Fun Fish Prince of Wales Pier Dover Jan 12th 2013
A bit of a change to kick of the EFSA England competitions year, we normally hold our 1st event of the year in and around Poole harbour however, due to the retirement of a number of the older style wooden boats in Poole harbour (there are very few charter boats left that can venture into the shallows to find descent numbers of Flounder.
This year Dover’s southern breakwater was our chosen venue, as most of you Anglers out there know, the weather does not always read the script! With a forecast of 5-7knotts the breakwater was deemed out of bounds, after a brief discussion it was agreed that the Prince of Wales pier would be the easiest to fish due to high water at 11.16.
After a 15 minute walk and a quick dash around to peg we were ready to draw for position (the furthest pegs were left for the locals as they often produce the most fish) rods assembled, rigs baited, shelters erected and we were ready to fish. Most anglers had opted for 3 up flapper or cascade rigs baited with lug tipped with mackerel, sprat or squid.
The whiting and dabs were quick to oblige with fish showing from most areas, the rods closest to the pier end were kept busiest, with Paull Curtice landing several treble shots of dab and whiting, Local legend Alan Yates was also kept busy, his fresh sprat/lug cocktail taking several fish. Neil Bryant also kept amongst the fish taking several double shots, Paull Curtice also captured a small school bass and a dogfish to keep the other contenders on their toes, Alan also caught a small bass.
Conditions deteriorated just after midday , with the wind increasing and the rain falling several competitors headed to the café at the end of the pier to warm up with a welcome hot beverage and sausage roll (not something one can do when on a boat).
Richard Russell made a late surge, landing a double shot of dabs followed by 2 double shots of whiting, Dave Lovelock was also in with a chance. With only 30 minutes remaining the baits grew larger and juicier, possibly trying for one of those longer dogfish, Alan cast his last bait 2.10 and retrieved it on the final whistle at 2.30, the first time in 3 months that he had waited that long without a fish (quite possibly a sign of things to come on Kent’s beaches for the next month or so).
Lines in, tackle packed away and a seemingly longer walk back to the car park, the score sheets were collected and collated. As the weather had remained wet, cold and windy the decision was made to hold the presentation at before the AGM on the Sunday.
Of the 19 who fished, 17 weighed in (well submitted a score sheet with their combined measurements on) a total of 154 fish made the 18cm size limit. The top 2 anglers were only separated by 1 fish, but it was boat angler and EFSA England chairman, Neil Bryant who took top spot from shore angler Paull Curtice, Alan Yates came in 3rd closely followed by Dave Lovelock and Richard Russell. Just goes to show, if you know how to fish you know how to fish.
1st Neil Bryant = 527cm
2nd Paull Curtice = 504cm
3rd Alan Yates = 407cm
4th Dave Lovelock = 373cm
5th Richard Russell = 349cm