Holt SAC 2018 North Norfolk Bass Festival (Report)

Saturday/Sunday 19th/20th May 2018 - Cley and Kelling




Holt SAC is pleased to report another successful 6th Annual North Norfolk Bass Festival over the weekend of 19th/20th May 2018. The festival was again sponsored by Kelling Heath Holiday Park and supported by Sea Angler magazine. The event this year again included the UK Ladies Championships sponsored and supported by Tronixpro, the North Norfolk Juniors Tournament sponsored by Country Cars of Cromer and Breakaway and the teams of four competition in the Shannock Quads supported by Sheringham Carnival. Holt SAC would like to thank these organisations for their continued sponsorship and support of this event


In total, 112 match anglers entered the event including a number of Internationals and top match anglers from around the country and again a lot of new faces. Head Quarters for the event was the Kelling Heath Holiday Park complex which was just a short distance away from the match venues of Cley and Kelling. There were 60 pegs at each venue and each angler would fish one venue one day and the other the next day. There were 8 Zones with pegging at Cley Zones A & B west of the car park from the fishing boats towards Blakeney Point and Zones C & D east of the car park from the other side of the wreck towards East Bank.  Parking at this venue was in an area set aside by the Norfolk Wild Life Trust for the event and the Club would like to thank the Trust for their support. Pegging at Kelling was from a short distance west of Weybourne wreck up to and 17 pegs beyond the pillar box at Kelling and on to Kelling Hard with Zones E, F, G & H being at this venue. Access to the venue was via The Muckleburgh Collection with parking at the Club’s licensed area at this venue.


In the week leading up to the event there were strong northerlies and large swells giving the sea a good colour and the prospect of plenty of fish if the wind abated. Conditions were reminiscent of the previous Festival and there was high prospect of the Smooth Hounds once again making an appearance particularly as they were there 3 weeks earlier at the SAMF UK Masters at the same venues. The late forecast for the weekend was bright sunshine with wind dropping to a gentle North Easterly for both days and for a 4-5 ft swell to peter off to next to nothing. Match times on both days was 5 hours from 10:00 a.m. with High Water at the start on Saturday and over High Water on Sunday and a good 4.6m tide on each day.


DAY 1 weather was just about as predicted with clear blue sky, light north easterly and a good swell to stir things up. From the start it was apparent that we were in for a repeat of the previous year’s action as Hounds and Dogs were being brought up the beach within minutes. For one competitor there was even a small Ray (40cm) and Hound double shot on first cast which demonstrated there was quality fish around. Although reminiscent of the previous year’s event the total number of Hounds recorded over the two venues on Day 1 was 267 which was slightly less the 317 recorded on the same day last year. Again Hounds of all sizes ranging from small pups to slightly more serious fish of 12lb were being recorded predominantly during the first 1 ½ hours just after High Water although a few appeared throughout. Surprisingly, at least 2/3 came from Cley with a large number from the Wreck area (Zones C & D) a stretch which is not usually productive.


During the same period the Dogs were also active with 127 recorded with the majority coming from the Kelling stretch. A species that is becoming more prolific on this stretch of coast but as the tide ebbed and slackened their numbers along with the Hounds dwindled and the ever reliable Dabs took over. In total 1065 were recorded on the day along with a few Flounders up to just over a 1lb but surprisingly there was just 36 of this species booked which is far less than expected. With the ebb in full swing and tide picking up again this brought on the species that was the objective of the event, the Bass. In total 73 were recorded ranging from small schoolies to some serious fish with a cracking 7lb specimen being taken near the wreck at Cley.


Altogether 1688 fish (1065 Dabs, 267 Hounds, 127 Dogs, 73 Bass, 48 Whiting, 36 Flounders, 17 Pouts, 6 Rockling, 2 Eels, 2 Gurnard, 1 Codling, 1 Coalie, and 1 Scorpion Fish) were recorded weighing 1394lb which is almost 2/3rd ton almost identical to last year’s Day 1 but with slightly less fish.


At Cley Zone A was taken in a very close battle by DAVE SHORTHOUSE (Peg 2) with 17lb 13oz from 20 fish and Zone B by COLIN PROVINS (Peg 19) with 18lb 3oz from just 11 fish with these two Zones together producing an amazing 75 Hounds. Zone C was won by HENRY RANDELL (Peg 39) with 26lb 0oz from 14 fish and Zone D by MARK HURCOMBE (Peg 59) with 25lb 8oz from just 9 fish and there were 94 Hounds caught in these two Zones.


At Kelling Zone E was won by ROB TUCK (Peg 69) with an astonishing 58lb 2oz from 38 fish which included two 12lb Hounds and heaviest fish of the Festival. Winner of Zone F was DARREN BOND (Peg 89) with another astounding 49lb 11oz from 30 fish who also had a 11lb 5oz Hound with the two Zones producing 63 Hounds. The winner of Zone G was CRAIG BUY (Peg 94) with 27lb 0oz from 25 fish and Zone H was taken by COLIN CROSBY (Peg 117) with 34lb 13oz from 24 fish. These two Zones produced just 34 Hounds.


