This year the annual EFSA England Shore competition was held on the mighty Chesil Beach in Dorset. This was a fishing adventure that started with a boat trip across the fleet from the Bridging Camp landing in an area highly prized for its access to deep water and largely untapped fishing due to the difficulty factor in access. Once across the Fleet the anglers were faced with quite an arduous climb up the steep shingle bank and then a walk to their peg in their zones.
Saturday 5th October saw the enthusiastic anglers drawing pegs and bait from the booking in point outside the MOD Bridging Camp in Weymouth. Each angler drew a peg, which put him or her into a zone. Then off to the embarkation point where after some difficulty with an engine problem Rob the boatman enlisted the help of his Father in Law to ensure that we all got across safely with all our gear.
The match started at 15:30 with fish hard to find for some but some anglers who targeted Garfish found instant success. Ryan Casey in Blue Zone peg 10 managed to consistently catch throughout the day using a sliding float down the main line whilst fishing 2 baits hard on the bottom. On the other end of the beach Paull Curtice hauled in a nice Plaice in his first cast. Anglers up and down the beach managed a high number of species which included a nice Mullet for Kim Bowden in the Red Zone and other species caught as the light faded were Pout, Dogfish, Gurnards, Bream, Scad and Mackerel. At the end of the match Paul Hart from Red Zone and Ryan Casey from Blue Zone had the honors with good bags of fish.
Day 2 and an earlier start for a 10:00 to 15:00 match all in daylight. This was to be a grueller of a match with bottom feeding fish hard to find. Garfish were the main prey with Dave Lovelock in Blue Zone and Dave Barratt in Red Zone making good progress with regular catches throughout the tide. Some anglers managed to find some other species with Paul Drake catching a Plaice from Peg 5 in the Red Zone and some anglers were able to find the odd Bream, Mullet and a surprise Sea Trout was landed (and quickly returned!). There was a good shift of fortune with anglers who did well on day 1 struggling to find fish on day 2.
After handing in their match cards the sun burned anglers made their way to the Weymouth Angling Club who kindly allowed their club house to be used to for our prize giving ceremony. An Artico beach rod was donated to be raffled off to raise funds for the section and the lucky winner was Chris Leonard who was very pleased with his Italian hand made beach caster.
The results collated and sorted showed that there was a 3-man tie on 4 zone points each. A count back on fish was required to separate the winning anglers and even this was close with just 2 fish separating the anglers!
EFSA England Shore Championship winner was Dave Bennett of Weymouth who was the Gold pin winner. Dave managed a 3rd in Zone on day 1 and 1st in Zone on Day 2.
In second place and silver pin winner was Paul Hart who had a zone win on day 1 and 3rd in zone on day 2.
In third place and bronze pin winner was Paull Curtice from Hythe, Southampton who had 2 zone 2nd place to land a place in the top 3.
Prizes were awarded for the top 6 anglers as follows:
1st Dave Bennett
2nd Paul Hart
3rd Paull Curtice
4th Ryan Casey (Junior)
5th Paul Parsons
6th Dave Lovelock
Zone winner’s day 1: Red Zone Paul Hart. Blue Zone Ryan Casey.
Zone winner’s day 2: Red Zone Dave Bennett. Blue Zone Dave Lovelock.
4 man Executive (blind drawn) Team:
Andy and his team from Weymouth Angling for their help in organizing the boat, bait and prizes.
Rob and his father in law for carrying the organizer off the boat without welly’s!
Neil Bryant rep Artico UK
Weymouth Angling Club
Paul Parsons, John Campbell, Ryan Casey and Dave Lovelock for pegging the beach.