Minehead was the venue for the 2019 EFSA English Boat Championship with The Ship Aground as the HQ. Anglers met on Friday 28th June at the HQ to register and catch up. Some had arrived early in order to get a practice trip, however, the weather had other ideas and no boat fishing was possible.
Saturday 5:45 a.m. 41 anglers begin loading their gear onto the five charter boats taking part in the Championship. With 7 ½ hours angling it was going to be a long day but at least the weather had settled down and it promised to be a fine day and sun cream was applied. Most boats headed towards Porlock Bay and soon were into packs of dogfish. Dogfish continued to plague the anglers throughout the day on virtually all the different marks the boat went to. Congers at 8 points and bull huss (for which there were prizes for the longest fish) and smoothound both 6-point fish were the target species. Boats fishing in-shore found a few strap congers with boats venturing into deeper water getting larger eels. Other fish caught were rays; pout and poor cod and a few turbot and three bearded rockling. There were also a couple of nice bass caught with the best on the day, a fish of about 7 ½ lb caught by Ray Barron, fishing on Escape. Escape also provided Barrie Senior with a bull huss of 106 cm which turned out to be the longest of the competition.
The angling was frustrating for many as it proved difficult to avoid the dogfish and pick up the other species. At the end of the day the results showed this with low points scoring for many. Richard Russell on Scooby Doo was top angler on the day with 86 points. Other boat winners were Osprey, Rolf Marschalek; Fulmar, Kevin Preston; Teddie Boy, Alan Bird and Escape, Rod Adamson.
An hour later on the harbour and only 7 hours angling but the forecast was not so good with more wind and less sun. Marks and target species would be similar to Saturday. Again, the anglers were pestered by dogfish all day and the other species were hard to come by. Species caught were similar to Saturday along with a few nice tope, both Simon Norman and Rolf Marschalek both getting fish well over the 20lb mark.
Day 2 boat winners were on Fulmar, Andy Smith; Escape, Ken Smith; Teddie Boy, Andy Selby; Osprey, Colin Searles and Scooby Doo, Jon Law who was the top scorer of the day with 75 points.
On return to shore there was time for a wash up and change into uniform before heading to the back bar where a fine buffet was laid out for the anglers. Then it was time for the presentation, Andy Selby read out the results and the awards were made by our Vice President Keith Scaggs, who also presented and attached the pins to the top 3 anglers
Andy Smith was the overall winner with 198.08% over the two days to take the gold pin with Ken Smith in second place on 192.31% and Richard Russell third with 187.5%, winning silver and bronze pins respectively, congratulations to them all.
Many thanks to Andy Selby and the other EFSA members who helped with the organisation; Keith and Jan Scaggs for preparing the results and to all at the Ship Aground for looking after us. Also, last but not least the skippers without whom the competition could not take place and especially Mike Webber for all his assistance with bait etc.
Best Bull Huss
1st Barrie Senior 106cm
2nd Andy Selby 105cm
3rd Rob Troy 102cm