This years EFSA England Shore Championship was due to be fished from the east arm of Brighton Marina on the 4th and 5th April. However, the weather gods conspired against us for the second year in a row with forecasts of southerly winds gusting up to 30 mph making the marina unsafe to fish. The angling venue was moved to the beach at the Banjo Groyne for the first match.
Most of the 15 anglers that were fishing met up on Wednesday evening at the Brighton Marina Yacht Club to register and have a drink and a catch up. This year for the first time a length to points system similar to the SAMF system would be used. The charts for this were handed and out and the changed arrangements for the next day were finalised.
07:30 we met up at the Banjo Groyne for bait distribution and to draw pegs. There was a slight delay whilst the lugworm allocation was sorted out as the number of fresh outs and wraps supplied to make up the total worm order were not divisible by 15. So, a quick calculation, well not so quick a that time of the morning, was made and some wraps split to give all anglers an equal amount of fresh and wrapped worms. At 9:30 fishing commenced as planned. If not obvious beforehand it soon became clear that casting into the head on wind and large waves rolling across the sand and up the shingle meant a difficult fish and so it proved with several blank cards being handed in at the close of the match. For those that did catch it was mainly small bass with a few flounder and rockling. Unfortunately, Stuart Pennock, injured his shoulder and had to stop fishing half way through the match. Zone A was won by Andy Smith and Zone B by Paul Parsons.
Again, we met at the Banjo Groyne for the peg draw minus Stuart Pennock who was still suffering with his shoulder injury. Although the wind was no longer directly on shore as it had gone more south easterly it was still gusting up to 28 mph at the start of the match but eased during the day. The fishing had improved so that most anglers caught fish with some seven species being recorded. Zone A was won by Peter Neale and Zone B by Stuart Jones.
The presentation was held at the Brighton Marina Yacht Club in the evening and the prizes were presented. Congratulations to Paul Parsons on his win and to Reg Clough and Dave Lovelock on finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The calculation of second and third places had to be decided on count back as three anglers had 6 zone points over the two days with Paull Curtice just losing out. The drawn 3-man team prize was won by a team consisting of Stuart Jones, Dave Lovelock and Andy Smith.
Many thanks to Andy Smith my man on the ground at Brighton for helping with the planning and organisation. Also, thanks to those anglers that helped with the pegging and bait distribution on the match days and to Richard Russell and Andy for helping produce the results.
Thanks must also go to Dave Grinham at the Tackle Box in Brighton for supplying the worms and for his advice on fishing the Marina; to Brett Lomas of Lagoon Bait Tackle, Hove for supplying the squid; and to Brighton Marina Yacht Club for allowing us t use their premises for registration and the prize giving.
Top three individuals
1st and gold pin to Paul Parsons 2 zone points
2nd and silver pin Reg Clough 6 zone points on count back
3rd and bronze pin to Dave Lovelock 6 zone points on count back
Day 1 Zone A Andy Smith 71 fish points
Day 1 Zone B Paul Parsons 114 fish points
Day 2 Zone A Peter Neale 185 fish points
Day 2 Zone B Stuart Jones 177 fish points
3 Man Drawn Team
Stuart Jones, Dace Lovelock and Andy Smith with 23 zone points
Longest Flatfish Pool
Day 1 Paull Curtice }
Paul Parsons } Flounder 27cm
Richard Russell }
Day 2 Peter Neale Plaice 38cm
Longest Round Fish Pool
Day1 Jerry Knight Bass 39cm
Day 2 Reg Clough Silver Eel 61cm
Full results below.