European Boat and Line Championships 2013
3rd to 11th August
Monday morning and the 115 anglers mustered on the quayside to board 1 of the 4 boats. Each boat had up to 30 anglers on board, with each side of the boat having 15 anglers as ‘one boat’ for the purpose of the championships so 4 boats would give 8 boat winners. On a positive side the boats had good facilities with coffee and food on board, also cold beer, which a bottle of went down very well on the way back to port after the fishing!
At eight O’clock the boats departed from Elsinore harbour in Denmark and headed east and over to The Swedish side of the shipping channel a distance of only 4 miles or so. Even though the boats were not that fast it meant that by 0820 it was lines down.
LIGHT LINE CHAMPIONSHIP
The first day of the Championships was the Light Line Championship. This year the line was 8lb, and as we soon found out there were no fish to put the line under and test as the heaviest fish caught was a cod of about 4 pound with most fish under 1 pound. Species caught included Dab. Herring, Whiting, Haddock and Coalfish with Plaice and Flounder often up to a couple of pound. There were plenty of Cod though most were about 6 to 8 ounces with the occasional bigger one. In the ‘other’ category for good points there were large numbers of Goldsinny Wrasse to be found on the Flounder ground.
This was just a one day competition so it did not take much to work out the honours amongst the 8 boat winners, as may have been expected the top 10 were all Swedish or Danish.
1st Brian Jensen of Denmark
2nd Sixten Dahlbom of Sweden
3rd Thor Rasmussen of Denmark
After the first day fishing the Light Line that evening was spent modifying rigs more so with smaller hooks than style of rig. This was after what was a regular meeting each evening after the fishing when all the English competitors got together and shared the information on what the boats fished for and what rigs seemed to work best or did not work.
Tuesday saw the start of the Boat Championship. So with fresh hopes at the start of the 4 days to come the boats again all departed at 0800 hours. As soon became the pattern for the week the boats fished very similar grounds each day, so we soon got to know which buoy (they seemed to favour buoys as marks rather than we are more used to GPS numbers) had what sort of ground and what fish were to be had. Some different fish were caught in only 1 or 2 included Sea Trout and Ling.
At the end of day 1 at the top of the score table were the Danish and Swedish again. Colin Searles was top English on this day in 18th place, obviously remembering how he fish the last competition there a few years previous, he was closely followed by Cliff Newbold in 20th position.
Day 2 and the same pattern of fishing, only one boat had a slight variation as he had a mark that fished well for sandeel and launce, which scored well in the Others category. While no English boat winners Neil Bryant with 97% on the day put him 10th overall. Cliff Newbold had another good day and his 95% raised him up to 14th.
Day 3 and despite a bit of rain and stronger winds the boats were still a good platform to fish from. Again no boat wins for England, it was tough against 14 other anglers and also fishing one end of the boat you could not see what was being caught at the other end of the boat so it was not till the end of the day that you could figure how well you had done. Cliff put in another good day and moved him to 7th overall. Ray Barron had a better day and moved up to 10th place ahead of Neil Bryant in 11th by 0.7%!
Day 4 and the final day of the competition and finally the English cracked it with both Neil Bryant and Ray Barron winning their boats.
With the 4 days percentages totalled top honours again going to Denmark and Sweden, not surprising when as some of them admitted they had fished these water for the past 20 years or more. However this time there were 3 English in the top 10 with Ray Baron out in front in 6th place followed by the most consistent one of the week Cliff Newbold in 7th, closely followed by Neil Bryant, all 3 were separated by only 1.2 percentage points!
Boat Championship Individuals
1st Martin Hubert of Denmark
2nd Neils Godsk Jergensen of Denmark
3rd Sixten Dahlbom of Sweden
6th Ray Barron
7th Cliff Newbold
9th Neil Bryant
16th Mark Smith
19th Gary Gailbraith
21st Perry Dack
27th Mike Smith
30th Paul Hart
31st Colin Searles
38th Matt Osborne
39th Richard Russell
41st Barrie Senior
49th Vernon Allen
51st Ken Smith
56th Andy Smith
58th Kim Bowden
59th Pete Bailey
85th Neil Cottington
1st Denmark A
2nd Sweden A
3rd England A, comprising of Ray Baron, Colin Searles, Paul Hart, Perry Dack and Mike Smith.
Top Senior was Richard Russell
Full list of results to be found at www.dhf.nu
Report by Kim Bowden