EFSA European Boat Championship, Maloy, 2017
Sunday 30th July and the opening ceremony took place with a walk from the HQ hotel through the town of Maloy down to the quay where the flag bearers continued onto the large pontoon where the ferry berths. Here they walked the step to the upper level to parade the flags. The opening speeches were delivered from the top deck and with the Championship declared open the EFSA flag was raised next to the Norwegian flag and the local helpers that were on the stairs and top deck each let off a flare, quite a show with the light and smoke from the flares. Later that evening there was a welcome reception at the Best Western HQ hotel where there was also information on the weeks fishing and a chance to ask any questions if not certain on any of the arrangements for the fishing.
Monday morning and the Championship got under way. There were 100 anglers competing. The fishing was on commercial boats with between 4 and 6 on a boat, though you could not be sure till getting on your boat as to your fishing positions as it all depended on space between the structure of the vessels which were all different. Once out of the Harbour the boats could go north or south as Maloy is situated on an Island. The Island is connected to main land Norway by a bridge, though most of us arrived by ferry direct from Bergen to Maloy.
So the fishing was mixed with the 20 boats having a lot of varied water to fish from with some having more knowledge than others. All fishing was to be on the drift. I can’t say a lot about my 4 days fishing as on 4 different boats but all fished the same area. The fishing was not good on any of them; most of the time was spent in 100 to 150 meters depth. The boats I was on were won with few fish, one day just 7 fish and the most was I think 13, also nothing over about 3kg. Each day back on the quay, total fish catch had to be weighed in this Championship, and each angler had to take his fish box to be weighed and also for heaviest fish to be weighed. Most days the boxes from my boat you could still see the bottom of the box, though there were fish to be caught and large ones at that. Other boats were coming in with each angler having a full box with fish of 8kg or more amongst them.
Mark Smith was good enough to send me a few words on how his fishing went.
Mark recounted his practice day on the Saturday. I went out with others on the Friday but with the wind and rain it was hard to fish so we came back early. This gave a couple of us a chance to buy a better waterproof along with some tackle as there was a shop in Maloy that stocked just about anything to do with the sea and fishing. Many anglers spent a lot of time and money in there. Back to Mark and his practice day on the Saturday. What a different day with light wind and all day sun and some good fishing with large coalfish, haddock, ling, brosme and cod.
Day 1 fishing and Mark was as bad as my boats with the winner having 5 fish. The weather was not very good with a strong wind so lot of boats did not go far. On return to the quay many people had just 1 fish and some people recorded none, which is hard to believe in Norwegian waters.
Tuesdays fishing was moved to Wednesday though some booked a boat and fished in the lea of the land with shelter from the wind and most had a great days with hake to 7 or 8 kg plus other species including megrim and to Mark a ninja lantern shark which despite being small was not something that had been seen in these waters.
Mark’s boats got better as the week went on day 2 he landed 27kg of fish, day 3, 68kg and day 4, 72kg. Over the week some of his best fish were haddock of 7 pound, coalfish to 20 pound and cod and ling to 15 pound. Other fish caught in the Championship were pollock, megrim, black mouth dogfish and grey gurnard.
There were many good fish recorded with the heaviest overall to Nigel Hearn with a ling of 18.64kg, the best cod was 14.92kg and many hake recorded with the biggest being 10.74kg.
The presentation of awards was held at the HQ hotel on the Saturday afternoon. The pin winners were all from Norway with Eivind Johannessen gold, second place and silver also on 400% was Petter Skudal. Bronze pin was won by Torunn Handeland on 398 points. Top English individual was Richard Russell in 12th place on 358 points. Richard was in first place in the senior category. The National teams was as expected with Norway A top and Norway B second.
In the evening it was a short bus ride up the coast to the Raueberg Culture Centre for the Gala dinner and the close of the Championship. A good evening was had by all with good food including some of the fish we caught. Entertainment was started with a screen show of highlights of the week and pictures of many of the anglers taking part so people could see themselves on the screen. The screen was also used for a presentation by EFSA Iceland who is hosting the 2018 Boat Championship. Entertainment was provided by a local group who were very good and by a local Elvis impersonator which was well received with his interaction with the audience. The Championship was brought to a close and the EFSA flag was passed to EFSA Iceland.
I think all enjoyed the time spent in Maloy. Some of us expected better fishing but that is the nature of our sport. Certainly the fellow anglers from Norway made us welcome and helped us out with many of the arrangements. Also, the people of Maloy certainly made us welcome and we can’t blame them for the rain which we saw every day at some time.
Report by Kim Bowden
EFSA England positions
12 Richard Russell
17 Ray Barron
33 Peter Bailey
39 Mark Smith
50 Kim Bowden
56 Neil Bryant
57 Cliff Newbold
72 Colin Searles
73 Billy Cann
75 Nigel Hearn
81 Dick Prosser
Full results can be found here: http://fisk.lhost.no/live/3