EFSA England Species Festival (Flatfish) Weymouth 2017
The annual EFSA England Species Festival was fished form Weymouth on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of April with the flatfish including rays as the target species. At registration on Friday it became clear from the chat that the rays were not around in any numbers and very few plaice so turbot and brill would be the main quarry.
Day one saw the anglers, including friends from the Belgium, and Netherlands sections, muster for their boats at 7:30 with the weather gods being reasonably kind although the NW wind put a chill in the air and would not provide the best drifting conditions. All five boats headed for the Shambles and most were fishing by 9 o’clock. On boat Amarissa, Ray Barron was soon into a turbot to establish a lead which he maintained for the rest of the day. During the morning Jim Phillipson tried to challenge him for an hour or two but by lunchtime Ray had five fish. As the afternoon wore on there was a late charge from Richard Wheeler but Ray found another two turbot to end the day with seven fish for 560 points and top rod for the day. Richard had five fish and Jim four. The rest of us were also rans with two anglers failing to catch.
On Supa Nova Ken Smith took the honours with five fish, 378 points, Snapper Rod Adamson had three fish, 221 points, Top Cat it was Andre Machiels with 2 fish for 144 points and on Al’s Spirit birthday boy Andy Selby took the top spot with two fish for 116 points.
Again, this was fished in bright but windy conditions. Most boats opted to drift for most of the day except for Snapper which decided to anchor and try for rays as well as turbot. Although this was reasonably successful with all anglers catching at least one fish the rays were small and at one point per cm wasn’t going to put a lot pf points on the board. Kim Bowden took top spot with 3 fish for 206 points.
Day one winner Ray Barron on Wild Frontier, found three fish for 224 points to ensure he kept his overall lead although it was John Filsel who won the boat with six fish for 456 point to take him to 6th place as he had failed to find a fish on the first day.
On Al’s Spirit John Little won the boat with five fish for 375 points which took him into 4th place overall. Jim Phillipson managed another three fish which tether with his four on Day One took him into 3rd place with a total of 518 points.
Meanwhile on Top Cat our Chairman Neil Bryant excelled himself catching the longest flatfish of the competition a fine turbot of 12lb 8oz in his catch of five fish for 484 points. These together with his one fish from the day before took him into second place with 558 points. Martin Bobbett had a 52cm long brill weighing in at 4lb 2oz.
Gary Geoghan was the star on Supa Nova with five fish for 376 points taking him into 5th place overall.
The presentation was held at Weymouth Angling Club where Ray Barron had the gold pin pinned to his jacket as a worthy winner. Neil Bryant won the silver pin and Jim Phillipson the bronze pin.
Top Senior was Jim Phillipson. Ray Barron took the Life members prize. Andy Selby, Neil Bryant and Ray Barron supported Perry Dack, who failed to find a fish, to win the 4 Man Open Team with a total of 20 fish and 1,606 points. 2 Man Open Team was won by Neil Bryant and Ray Barron. The 4 Man Executive Team was won by Neil Bryant, Gary Dennis, Ken Smith and Cliff Newbold with 17 fish for 1,256 points.
Full results can be found here.