Cumbernauld’s Mike angles to tell all on top fishing spot

A well-known angler reveals in a new book how he discovered a “secret” Cumbernauld water that grew into a major fishing centre

Mike Kernan was a fishing-mad teenager in the 1970s when he was tipped off about an abandoned quarry between Cumbernauld and Condorrat.

It became a popular spot known as The Perchy until it was bought over and transformed into Magiscroft, Scotland’s first purpose-built coarse fishery.

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The story is revealed in Fishing In The Sun, a collection of offbeat, thought-provoking and at times hilarious tales by the angling columnist and author.

Mike said: “The canal at places like Dullatur and Auchinstarry was the usual fishing haunt for me and my pals back then. But a neighbour told me about an abandoned quarry and I found it close to the old PDSA place.

“I can’t swear I was the first person to fish it but there were no signs of life and I didn’t see anyone else on my next few visits.”

But when Mike was able to cast a line, he discovered a fishing paradise all of his own – at least at first.

He said: “The place was stuffed with perch and the first few times I was catching 100-plus but then I told one pal who told another and within a few weeks it was mobbed.”

The quarry was eventually taken over and turned into Magiscroft, the first major centre in the country dedicated to coarse fishing.

Mike said: “There are pictures in the café at Magiscroft of people jumping into the water from the cliffs. “There was also a story about an angler leaping in to save a baby after a pram rolled into the water.”

The retired newspaper executive is now a writer and university tutor -and this is in fact the second book he has penned this year.

The first which is called ‘The Fenian’ is based on Mike’s Cumbernauld upbringing - and was featured in this newspaper over the summer.