Holt SAC Juniors Open – Saturday 14th December 2013 – Kelling

Holt SAC Juniors Open – Saturday 14th December 2013 – Kelling

To promote the sport of Sea Angling amongst the younger element of our local community the club had decided to run an Open match specifically for Juniors.  The intention of this match was to show the youngsters what Sea Angling was all about as well as giving them a feel for the competitive side of the sport particularly when they are fishing solely against their peers instead of more senior experienced anglers as normally is the case.  The venue for this match was Kelling accessed as normal via the Muckleburgh Collection.

A clear bright morning with a stiff cool southerly greeted the small contingent that gathered at the car park on the small cliff above the club’s match stretch at Kelling.  After the ravages of the storm, Kelling beach had been left relatively intacted unlike the beaches at Cley and Salthouse which have been utterly mutilated.  Fishing over the bottom and the flood on a small tide gave a nice flat shingle beach to set upon and fish from throughout the match. The sea was flat with plenty of colour, ideal for the youngsters to bag up on the traditional flatties at close range.  After the results of the previous weekend it was decided to peg at the west end of the small cliff, a renowned ‘hot spot’ and known within the club as the ‘Hunn spot’.

With such excellent conditions it was a shame that we had such a poor turnout but it was just unfortunate that there were other events on to attract the youngsters that weekend.  In any case, it was decided to carry on despite the low numbers to at least give them some competitive experience.  The small group was soon on the beach setting up and traces and bait were deployed.  It soon became apparent that we had chosen the right stretch as rods began to rattle frantically.  Unfortunately, it was at this point that we realised that we may have to steer the young group to think ‘fishing’ rather than some other attractive activity.  In this case the storm tide had done a bit of scouring on the small cliff so the young group had gone into fossil hunting mode even though their rods were banging away.

Thankfully, the fossil game was short lived and they were soon back reeling in their rod rattling quarry.  This resulted in small dabs been recorded on their matches so at least there was fish around and thankfully they weren’t going to blank.  After the customary photo shoot, baited traces were soon on their way seaward again with a little help from the accompanying seniors.  Unfortunately, the sight of fish did not galvanise them into fishing action as the group had soon disappeared off doing whatever youngsters do at that age.  However, the group were soon back as the rod rattling continued unabated with James “the quiet one” Lawes bringing in a monster 26 cm rockling to add good points to his card. With his younger brother Nathaniel “bazooka” Lawes getting just a small dab meant that Nat was slipping on the points score and his attention once again turned elsewhere.

With the appearance of a free green rod stand appearing on the beach, it soon became improvised as a bazooka as he started zapping everything he could see including the radar station immediately behind the pegs.  Although the fishing interest was improving, something was needed to get the small group back into real fishing mode and the introduction of a voucher for the winner certainly helped to do this.  However, nature then lent a hand as “bazooka” landed a monster 29cm dab putting big points (28) on his card and leap frogging everyone else into the lead.  The tide had suddenly changed in more ways than one with fishing becoming the top priority and that competitive spirit beginning to show in the youngsters.

The tide was flooding fast now making everyone decamp up the beach as well as livening up the fishing.  All were catching a small dab a cast to keep “bazooka” slightly ahead of “the quiet one” and in line for that voucher.  It was interesting to see how the mood of the young contestants had changed with all now seriously looking what the others were landing. Particularly, “bazooka”, he was determined to get that voucher especially as he had a double shot of dabs in the final hour.  By now the tide was flooding hard and the light beginning to fade so at the customary 3:00 the ‘whistle’ was blown.

In the end the honours went to Nat “bazooka” Lawes with 79 points (1lb 10 1/3oz) from 7 fish and it was that 29cm dab that did the business for him.  Runner up was James “the quiet one” Lawes with 56 points (1lb 2 2/3oz) from 5 fish and that 26cm rockling was not quite enough to help him overhaul his younger brother.

In the end it turned out to be an excellent day with plenty of fish which were well in the range of the youngsters.  Although the match got off to a slow start from the interest point of view, it demonstrated that once that competitive instinct had kicked in the fishing focus was there.  The club will certainly be running more junior Opens with probably the next in late Spring.  A pity about the clashing with other events and next time we will make sure this will not happen.  Many thanks to Matt Lawes for getting this idea and match off the ground.


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