Holt SAC Pairs Shield (Report)

Sunday 3rd December 2017 - Gorleston


Holt SAC’s Annual Pairs Shield match was run at GORLESTON on SUNDAY 3RD DECEMBER. Normally a match that is poorly attended but this year it bucked that trend. A good turnout mainly comprising of the local Gt. Yarmouth area contingent, a few Suffolkites , the inevitable ex-Gorleston Cambs. man, the perpetual distance Humberside traveller and a solitary North Norfolk shingle reveller all making up the numbers. An almost balmy December morning for the gathering at Marine Parade car park with a light westerly and some damp drizzle all of which persisted throughout the match.


Warning of hefty conditions in the wreck bays was heeded and the match was pegged on the sandy beach in front of Jay Jays café. This seems to be also a favourite haunt and gathering of the Sunday morning dog walking fraternity, more like dog city, not a place to be if you don’t like dogs. Mind you, give their owners their due they were certainly on the ball when the loose mutts dashed to sniff baited traces and sniff everything else before the preferable cock of the leg. At least they were a conscientious and respectful lot not like those summer intruding rude city dwellers on the shingle, well done Gorleston!


Pairs were soon randomly drawn and it was surprising the pairings that this threw up as will be seen latter. A short easy walk to the match stretch but even so some had to bus it to the nearest parking point and navigate to the nearest access point down the cliff but there that was their option. A flat, flat sea on an ebbing tide meant no real decisions on were to set up and everyone was soon into Gorleston mode at the whistle. Everyone was forewarned that there could be lots of small fish predominantly Whiting and Dabs with a few, very few of any decent size. This was soon confirmed as buckets were being filled with match cards being carried to the neighbouring steward.


For some at the start, doubles with the odd treble were being recorded with the majority coming from the lower order pegs with those at the other end struggling somewhat. Finding the fish was the initial challenge particularly in the first couple of hours where a medium cast would yield results whereas any distance would be barren. As the tide got deeper into the ebb the current picked up as did the weed which became a bit of a pain rather than a serious nuisance. A bit of distance at this stage did bring results with some slightly better quality fish but that was short lived as fish started to be found again at medium range.


Although fish were still being found on the lower order pegs the fortunes on the high pegs dramatically improved as their cards started to be filled up. Mainly with relatively small fish and the momentum of the match swung to being very even along the whole stretch. Finding some good doubles and trebles in the final hour was the key to success in this match and as it happened that last cast was very very important.


In the end it was that early start and continuous recording of fish of all sizes throughout along with a wealth of local knowledge secured BEVAN SELF (Peg 3) victory in this one to add to his recent successes on the sand on this stretch of coast with 9lb 6oz from 48 fish. Recovering from a slight dip in performance of late was runner-up MIKE WATTS (Peg 10) who relied on a late rally of fish to record 8lb 9oz from 38 fish. On the same strategy and performance was final podium man DAVE BURR (Peg 12) who was pipped by just an ounce with 8lb 8oz from 36 fish. Heaviest Flat fish was a 27cm (7oz) Dab to BEVAN SELF and heaviest Round a 31cm (7oz) Whiting to DAVE BURR. Altogether 442 fish (310 Whiting, 130 Dabs, 1 Bass and 1 Rockling) were recorded weighing 95lb 12oz.


In the match for the Pairs Shield the random draw had thrown together some strong pairings which in some cases were also regular fishing partners. Not surprisingly, top pair was BEVAN SELF and NEIL SMART (Peg 1) his regular fishing partner with 820 points (17lb 1 1/3oz) from 81 fish but it was victory by just 1 point 1/3oz. Bev’s last cast fish snatched victory away from runners-up DAVE BURR and MIKE WATTS with 819 points (17lb 1oz) from 74 fish. Final Pairs podium slot went to another regular fishing partner pairing in KEITH MORLEY (Peg 8) and PAUL TOVELL (Peg 14) with 693 points (14lb 7oz) from 67 fish.


An extremely interesting match where everyone caught a lot of fish albeit some at a faster rate than others. Fish were relatively small which helped to make the match competitive and locating and keeping in touch with this source was key to being well up on the leader board.


Next Club match which is also Round 3 of the North Norfolk National Sea League is at CLEY on SUNDAY 10TH DECEMBER fishing 10:00-3:00 HW 11:56 4.2m. Early forecasts may require a move from the relatively shallow Cley beach to Kelling and even to South Beach Gt. Yarmouth the same as Round 2. Captains will be informed of any change and will be responsible for informing the rest of there team of any venue changes. Individuals will be informed personally.


Finally, the Club match scheduled for Sunday 17th December at Kelling has been brought forward to SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER also at KELLING via Muckleburgh Collection. This will be the rescheduled Nite Shield match fishing 2:00-7:00 and with HW at 5:31 4.6m there will be 2 hours of daylight before taking on those big Whiting. The usual texts will be sent out for all these matches … Tony T


Top 10 Individuals (on the day) …


1..Bevan Self….9lb..6 1/3oz…(48 fish)

2…Mike Watts…….8lb..9oz……….....(38 fish)

3…Dave Burr………8lb..8oz…….......(36 fish)

4…Keith Morley…..8lb..6 1/3oz…...(36 fish)

5…Jeff Stannard….7lb..12 2/3oz...(34 fish)

6…Neil Smart …..…7lb..11oz……....(33 fish)

7…Tony Thomas….7lb..1oz………....(32 fish)

8...John Harvey ….6lb..9 1/3oz.....(27 fish)

9…Peter Loke……….6lb..6 1/3oz.....(28 fish)

10.Paul Tovell………6lb..2/3oz…......(21 fish)


Pairs (on the day) …


1...Bevan Self & Neil Smart ….820 Points…(81 Fish)

2...Mike Watts & Dave Burr.….…….819 Points...…(74 Fish)

3…Keith Morley & Paul Tovell……….693 Points…...(67 Fish)

4…Jeff Stannard & Joe Bettinson….633 Points…...(64 Fish)

5...Tony Thomas & Luke Pearson…584 Points…...(56 Fish)

6…Peter Loke & Barrry Stone……….531 Points…...(52 Fish)



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