EFSA European Species 2016 Report
Species, Conger Eel out of Weymouth 15th/16th July
Thursday evening 14th July and after most of the 64 competitors from the 8 sections taking part had registered there was a meeting to allow questions to be asked for those unsure of any detail of the event or the rules. After this the event was officially declared open by Marcus Wuest Secretary of EFSA Head Quarters. With the weather forecast for next couple of days settled we were hopeful that the boats would be able to anchor their selected wreck and put the anglers on the conger that inhabited them.
After an early breakfast and it was on your way to one of the 7 boats in the Championship by 0715hours for 0730 departure. First it was off to try for fresh mackerel for bait as it is one of the prime baits for conger, in past years an easy task with a box full for the day’s fishing in quick time, however this year the mackerel have not arrived in any numbers along the South coast of England, so after an hour and maybe 2 or 3 mackerel for each person many of the boats fished for pouting to supplement the frozen mackerel that was supplied bait.
It was then a steam off to the selected wreck, with many wrecks to choose from within the 12 mile limit of the competition as set for today. The fishing was not good for most of the boats, not what you would normally expect for a day’s conger fishing with many boats recording less than 20 eels, all except one boat, Wild Frontier, whose anglers had a share of the 70 conger that the boat recorded, so looks as if most of the local conger had congregated on the wreck he was on.
All eels were returned alive as soon as size was estimated by the skipper, with the best eels being weighed onboard and though most eels caught were less than 20 pound there were a couple over 60 pound so setting the bar high for the next day.
As the Championship was on points only, at the end of day 1 the top 6 places in the individual list were off Wild Frontier, with Perry Dack from England out in front with 70 points.
Similar format to yesterday with mackerel hard to find, just as well that conger will eat the frozen mackerel supplied! Those that were on Wild Frontier today were expecting a good catch after his day yesterday but as we all know in fishing “you should have been here yesterday” and let us just say his conger count today was low! Other boats again had similar numbers as yesterday despite fishing different wrecks. So back ashore and lot of speculation on top places and cries of on wrong boat or wrong position on the boat, which in truth both can play a big part in hooking into those conger eel.
So ashore and the results were worked out and all became clear as to where the honours were to go. As it happened there were 2 anglers on 75 points and even after the third count back method there was no difference between them, besides the same points they both had the same number of fish in each category on the score sheet so there was no option other than to award them both with a gold pin.
So at the presentation that evening the top honours and gold pins went to Perry Dack of England and Wilfried Buls of Belgium both on 75 points. In third place and taking the bronze pin was Paul Hart of England on 70 points.
The presentation for the top 3 heaviest conger recorded was made by Mr Bryn Lavis who is Chairman of The British Conger Club. In 3rd place was Ray Barron of England with an eel of 53pound, 2nd place Martin Kennedy of Ireland with eel of 62pound and heaviest conger of the Championship was one of 65pound caught by Robert Troy also of Ireland, besides a medal and prize he was also presented with a British Conger Club tankard.
In the International teams it was England A first, Belgium second and England B in third place, Full results will be on the EFSA HQ and EFSA England website very soon.
English individual results
1st Perry Dack
3rd Paul Hart
6th Russell Shaw
7th Pete Bailey
8th Matt Osborne
12th Neil Cottington
13th Ray Barron
15th Gary Galbraith
17th Cliff Newbold
20th Ken Smith
23rd Andy Selby
27th Kim Bowden
27th Andy Smith
34th Billy Cann
34th David Clark
36th Ash Currier
38th Richard Wheeler
40th Mike Patten
40th Dave Smith
44th Richard Russell
59th John Filsell