Despite having to organise the Dover three day pier festival, I managed to find time to fish myself and was rewarded with fourth place overall plus prizes for the most fish, heaviest fish on the final day, and the best over 50s. Festival winner was Folkestone angler, Martyn Reid, who is on fire at present, especially at the draw bag. He won two days by a clear margin with a three day total of 20.890kg. The weather played a big part in the event and as any winter anglers will know, an in-your-face gale certainly sorts the men from the boys. It also sorts out the wet weather gear and I must say my neoprene chest waders and the latest Delta Marine smock from TF Gear kept me warm and dry on the final day of the event when winter arrived in earnest. In such conditions being able to sit on your tackle box without getting the wet bum is a real plus to your concentration and being warm and dry allows you to concentrate on the fishing. It was touch and go whether we stayed on the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover Harbour with the wind gusting SE force 9, but the event made the time which took the pressure off myself as organiser and the only hiccup at the prize presentation was a clash of venue with the local pensioners club!
The very next day I had a repeat of the weather making a DVD with Matt Hayes for TF Gear’s new sea tackle range. Instead of the planned session after Dungeness cod which was in the midst of a force 9 storm, we had to divert to the relative gale at Deal. The weedy sea made conditions difficult and I only managed whiting and a single dab – it was even too rough for the dogfish, and that’s a first in Kent. However, we did manage to get lots of tackle advice and tips on the DVD. The next day the swell from the storm cancelled the boat trip and that has to be rescheduled before the DVD goes public.
Fishing News and Competition Reports
Coming soon is the final of the Clubman league organised by Sea Angler magazine – this involves a five man team from Mersey-based Sefton Sea Angling Club versus a team from Sea Angler, including me. The fishing is from Otterspool promenade in the Mersey. More on the venue, etc., next week.
I missed my trip to fish the West African Beach Championships in Gambia this year – the event had gone stale and lots of competitors stopped going because – to be blunt – the organisers lost interest with tight pegging and poor selection of venues leading to fewer fish. So next year, a group of us are organising our own event in February 10. If you are interested send me an email (email@example.com) and I will keep you in the loop as to when and where. Currently my angling representative is visiting the Sheriton Hotel near Banjul to sound out the accommodation, etc.
Look out for the Force 8 beach umbrella from TF Gear – at last, a brolly that will hack sea fishing. It was my idea to introduce a 45inch brolly with skirt built to exacting sea angling standards. The model has reinforced fibre glass stays, both flexible and corrosion proof and the canopy is in hard wearing waterproof material that is welded to the ends of the stays rather than help by a plastic cap. The main support pole has the options of an upright fixing in the rear of the brolly for calm days or in the straight position when it’s windy. Some might say why only 45inch? Well, it’s my experience that larger brollies are much more difficult to anchor in sea angling conditions, and that 45 inch is the maximum size for stability, especially if you don’t want to play kites! The model is light weight enough to use on the beach when you are moving back and forth with the tide.
AROUND THE SCENE
In many regions, the summer casting events have come to an end as more casters return to the beach in search of cod. The last Kent Sportcast event held at Norton in Kent saw Steve Swan with the top cast of the day of 220.9meters with 150grams, which in the calm conditions was exceptional. With the casting ended for another year, the club reflected on another successful season. The highlight was Steve Morris hitting the first 250metres on his favourite 100gr lead in March, then later in June, Didier Laroy and his group of casters travelled from Belgium to take part on the day when Steve Boyt reached 256m on the 150gr, creating a new Norton distance record. On the 28th August with ideal wind conditions, Jason Carter obliterated all previous records with a cast of 266.44m using the 150gr lead.