunter, Laurence William­son, Robert Duthie and John Robert Scott. Charlie Hunter won overall with 300 per cent and the greatest weigh of 363lb of fish landed.

Charlie also took a variety of other awards on individual days and overall, including best fishing skipper, best Shetland Angler, best boat and several more. Joe Connely was the best visiting angler over the three days.

In the ladies’ competition Kathryn Fullerton won overall with 131lb of fish at 215.6 per cent and Bryan McCaffrey won the juniors section with 137lb and 256.7 per cent.

Other results of interest include the supreme champion for the ling and tusk day on Friday, Clive Scott with 128.8lb. Best specimen fish went to Thomas Christie with a 1.5lb cuckoo wrasse, best pensioner was Winston Watt, best two man team over the three days was Laurence Williamson and John Tait.

The full and comprehensive list of results and prizes is available from Howard Foster or Laurence Williamson.

The organisers would like to thank all of their sponsors for supporting the event. Appreciation is also expressed for the shore-side support provided to the anglers with food and hot drinks being provided each morning before departure and each evening upon return. The prizegiving was held at the Scalloway Boating Club with a buffet supper and Matt Vinyl and the Decorators providing musical entertainment.

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