ONE of the most sought after salmon beats in Scotland has been sold to a mystery buyer for more than £1m.
Kercock Fisheries on the River Tay was snapped up by a unnamed Scot who may have snapped up the stretch for a relative bargain.
The salmon beat was offered for sale for £1.55m just four years ago but withdrawn when the global financial crisis hit.
The 2.5 miles was put back on the market by owner Ian Massie in the spring and sold within six months for what sources coyly described as “over £1m”.
Roddy Willis, an agent for Savills, which handles rod letting on Kercock confirmed the sale of the stretch 15 miles north of Perth.
But he declined to reveal the identity of the buyer, or the exact price.
He said: “It’s been something that was done between two people.
“The owner wasn’t desperate to sell but he had the opportunity to sell. It was a private sale and the fishing will go on like before.
“The only real change will be that the number of rods will be reduced and that will improve the quality of the fishing.”
Currently Kercock is let to 12 anglers at a time, with this number being reduced to eight, with the possibility of an additional two.
The current Ghillie, Gary Harkin, will be kept on to help fishermen catch an elusive salmon.
Mr Willis added: “The existing Ghillie will stay there. It’s good for the beat and the fishermen are delighted. Things are going to get better than they were before.
“It’s a popular beat and will continue to be a popular beat.”
The 2.5 mile Kercock beat was created when the Upper Kercock and Lower Kercock beats were merged in 2006, and it offers anglers the chance to fish from both banks.
The sale comes shortly after another Tay beat went on the market for £1million.
The Newtyle beat is being sold after more than 40 years in the hands of the same owner.
The mile and a quarter long section of the river originally formed part of the Murthly and Atholl Estates, and has been described as “an absolute gem” and a rarity on the market.
William Jackson, the agent handling the sale, said: “It’s quite rare for these beats to come up. Once it is held it’s held for a number of years and they can be passed down through families.
“The current owner also has quite a few guests using the stretch. It is great owning your own stretch of water and being able to bring your family and friends for a day’s fishing.”
Anyone who buys the beat will have to pay an annual levy of £2300 to the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, which administrates the river and works to improve salmon fishing..
The Tay is one of the “big four” salmon rivers inScotland, alongside the Tweed, Spey and Dee.
The river is renowned across the world for its fishing, with the largest ever rod-caught salmon in the UK being caught on the Tay. Weighing 64lb it was landed by Georgina Ballantine in 1922.