Winners on the day were …


ALL FISH …………………….. 59lb 2oz ……..Rob Tuck (Peg E69)

BASS ONLY ………………….. 7lb 0oz ………Peter Brock (Peg C32)

FLATTIE ONLY…..………….. 9lb 12oz …….Andy Gallacher (Peg H115)

HEAVIEST BASS …………… 7lb 0oz ………Peter Brock (Peg C32)

HEAVIEST FLAT FISH … 1lb 3oz ………...Graham Woods (Peg H111)

TOP LADY ……………………. 6lb 0oz ……….Adele Smith (Peg G99)

TOP JUNIOR ……………….. 5lb 5oz ………..Daine Bradshaw (Peg B30)

TOP TEAM ………………….. 110lb 4oz …… Team Breakaway


DAY 2 at the start was in total contrast to Day 1 with the sea mist rolling in overnight which soon burnt off to produce bright blue sky. The wind had dropped off further but as the match progressed it upped a notch or two to a fresh North Easterly. Unfortunately, the swell had almost disappeared except for the odd wave rolling in at High Water and the increasing wind just flattened it off more. Only a little May weed around High Water so we had got away with it very lightly this year.


With an extra hour of the top of the tide expectations were high to see a few more Hounds but history was yet again going to repeat itself. Not as bad as last year when they virtually disappeared, numbers dropped to 96 (26 last year) across both venue probably due to the lack of swell to stir things up. The reduction in numbers was most dramatic at Cley where just 17 were recorded as opposed to 169 on Day 1 with Kelling performing the best with 79 although still well down on the 97 of the previous day. Like Day 1 they were there in numbers over High Water but seemed to move off earlier and the match did not benefit from that extra hour. There was a similar pattern with the Dogs with a smaller number of 58 recorded.


Fortunately, the good reliable Dabs were there to compensate for the lack of Hounds particularly at Cley and they came to the recording rescue during slack water. In total 909 Dabs were recorded which was slightly down on the previous day as was the number of Flounders at 31. The quality of the Flounders was also down with none reaching a pound. The Bass primarily came on towards the end when the tide started to run but again numbers reduced to 49 with just a few quality specimens. Surprisingly the Whiting (rather scrawny) came to assist particularly at Kelling with 79 being recorded.


Altogether 1240 fish (909 Dabs, 96 Hounds, 58 Dogs, 49 Bass, 79 Whiting, 31 Flounders, 15 Pouts, 2 Rockling and 1 Eel) were recorded weighing 670lb which was higher than recorded on Day 2 last year but less than Day 1.


At Cley Zone A was taken by GARY MEDLER (Peg 5) with 7lb 12oz from 13 fish and Zone B by DARREN BOND (Peg 26) with 7lb 3oz from 10 fish. Zone C was won by NICK HAWARD (Peg 32) with 7lb 4oz from 10 fish and Zone D by CAMERON TURNER (Peg 56) with 4lb 13oz from 8 fish which included a rare Bass of 2lb 5oz and 2nd heaviest Bass of the Day.


At Kelling Zone E was won by CHRIS SPALL (Peg 65) with 20lb 2oz from 20 fish and the winner of Zone F was CHRIS CANNELL (Peg 87) with 13lb 8oz from 12 fish. The winner of Zone G was MARK PINDER (Peg 102) with 20lb 6oz from 20 fish. Zone H was taken by MARK GOOCH (Peg 115) with 27lb 9oz from 22 fish.


Winners on the day were …


ALL FISH …………..………….. 27lb 9oz ……..Mark Gooch (Peg H115)

BASS ONLY ……………………. 4lb 15oz …….Martin Grossman (Peg H112)

FLATTIE ONLY ……….………. 5lb 15oz …….Henry Randell (Peg G93)

HEAVIEST BASS ……………… 4lb 13oz …….Gary Medler (Peg A5)

HEAVIEST FLAT FISH ……….0lb 15oz …….John Smith (Peg A8)

TOP LADY ……………………….. 3lb 13oz …….Becky Woods (Peg B25)

TOP JUNIOR ……………………. 4lb 7oz ………Daine Bradshaw (Peg F90)

TOP TEAM …………………….. 69lb 7oz ………The Marksmen


Fish numbers and weights for the two days were …


TOTAL FISH…………….………2928 (Day 1 - 1688, Day 2 - 1240)

TOTAL FISH WEIGHT……2064lb (Day 1 - 1394lb, Day 2 - 670lb)


TOTAL BASS……………….……….122 (Day 1 - 73, Day 2 - 49)

TOTAL BASS WEIGHT……….126lb (Day 1 - 75lb, Day 2 - 51lb)


The Event was advertised and treated as two separate matches with prize money and Kelling Heath Trophies being paid out and presented to the winners in these matches. The results were also pulled together to determine Overall winners of various trophies, material prizes donated by the sponsoring and supporting organisations as well as further monetary prizes.



