SANA Qualifier in Arctic conditions

THE month of April is associated with showers but these April showers normally fall as gentle rain upon the place beneath. Unfortunately this year the seasons appear to have got muddled and Winter has carried on where Spring should be .This was never more apparent than on Sunday when Lochter Fishery, Oldmeldrum held the North East heat of the SANA International.

What could reasonably have been expected to be a nice Spring day turned out to be decidedly wintry with bitter showers of sleet, hail and snow driven in by a stiff wind which felt as if it had come straight from Spitzbergen.

All credit therefore to the hardy anglers who did turn up and brave the elements and congratulations to the individuals who qualified for the Scottish Final scheduled for Sunday, June 23, at Lochter. The fishers going through are Kevin Neri, Chris McAllister and Jim Adie .

With any luck conditions should have improved for the Lochter Spring Doubles competition. Sunday, April 21, is the date and anglers will be able to warm up for the season ahead, win a share of the £500 cash prize and check out the lie of the land in preparation for the Summer Series Singles competition.

This new and exciting event will comprise five monthly heats from May to September. Four qualifiers from each heat plus eight wild cards for the best non qualifiers will go through to the final on Sunday, October 6, when prize money of £1000 will be won thanks to generous sponsorship by EM Diagnostics. Anglers can enter as many heats as they wish on their way to the final. The Summer Series will attract anglers from a wide area including those who will be representing Scotland in the International Final due to be held at Lochter on October 23.

During the past week the cold did not put anglers off but they did have to go down in the water to contact the fish. Some very good bags were achieved mainly to anglers using lures. Among these D Batty from Methlick had 12 using a variety of lures, M Pirie eight on white Fritz, P Edwards 12 on white Fritz and Nomads, E Lindsay nine on a white Dancer, G Strachan 14 on a Minkie and Neil Smith 11 using Buzzers and Fabs.

The water temperature is not surprisingly very low and likely to remain so this week as the forecast is for more chilly weather. Anglers are however eternal optimists and know that very soon the Spring will burst forth and the cauld blast of winter will be a distant memory.