SFCA Chairman, Gus Brindle (46) has secured the final qualifying position in this weekend’s AYRSTRIKE Big Money Final.

More than 200 anglers have taken part in the 16 qualifying rounds to win a position in this year’s coveted AYRSTRIKE final on Sunday May 24th at Springwater Fisheries, Ayr.

Launched in June 2008, AYRSTRIKE 2009 is now regarded as the largest coarse fishing competition in Scotland and with a jackpot prize of £3,000, competition between anglers in the final qualifying round on Saturday May 16th was extremely fierce.

Held at Dormont Lake near Lockerbie, cold easterly winds together with heavy rain and plummeting water temperatures made for particularly treacherous fishing conditions.

Vespe backed Gus Brindle was drawn on peg 7 at the far end of the lake and with Stuart McCowan on peg 6, they had to contend with a cold wind blowing straight into their faces for the whole day. 

With weed extending a full 2 to 3 feet from the bottom and no clear patches to be found, Gus started by introducing a soft ball of finely sieved dark active groundbait containing about 30% black leam at 11 mtrs.  He then fished over the top with a single fluoro pinkie on a size 24 hook to 0.07mm line regularly loose feeding 6 grains of hemp over the top. 

Gus then managed to put together a run of fifteen 1oz roach before the peg began to dry up.  By constantly adding a small nugget of groundbait throughout the day he managed to keep the odd roach coming to end with 1.080kg for a comfortable win.

The end result could however have been very different had Mark Acton on peg 3 managed to land the tench that he hooked.  Sadly for Mark, having steered the fish away from the snags under the trees in the margins it managed to dive into a dense weedbed and shed the hook; leaving him settling for 2nd spot on the day with 420g.

Other results were: 

1st      Gus Brindle:          1.080kg

2nd     Mark Acton:             420g

3rd      Kenny Bird:              340g       

4th      John Rae:                 120g

5th      Martin Mitchell:          40g 

With the qualifying rounds now finished, the full line up for the Final on Sunday May 24th at Spring Water Fisheries, Ayr on Sun 24th May is as follows: 

Qualifier 1   –        Eric Morris     

Qualifier 2   –        Ewan Weed

Qualifier 3   –        James Woodrow

Qualifier 4   –        Ian Fewtrell

Qualifier 5   –        Drew McCluskey

Qualifier 6   –        David McAuley

Qualifier 7   –        Colin Hart

Qualifier 8   –        Ian Whitson

Qualifier 9   –        Derek Brady

Qualifier 10 –        Brian Docherty

Qualifier 11 –        David Corcoran

Qualifier 12 –        Gary Taylor

Qualifier 13 –        Kevin Murphy

Qualifier 14 –        Craig Kent

Qualifier 15 –        Matt Baxter

Qualifier 16 –        Gus Brindle

Held in conjunction with the Burns an’a’That! Festival, preparations for the Final will start with the Peg Draw on Saturday 23rd May at the Burns Festival Club, Wellington Square, Ayr, where once anglers have secured their position for Sunday’s competition, they are invited to attend the evening’s celebrations of traditional Scottish music at the Festival’s sell out Folk Night.  Go to for details.

Burns Festival Director, Michael McDaid said “Ayrstrike is a key element in the Burns Festival calendar of events and getting to this stage in the competition is a massive achievement for all of the qualifying anglers.  We’re delighted to invite the anglers and their partners as guests of the Festival and what a better way to kick of the competition Final!”.

Sports presenter and producer of the AYRSTRIKE 2009 competition, Liz Hobbs MBE said “Ayrstrike is now in its second year and has proved to be another huge success.  There’s been an amazing amount of interest in the competition from coarse fishing enthusiasts and we’re looking forward to seeing these elite fishermen battle it out for the biggest net at the Final and bag the prize!”.

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