Thursday 21st November the evening registration for the event took place at the HQ venue, the Yacht Club located in the Liverpool Marina by Coburg Wharf, where we would board the boats for the event. There was plenty of parking close by at a reasonable rate of £5 a day for the competition days so a great venue for ease of access.
Friday 22nd and the first day of the Championship. There were only 19 anglers fishing the event so just 6 or 7 on each of the 3 boats. The word was it would be mainly a cod event as the rays that were in good numbers just a week or two ago had vacated the river. It was a relaxing start with the boats loading at 08:30 hours, the reason for this was the tide was such that the lock gates did not have enough water over the lock sill to allow the boats out. Once out into the river it was a short run to the fishing areas so lines down at 0900 for what was going to be about 8 hours actual fishing, as again there was the tidal constraint on the lock opening. Depending on which boat you were on as to whether you found cod straightaway or had a bit of a wait. Most of the cod were in the 30 to 40cm range. This was a measure competition and while most fish were returned alive several people retained a few for the table. The anglers were well looked after with plentiful supply of tea and coffee and much appreciated were the hot pasties or sausage sandwiches that the skippers supplied around lunch time, very welcome at this time of year. The bait supplied was 5 wraps of lug worm and 2lb of squid, though it soon became apparent that worm with maybe a small amount of squid took most fish. The weather was better than forecast with just a light shower late in the day. At the end of day 1 it was Gary Galbraith in the lead with 9 cod for 782 points, with Alan Porter and Rod Adamson both on 8 cod for 766 and 708 points respectively. There was a total catch of 86 fish, all cod apart from just a couple of rays, with everyone catching at least one cod.
Saturday 22nd, day 2 and again due to tide height we did not board the boats until 0915 hours. Format was similar to the previous day. Tea on our boat was not so good in the morning, the skipper filled his water container but left it by the tap in the marina. So, at slack water we had a move with a detour to one of the other boats for water for the kettle and normal plentiful hot drinks were resumed in the afternoon. Again, the forecasted rain did not materialise, and the day warmed up a little. Today’s catch was similar to yesterday with 78 fish caught again almost all cod with a couple of rays.
Once back in from fishing it was a wash and change with the presentation at the Yacht Club scheduled for 2000 hours. The presentation was preceded by the raffle, the only chance for many not to go home without a prize! Andy Selby, after thanking the skippers and the venue, read out the results with Kim Bowden presenting the prizes and the pins to the top 3 three. Gary Galbraith was still in top place adding a further 8 fish for total score of 17 fish for 1,438 points to take the gold pin. The silver pin went to Alan Porter who maintained his second place by adding another 6 cod to make a total of 14 fish for 1,230 points. Steve Bachelor also ended up with 14 fish but for 1,164 points to take the bronze pin. Best cod: John Traynor 70cm, 8lb 2oz. The top boat over the 2 days was Bad Boyz Charters skippered by Aaron Smith. Other winners were: Seniors, Richard Russell; 2 Man Open, Gary Galbraith and Mark Smith; 4 Man Open, Kim Bowden, Richard Russell, Andy Smith and Barrie Senior; 4 Man Executive, Andy Smith, Gary Galbraith, Rod Adamson and Steve Bachelor.