Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers
Supported by SPORT WALES
EFSA Wales Shore Championships 2017
This year, the weather had relented for most of the important fishing competitions and it did so again for the first leg of the EFSA Wales Shore Championships fished on a Saturday in February at Dale Beach. But for the second leg, fished in March it was appalling with forceful South Westerly winds and constant rain meaning that instead of fishing the intended venue at Aberavon, which was virtually unfishable, it was blown off to the Mumbles in order to get some sort of relief from the inclement. Unfortunately, once again the entry was not high, for various reasons; it seems that no time of the year is ideal to get maximum attendance at these events, a shame really or, like most other outdoor pursuits is interest waning, especially among the younger brethren for whom indoor computer activities can sometimes seem the order of the day.
The first day, at Dale, saw most anglers catch, but not with good numbers of fish over the 20cm minimum size being measured and released, even when darkness descended. They were Whiting and Lesser Spotted Dogfish with one Coalfish of 36cm, caught by Tina Lustig (Stackpole), a fair bet for the longest round fish pool, but no flatfish. The leader after this first day was Haydn Cole (Lamphey) with 4 sizeable fish to put him on 152 points. Second was Andrew Skeels (Lamphey) with 3 fish for 128 points with Stan Kucyj (Milford Haven), who also had 3 sizeable fish for 117 points in third, there being one point per centimetre of length and five points per fish. Close in 4th place was Phil Lustig (Stackpole) with again 3 fish but for 110 points. So, it was really all to play for in the second leg as no great lead had been established.
The second leg at the Mumbles, again starting off in the daylight, was also slow and there was not much change once darkness fell, much to everyone’s surprise in that Whiting and maybe the dogs were expected to come on strong in the dark but it never happened with the result that the first three places did not change as they all caught 3 more fish. The only scrap that occurred was at the 2 northern end pegs where 4th placed John O’Connor (Martletwy) and Shane Tucker (Milford Haven) lying in joint 8th with 1 fish after the first leg seemed to find a couple more fish with John managing to land 4 fish and Shane 5, but it wasn’t enough with John ending up with the same number of fish as Stan but 4 points less with Shane, just another few points away in 5th. So, at the final whistle, Haydn had won the coveted Gold Pin, Andrew the Silver and Stan the Bronze Pin. As expected Tina picked up the longest round fish pool with her Coalfish of 36cm and Shane’s son Daniel (Milford Haven) had the Longest Flat, the only sizeable one a Flounder, as there was also a small Dab landed, but fair play to him he did set out his stall to do this and fished for Flounders all evening.
Pictured (Left to Right) are
Stan Kucyj, EFSA Wales Chairman and EFSA Shore Festival Officer Phil Lustig, Haydn Cole and Andrew Skeels.
10th RNLI Annual Fishing Open
The 10th RNLI Annual Fishing Open, organised by members from Pembroke & District Angling Club, Osprey Sea Angling Club and Saundersfoot Sea Angling Club, was held on Sunday 13th February 2017 on Amroth beach in South Pembrokeshire. This year, despite the date, the rugby and the weather, all of which one might have thought may have contributed to a decrease in both attendance and catches, compared to the Air Ambulance Open just four weeks earlier, which both were, but compared to last year, attendance was actually up, there were not as many sizeable fish caught. Despite the bitterly cold east wind, at least it stayed dry and there were a good number of Flounder caught above the old Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers (WFSA) minimum size limit of 25cm but under the recently revised size of 30cm to which this match was fished. There were also some Dabs caught and a lot of Five Beard Rockling of which we seem to have a mini invasion at present. Anyway, 13 out of the 84 anglers that fished, which included 6 Ladies & 7 Juniors (4 boys and 3 girls), managed to weigh in 14 sizeable fish with the winner being the only angler managing to weigh 2 fish the other 12 having just one.
