Efsa England Species (Cod) championships Minehead 26/27th 2016
Those easterly winds seem to be following us around the coast, this is the second competition in the last few weeks with the wind coming from an easterly direction, the planned practice day was cancelled due to high winds (though why anyone would want to or need to practice catching Cod is beyond me, surely you bait up cast out and wait with your fingers crossed!).
The recent reports that the fishing had been quite slow dampened the spirit a little, still there’s always the dogfish, conger and whiting to keep the lines tight. The charter boats on both sides of the estuary had seen a few Cod showing but most have been targeting the Spur dogs in the deeper water, after all sometimes it’s about the sport rather than the table.
Day one proved that the early predictions of hard fishing were spot on, only 2 out of the 28 anglers actually captured scoring fish, Kevin Preston had two on-board Osprey and Steve Batchelor had the same on-board Teddy Boy.
There were a few calls for the net when competitors hooked into Rays or Conger as both seemed to fight similar to Cod either that or it was wishful thinking from both angler and skipper
Day two was to be pretty much a re-run of day one, even the weather was identical to Saturday, the only change that I made was to add more worms to the trace to increase the scent trail and hopefully attract one or two of those elusive Cod, looking around and many of the other anglers were trying the same tactic. Most traces seemed to have muppets, booby beads, blades or beads, some had all of the attractors mentioned and a few had clean traces.
There was an early report that Richard Russel had boated an 84cm, 15lb 6oz Cod, this was taken with a little scepticism on Alykat as Kevin and Steve were on-board, they had 83 and 82cm respectively and we all know there usually a few mind games played.
Matt had a dogfish that had taken a small live whiting and Martin had a Conger also on a live whiting.
Gary Galbraith had a single cod on Fulmar, Richard did indeed have an 84cm Cod on Teddy Boy but the day’s top boat was Alykat with Matt Osborne and a 48cm, Martin Bobbett with 54cm and Andy Smiths 80cm Cod. None of which were large enough to overtake Richards early cod.
Andy’s cod had 5 Herring, 3 Sprat, a rockling, 3 crab and several shrimp in its stomach (you do not wish to know what Dave done with the shrimp but I’ll tell you anyway, he removed the shell and ate two of them, needless to say don’t try this at home kids!
The skippers tried their hardest to find the fish for us but the weather conditions, a sea full of Sprat and herring and a lack of Cod made it a thankless task!
Top Skipper was Mike on Teddy Boy as he’s was the boat to return a score sheet on both days, a big thanks to Dave on Alykat, Steve on Fulmar and Steve on Osprey for all the tea and effort that they put in.
The Old Ship aground did us proud with good food, a warm welcome and a supper early breakfast so a big thanks to all the staff for their time and hospitality.
1 Richard Russell 84cm
2 Kev Preston 83cm
3 Steve Batchelor 82cm
4 Andy Smith 80cm
5 Martin Bobbett 54cm
6 Matt Osbourne 48cm
7 Gary Galbraith 43cm
Rest of field 0cm !
Pairs Winners Gary Galbraith and Matt Osbourne for 91cm
4 man Open Winners John Fisell, Richard Russell, Kim Bowden and Andy Smith
Life Member Winner Richard Russell