After four years we were at last able to fish an English Shore Championship. It was held at Southbourne beach on 29th & 30th September. Seventeen anglers had signed up to fish but unfortunately four of them had to pull out due to health issues. Age is taking its toll.
We met at the car park above the beach to register, draw pegs and collect bait for the days fishing. The match was to be fished over two zones and into dusk. Following the previous days strong blow, it was thought that there might have been a lot of weed but there was no sign of it and the sea looked benign although the water was dirty. The wind increased during the day but not enough to make fishing difficult.
The dirty water seemed to have affected the fishes desire to feed as not many were being caught. Catches were mainly bass and plaice, a few small smoothhounds, gurnard, whiting and one sole. At the end of the day, it was Zone B that fished best. Catches were mainly small bass, [Stuart Jones won Zone B and was top angler on the day with six fish for 101 points. In 2nd place in Zone B was new member Gem Stapleton. She also had 6 fish for 93 points. Winner of Zone A was another new member Wayne Hand who had four fish for 65 points. Second place in the zone went to Chris Leonard with four fish for 60 points.
Again, we met at the car park and drew pegs and collected our bait. The two zones were pegged on a different part of the beach, and we were hoping there might be a ray or two caught. The wind had moved more southerly and was now coming almost straight at us. Fishing was even worse than day one with a lot of weed as the tide turned. There were a few blanks on the cards. Zone A was won by Peter Neale with three fish for 48 points. Wayne Hand took 2nd place in the zone with 3 fish for 35 points. Zone B was won by Gem Stapleton with 2 fish for 25 points. Kim Bowden took second spot with one fish for 16 points.
Once the results were calculated it was Gem Stapleton who came out on top ton count back to take the gold pin with 3 zone points and 118 fish points. Silver pin winner was Wayne Hand with 3 zone points but only 100 fish points. Stuart Jones was third with 4 zone points. Peter Neale took the 4th place with 5 zone points.
Although we had booked a room at a local pub for the presentation it turned out to be only an area off the main bar set aside for us. There was a live singer on in the pub which was heaving and made it impossible to have a proper presentations, so we had to just hand out the awards and prizes.
Executive 3 man drawn team winners was a team of Gem Stapleton, Gary Geoghegan, Wayne Hand.
Day 1 Longest flatfish – Gary Geoghegan 27cm Plaice
Day 1 Longest round fish — Stuart Jones 39cm Smoothhound
Day 2 Longest flatfish – Matt Osbourne and Barrie Senior both with a 24cm Plaice
Day 2 Longest round fish – Peter Neale 29cm Bass
Many thanks to Allan Jones for arranging and collecting the bait for us. Thanks to Stuart and Wayne for pegging the beaches.