Air Ambulance Open 2017
The 15th Wales Air Ambulance Open Beach Fishing Competition, organised by members from Pembroke & District Angling Club and Osprey Sea Angling Club was held on 15th January 2017 on Amroth beach in South Pembrokeshire. The weather on the day was similar to that which had been experienced locally in the run up to the comp, pretty good on the whole. It stayed dry, which was the main thing with just a slight north to north westerly breeze which meant the conditions weren’t far away from flat calm as can be seen in the picture. This shouldn’t have augured well for a good catch but it was as good as the previous year despite the weather prior to the event not preventing the local commercial fisherman raping the beach if they had so wished. The turnout and support was better than 2016 with 94 (cf91) anglers including 4 junior boys, 3 junior girls and 4 Ladies. We thank them all very much indeed for their support. Anyway, the fishing wasn’t too bad with 23 anglers, including 2 Ladies, 1 junior boy and 1 junior girl, weighing in 24 sizeable Flounders, with a few others undersize and lots of Rockling, which didn’t count, being caught.
The conditions on the day (Picture by John O’Connor)
However, the most important result on the day was that the event, by the time all the money is in, will have raised over £600 for the Wales Air Ambulance pushing the total raised over the 15 years this competition has been running, close to £20,000. To thank for this sterling effort we must first congratulate the anglers from the organising clubs, you know who you are, together with Mr Ian Wilkinson of the Temple Bar Inn who put his premises and valued support at this event’s disposal. Lastly, we must again thank all the kind and generous sponsors of the event, including those already mentioned who donated cash, made collections, ran a quiz and donated prizes for the mega raffle which ensured continuation of the event’s great success. These were, in no particular order, Andrew Skeels, Osprey Sea Angling Club, John O’Connor, Simon and Denis Nicholas, David Brayford, The Brook Inn St Ishmaels, Jewson’s of Pembroke, Marks and Spencer, Leigh Rogers, Haydn Cole, Tony Ormond, Alan Turnbull and Rhyal Engineering, . If anybody feels aggrieved that they have been missed off this list and we hope there isn’t, we are truly sorry, but thank you, most warmly, for your continued support.
Pictured are John Nicholas, Craig Maddock, Mel Botterfield, Andrew Skeels, Zak Williams, Eden and Alex Nicholas (Picture by John O’Connor)
One final thing is that the whole shebang repeats itself in four weeks on Sunday the 12th February with the 10th RNLI Annual Fishing Open, in aid of the local lifeboat stations at Angle & Tenby, for which we now pray for at least the equivalent or better weather and as good a turnout.
Annual Welsh Cod (Boat) Championships
Once again the weekend of December, 10th & 11th, saw the Annual Welsh Cod (Boat) Championships fished out of Birkenhead in the River Mersey, for the 13th year running. The number of competitors was down this year as we only had one boat, though it was big one having previously lived life as the Burtonport to Arranmore Island ferry before moving to the Mersey, as our second boat had to be withdrawn at the last minute as the skipper had medical problems precluding his availability. We do, however, wish him a speedy recovery as some of us have known him for more years than we care to remember. Since, as usual, there was no minimum size, this being a catch and release event, catches of Cod varied from 24cm in length for the smallest to 54cm for the largest caught over the two days. This was on the Sunday whilst 3 at 53cm were boated on the Saturday. The weather over the two days was fabulous, warm dry and calm, unusual for December but, if this is global warming, bring it on!
So, Saturday morning dawned and at 8:30AM the boat filled up with eager anglers ready for the off. After day 1, regular attendee from Essex and EFSA England member, Barrie Senior (Maldon) was in the lead with 6 Cod for 262 points holding sway from Welsh International Boat angler, John O’Connor (Narberth), with 5 Cod for 232; and Tina Lustig (Pembroke), also with 5 Cod but for 229 points. The three of them had a nip and tuck battle all day on a day that all anglers caught with a total of 30 Cod boated and measured.
The boat was “Girl Grey” with a total of 53 fish for 2568 points, outstripping the 2015 catch with 2 boats, well done and our thanks to skipper Steve for finding the fish. Thanks also go to Phil for organising it, John for taking the photo, John and Haydn Cole (Pembroke) for sorting the bait and the staff of the Bromborough Hotel, Birkenhead, for their hospitality and help with bait storage and of course the anglers for turning up and making it a very friendly and successful event. We look forward to more and even bigger fish next year and hopefully with more boats and a bigger entry.
Pictured (left to right) are Barrie Senior, Philip Lustig, Alan Porter & Joe Holland