80 anglers from a total of 10 countries fished the 2 days Species Championship at Spodsbjerg on the Danish Island of Langeland. Target species were plaice, dab and flounder with a possible chance of other flat fish.
On the Monday anglers went out for a practice having collected their bait from the Angelcentrum tackle shop. There was strong cold breeze blowing and the likelihood of showers which fortunately didn’t materialise until the boats were heading back in. Some of the boats found the fishing was harder than in previous years with anglers struggling to get double figures of counting fish. Other found reasonable numbers of fish. Other species caught were small cod, whiting, scorpion fish and a few jumbo mackerel. Monday evening was registration and the opening ceremony at the Hotel Skudehavn, Rudkobing. The organisers provided further information on the fishing program and took questions to clarify the rules It was also a gave plenty of opportunity to catch up with the many friends from the other Sections.
Tuesday 29st October and the anglers made their way to the harbour and parked in the large free car park nearby. The anglers boarded one of the six large boats taking part to draw positions and ready themselves for the days fishing.
The wind had eased overnight and it was a sunny but cool day. All boats had to fish in the same area and headed right out of the harbour going South to fish in the shallower water inshore. The Scandinavians who fish these waters regularly began to pull ahead on most boats and maintained their lead throughout the day. With each fish under 40cm scoring 1 point and fish over 40cm scoring 10 points at least one or two of the bigger fish were needed to be competitive. At the end of the day it was the Swedish Benny Johannsson in the lead with 30 fish of which 4 were over 4cm to give him 66 points. Several anglers had 40 plus fish but no large ones. Matt Osborne was top Englishman in 14th place with 19 fish for 37 points. On our return to port it was time to socialise with pizza and beer provided by the organisers and discuss how the day went.
Wednesday, the second day of the Championship, and the plan was similar to day one, with all boats fishing the same ground but straight out from the harbour over towards the island of Lolland. Most anglers improved on the number of fish caught but catching the big fish was again crucial. Many of the English anglers improved their catch from day 1 with scores around the 40 plus points but it was still the Swedes and Danes out in front. Mike Smith was top Englishman on the day in 9th place with 35 fish for 62 points. Benny Johansson was again top on the day with 35 fish of which 9 were over 40cm to give him 116 points. The total number of flatfish caught in the competition were 3721, most were released with a few being kept for the table.
Thursday was a reserve day in case one of the previous days had to be cancelled. However, as this was not needed some of the English anglers took the opportunity to go sightseeing others to chill out or go fishing.
This well-run Championship finished off on the Thursday evening with a fine gala dinner and the presentation.
Richard Russell was the top Senior with Kim Bowden in second spot. Richard was also in the winning Executive Four Man team
The overall winner was Benny Johansson from Sweden, second was Cees Vader from Denmark and third was Linus Nilsson from Sweden.
EFSA England Positions
15 Mike Smith
17 Richard Russell
18 Kim Bowden
28 Matt Osborne
32 Barrie Senior
37 Cliff Newbold
40 Dick Prosser
47 Paul Hart
49 Andy Smith
52 Brian Moss
54 Vernon Allen
62 Pete Bailey
65 Ken Smith
67 Billy Cann
72 Neil Cottington