Kelling Heath donated finely engraved glass trophies for the Day winners. For Day 1 COLIN CROSBY received Third Place trophy, DARREN BOND the Runner-up and ROB TUCK the Winner’s trophy. For Day 2 MARK WARD took the Third Place trophy, MARK WILSON the Runner-up and MARK GOOCH the Winner’s trophy. There was also a similar trophy for the Heaviest Catch of the Festival which went to ROB TUCK for his superb Day 1 performance of 58lb 2oz which is the biggest day catch ever in the Festival.


Highlight of the Festival is the biggest Bass prize a Short Break Holiday at Kelling Heath Holiday Park along with a glass trophy which this year went to PETER BROCK for his superb Day 1 Bass of 7lb 0oz at Cley.



This year we managed to retain a few Juniors and it is good to see a some new faces. The Juniors comprising of Breyden Aldous, Mark Banham, Daine Bradshaw, Rory Mickelson and Jack Topping is a group we can build on for next year’s Festival and hopefully more Juniors. Each received a Goodies bag from Breakaway and the Day Winners a Sea Angler Rod which was really appreciated. Third place went to MARK BANHAM with 7 penalty points although Jack Topping also had the same points but less Fish Points with Mark receiving a £20 Breakaway voucher from Country Cars. Runner-up was BRAYDEN ALDOUS with 6 penalty points receiving a £30 Breakaway Voucher from Country Cars. Overall Junior Champion was DAINE BRADSHAW with 2 penalty points winning a £50 Breakaway voucher from Country Cars and the Country Cars Perpetual Shield



This year saw a small number of Ladies contest their event but even so it was as competitive as ever with three of the Ladies fishing the other Festival events. Third place went to WENDY METCALFE with 5 penalty points and received a TronixPro Cool Bag. Runner-up was BECKY WOODS with 4 penalty points also receiving a TronixPro Cool Bag. Overall Ladies Champion was ADELE SMITH with 3 penalty points winning a TronixPro Reel & Cool Bag and the Tronixpro Perpetual Shield. All other Ladies received a TronixPro Rig Wallet and Day Winners a TronixPro Rod.



A favourite competition, the Mystery Pairs where pairs are determined by randomly pairing the top half on Day 1 performance by Zone points with the bottom half. Their accumulative Zone points would determine the winners with their total Fish Points determining any ties. There were 5 monetary prizes in this competition with GARY MEDLER & ROBBIE TAYLOR taking Fifth with 20 Zone points and £40 with JOHN LAWRENCE & CRAIG BRADSHAW also with 20 Zone points but with a superior Fish Points total taking Fourth and £60. Third place went to STEPHEN ADAMS & DAVID READ also with 20 Zone points but superior Fish Points winning £80 with Runner-up slot going to GRAHAM WOODS & RICHARD BURT with 19 Zone points winning £100. Overall Mystery Pairs Winners were DAVE SHORTHOUSE & TOM WELLS with 18 Zone points winning £200. An excellent close competition demonstrating that those who had a poor Day 1 can score on Day 2.



This Teams of Four event saw 15 teams participating which again is disappointing as this only accounted for 60 of those competing and this small number is therefore reflected in the prize money. Winners were determined by the accumulative weight of the team members over the two days and fourth place went to ITALACANNA winning £50. Third place went to THE SOUTH COAST BIG BOYS winning £60 and Runners-up THE MARKSMEN taking £70. Winning Team was TEAM BREAKAWAY for the 3rd year in a row comprising of STEPHEN ADAMS (Captain) RICHARD BURT, CRAIG BUY and ROB TUCK winning £120 and the Sheringham Carnival Perpetual Shield.



The Overall Winners were determined by their Zone points total over the two days with their total Fish Points used to break any ties. In Fifth Place was GARY MEDLER with 5 Zone points and 1146 Fish Points winning £80. Fourth Place went to STEPHEN ADAMS also with 5 Zone points but with superior Fish Points of 1325 winning £100. Third Place went to IAN NELSON also with 5 Zone points but with superior Fish Points of 1562 winning £200. Runner-up was ROB TUCK with 3 Zone points and 3260 Fish Points winning £300. Overall Festival Champion secured a perfect score on both days with two Zone wins and 2 Zone points with 2732 Fish Points. This was DARREN BOND who took the Kelling Heath Perpetual Shield and £400 and made his trip from the South Coast worthwhile, well done Darren!


The above trophies and prizes monies were presented at the Presentation Evening after the event which was a little delayed, many apologies. Many thanks to everyone who support what was yet again a cracking event this year.


Holt SAC will continue to run the event under Kelling Heath sponsorship in 2019 and the date for this is provisionally set for the weekend 18h/19th May 2019 which is the same weekend as this year. The event format seems to be working well so we will keep this the same including the new Flattie competition but we may start both Days at 9:00 instead of 10:00. The eight Zones and match venues seem to have worked well so these will remain as they can accommodate a few more pegs although we may have to start considering Salthouse as a venue if numbers increase significantly.


That’s the Festival for another year and hopefully see everyone again in May 2019.


Follow this link for a full set of results


Tony T

Holt SAC Chairman


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