A few years ago the Mull Of Galloway Sea Angling Festival (MOGSAF) committee discussed the possibility of opening up their events portfolio to include one that would give shore anglers a change to participate, as previously all of the events were boat based. Committee member Kevin Hamilton suggested running a catch, measure, picture and release Scottish bass event, which was approved by the committee.

So, in September 2021 the first ever bass match was held. This was an open shore venue competition where participants collected their ID tags and measures and could leave the Sands of Luce Holiday Park at 9am and fish as much or as little as they liked, providing they were back to the Sands of Luce by 5pm on the Sunday. The first event was attended by 20 anglers, which was great for the first ever staging and helped to establish the competition. The winner of the 2021 event was Adam Johnstone with a bass measuring 54cm.   

Fast forward a year and MOGSAF held its second ever bass match, with the ideal tides picked for the 24th and 25thSeptember. We had 60 competitors they had almost treble the amount of competitors from the inaugural event in 2021. The event also included a new section designed for juniors with free entry and some tackle prizes up for grabs. This year we also extended the fishing times from 9am on the Saturday to 7pm on the Sunday evening, with fish verification closing at 7:30pm.


Weather for this event was making the bait men nervous, as many were hoping for a strong southerly to churn up some of the local beaches; however, with north in the wind and some westerly for added complexity, some competitors needed to change their plans.

There was a smooth registration process and a quick brief to competitors by the committee member Stuart Fitzsimons, outlining the rules, such as one rod only, three hooks maximum (lure with trebles count as three hooks) and also a demonstration on measuring fish, before finally everyone was given the go-ahead to start fishing.

Anglers left the Sands of Luce and headed in all directions, with marks being kept firmly under wraps. Things went quiet overnight with the odd rumour of various sized fish being landed, but these could only be verified when pictures were submitted to the committee. 

Sunday evening came around fast and some exhausted anglers returned back to the Sands of Luce to get their catches verified by the committee. Anglers were required to return the ID tag and measure and present the picture of their longest fish to the committee. These sizes were then entered into the computer to calculate the winners.

 Before the winners were announced a draw took place for all anglers who returned back to the with the measures and ID tags. The prize for this was an amazing one week stay in a luxury caravan on the Sands of Luce. Matthew Davidson was the lucky winner

Alan Hughes’ 2nd place 71cm bass

Alan Hughes’ 2nd place 71cm bass


In ninth place with a bass measuring 54cm (equalling last year’s winner) was Nathan Fullwood. 

In seventh equal place was Matthew Davidson and Pete Heatlie, both with bass measuring 59cm.

Fifth equal place equal went to Lewis Anderson and Tom Cooper with bass measuring 60cm. 

Fourth place was won by Iain Crosbie with a bass measuring 61cm. 

Third place was a large jump in size for David Craig with his bass measuring 70cm. 

Second place went to Alan Hughes for his bass measuring 71cm – Alan also showed the committee another 5 pictures of bass well over 5lb, which was excellent, all caught on lures. 

The winner of the event and the trophy went to Colin McQuade for his magnificent bass measuring a whopping 75cm. All of the top bass landed in this competition were caught on lures, which is incredible!

The junior section, which was new to the committee, was a great success with 13-year-old Jake McColm from Stranraer scooping first place after landing his fish of a lifetime, with a bass measuring an incredible 72cm. What a phenomenal achievement for this young lad. Organiser Kevin Hamilton knows this lad personally and knows that he only just taken up bass fishing this year with his dad John.

Jake had originally wanted to fish the adult section but competed in this new junior section instead. Jake said before the event that he had a football match on the Sunday and due to being captain, he couldn’t miss the game. So could only possibly fish on the Saturday but had taken both days off from his paper run to fish the event. Unfortunately, he fished hard on the Saturday but didn’t manage to add to his scorecard, then later on in the evening after dark the colder weather and clear skies made conditions too cold to continue. So he asked his dad if he could get him up at 05:45 on the Sunday morning to get a few hours in before his football match. What a great decision that was!

Jake was fishing a 110 Patchinko surface lure and when his dad asked him something. He turned around to speak to him, then felt the rod getting pulled from his hands. He knew instantly that he was into a good fish. John could see the wake from the fish and the bend in the rod showed he was into something special. Jake played this fish all on his own and after an epic battle he managed to beach it. The fish was carefully measured with a couple of pictures taken, before the youngster was encouraging his dad to get the fish back in the water without delay. It’s encouraging to hear the youngsters having fish welfare on their mind.

Second in the junior section was won by Ryan Black with his fish measuring 34cm. Well done young man. Some of the more experienced and accomplished bass anglers managed to blank, so you did great. Thanks to all the competitors who supported this event. I’m sure we will continue to grow it as it’s proved to be something special.