EFSA England Species championship (Bream) 17/18th October 2015
It doesn’t seem like 6 months have passed since the cancellation of the original event that should have been held from Littlehampton (called off due to high winds like many other events that we plan ahead for) now instead of angling for the spring run of prime Bream on the Kingmere reef the target would be the autumn run around Weymouth/Portland, this is often the time of year that specimen sized Bream are caught in this region many falling to anglers targeting other species. Although the male fish will have lost that vibrant aquamarine mask that they wear in the spring these are still a magnificent species to capture, they are one of my favourite fish to catch especially on light tackle as they tend to fight from the moment you hook right to the net.
Top cat, Snapper and Amarisa chose to target Church hope reef first whilst Peace and Plenty went straight to lights in one. On-board Amarisa there were a few fine crustaceans boated namely 2 lobsters and an edible crab, the larger of the lobsters was returned to the sea to allow her to shed the 10000 or so eggs that she was carrying. According to Ron Brown the first mark normally produces just as the boats line up with the bay and sure enough the first Bream was hooked around 5 minutes after the stern faced the bay, unfortunately the sport was a little slow with only a few Bream boated the so boats then moved onto lights in one to see if there were more bream there.
On Snapper Gary Galbraith (you know the current world champion, just in case you hadn’t heard) had a Bass yes BASS not sea bass or any other kind of bass just a plain old bass he also boated 7 double shots of Black Bream. On Top cat Ash had a conger that looked more like a silver eel, Andy Selby had a Cod and a lobster whilst Ray had a 12/14lb Undulate. On Amarisa Francis Couzinet showed why he previously held the world title by boating a total of 18 bream, Mark Smith (AKA Prawny and world bronze medallist) had 15, however Rod Adamson piped them both by landing a fine 47cm bream near the end of the day, this was one of a few caught on the 3rd mark (back of the banks)
Matt Osborne took the 1st day honours, could he finally win his 1st pin?
With many anglers in with a chance of a pin the day 2 boat positions could decide the overall result. Rather than waste times on Church Hope reef the skippers headed straight to lights in one as this had been the most productive mark on day one. Boat position had played an important part on day one as the wind and tide were opposed to each other this meant that they laid at an angle, the anglers on one side of the boat were limited to casting up or across the tide, this does not allow the angler to search out the Bream, basically you need to find where the fish are feeding, this was perfectly demonstrated by Francis, his tactic was to cast across tide with just enough weight to reach the sea bed then trot back until he found the fish or run out of line which on some occasions was nearly 300m behind the boat, I’m sure that he is not the only angler that deployed this method as many of the competitors have had plenty of practice fishing for bream out of Weymouth, he did however land over 40 bream over the 2 days.
The second day proved very similar to the 1st with short flurries of bream with a mixture of pout, poor cod, gurnard, dogfish, Huss and a very rare and highly protected Allis Shad for Perry Dack on snapper.
The most popular rig seemed to be different variations of a two up, some anglers opted for swivels or booms crimped in place others used glued beads to hold clear two way beads in place, I believe that the technique of finding the fish was far more important than the style of rig used.
Matt Osborne had another successful day and managed to keep in front of the rest of the field to gain his first ever EFSA pin;
Matt Osborne – Gold
Rod Adamson – Silver
Gary Galbraith – Bronze
For a full set of results please see relevant documents
Report by Martin Bobbett.
Results – England Species Championship (Bream) 2015