English boat championship Dover 11/12th July 2015
Several anglers had ventured to Dover early to get in a little practice, especially as this was the first time we had held an English boat competition from this port, even the local rods have only fished this area for pleasure trips, targeting bass, plaice, cod etc. The last time we fished a competition here was for the winter codding.
Gemini took them out to the rough ground, the ridge and around the Varne buoy, these areas can produce some good mixed catches with both Tub and Red Gurnard, plaice, dogfish, cod, scad, mackerel, dabs to name a few. The weather for the Friday looked likely to be the best of the 3 days with high winds forecast for the Sunday, as it turned out it was not only the best weather but the best fishing to.
At £28 per person per night for half board and operation stack making travelling through Kent challenging to say the least, quite a few members decided to stop at the HQ hotel the Grand Burstin in Folkestone even a couple of locals took advantage of this great offer.
The five boats loaded on time and set off to the grounds, Firefox headed straight for the plaice grounds as these are high scoring, there are also Gurnard, dogfish, dab and a few other species around the ridge, Mike Smith took into an early lead boating a few plaice, Gurnard and dogfish. Paul Hart and Ray Barron caught up during the early afternoon with Ray showing the rest of us how to catch Gurnard.
Portia was always going to be hard boat to win with three of the current England squad members plus a former England team member and an ex Welsh team member on board. Drawn in position two Barrie got off to a slow start as we drifted the Varne but eventually found fish, dabs, a couple of mackerel and a red gurnard and then he had a run of codling. Stainless Steve was enjoying himself catching the dogfish that Barrie had already drifted past. However, as the tide slowed Barrie caught a few then continued to pick up mackerel, dabs a plaice and a scad. A move out further to drift for plaice produced no fish so we went back to drifting the Varne for the last half hour or so. At this stage of the day it was so close and several of us could have won the boat. Barrie picked up another red gurnard and a plaice before the end. When the results were calculated Mr Senior was very surprised to have won the boat with Rolf Marschalek and Kevin Preston both one point behind which was good news for their four man team, the other member (Jon Law) also won his boat to give the four of them 396.51%.
Due to the high winds and rough sea the decision was made to fish the harbour, not a popular choice for all concerned as the harbour seems to produce more fish during spring tides (well the Prince of Wales pier does) this meant everyone would have to work hard for any fish as it would be a bit of a lottery.
Cliff Williams made a good start on Reecer netting two dogfish within the first twenty minutes or so. Another dogfish on the other side of the boat fell to Paul Hart. Eventually Barrie managed to boat a mackerel to get on the scoresheet followed by a dogfish. Paul had another dogfish and a red gurnard. After a long wait with only another couple of mackerel to add to Barrie’s score he was still trailing Cliff and Paul. As the wind increased and the boat swung back and forth a different rig and a long cast saw another dogfish added to Mr Seniors score. For the next two and a half hours no fish were boated and a seal was spotted behind the boat. With less than an hour to go Andy finally decided he would move and drift for mackerel close to the pier. With half an hour to go Barrie had caught the rest of his ten mackerel to put him one point ahead of Paul Hart who had caught another red gurnard. Paul Hart and Cliff Williams only needed their mackerel to overtake Barrie It was a long half hour but fortune smiled on Barrie as neither got the required mackerel.
Back on shore it became clear that there were only two double boat winners, Jon Law and Barrie Senior with Barrie coming out on top with more points over the two days, Rolf Marschalek added the bronze pin to the Gold that he won at last year’s event.
1st Barrie Senior
2nd Jon Law
3rd Rolf Marschalek
For the full set of results see attached sheet.
Report by Martin Bobbett.
Report by Martin Bobbett
Results EFSA English Boat Championships Dover 2015