Holt SAC Summer Open 2017 & Penn Final (Report)
Saturday/Sunday 10th/11th June 2017 - Kelling
A busy couple of days at Kelling last weekend (10th/11th June) for Holt SAC assisting Sea Angler magazine with the organisation and running of the Penn Sea League Final on Saturday and running of the Club’s Summer Open the following day. Attracting the top Match Anglers from around the country for the Final with a few staying on to contest the Open on Sunday. Both days produced cracking matches showing the quality of anglers participating as well as demonstrating what a true match venue we have at Kelling as commented by many in the Final.
Weather for both days was as forecast with bright sunshine and broken cloud with a moderate south south westerly. Such conditions produced lake like conditions with barely a ripple in the water and absolutely no swell. Fishing the ebb meant plenty of water at the start and a matter of slowly following the tide as it receded. Still plenty of colour in the water although it was beginning to clear up further out. The big down side in both matches was the weed appearing as the tide picked up which was rather horrendous particularly in the Final. Unfortunately, this appeared when the fish were feeding and coming through although they could be caught amongst this rubbish.
Muckleburgh Collection Café hosted both match draws and many thanks to Hammed for the excellent breakfasts and those awesome sausages. Pegging for the Penn Final was from just east of the access gate and west to just past Kelling blockhouse whereas for the Open it started closer to the wreck and then again west past the blockhouse. Plenty of space and a very fair and even stretch as demonstrated by the results.
In the PENN MATCH, for some of the 38 Finalists it was a very steep learning curve and in some cases having to switch from their 4/0s to something like size 4s but they are top match anglers and were soon trying to suss out the venue. At the start of the match there was still plenty of water although the tide was well into the ebb and within a couple of casts Gareth Griffiths and Rory Jenkins each had a Hound on their cards of 2lb 1oz and 2lb 5oz respectively. However, this was the last there was of the Hounds as these were the only ones recorded over the whole weekend. The tide was relatively slack at the start with everyone comfortably recording the odd Dab or two but the comfortable bit was all to change as the ebb picked up.
This brought more tide along with the dreaded weed and it was those who could handle this situation were able to benefit with fish on their card. The real casters were struggling as they were picking up metres of the stuff which was taking an age to haul in and clear from the lines. Mind you, they were still picking up fish but at a slower rate than others who had adopted a more practical closer distance. In general, these were small Dabs so a high fish rate was important to accumulate a high score unless the big Flounders could be located. This was the case for a few who had taken local advice to go silly close for these points earning Flounders with specimens of up to 35cm on their cards and although weed was still there was far less to haul in and remove.
With the weed lasting until the end, although it did ease slight it was those that adapted to the conditions who did the business. In his own venerable manner it was Grimsby’s GEORGE SMITH who did just this, working hard on a venue he knows well to find 23 fish for 7lb 1oz (338 points) and top honours on the day. Runner-up was Isle of Man’s ANDREW DUGDALE who used his only other experience of the venue in the SAMF Forces Challenge to find 25 fish for 6lb 13oz and just 10 points behind George on 328 points. Third place went to Lancing’s DARREN BOND who used his knowledge of his National Sea League Finals experience at this venue to find 22 good fish for 6lb 9oz (315 points).
The match stretch was split into 2 Sections and the pegging such to try and make them as even as possible which was almost achieved although Section B did slightly outperform A mainly at the lower weights. The final result was based on the Continental System with the top 7 all within 37 points and almost equating to their actual weight performance. In Section A, ANDREW DUGDALE took top spot from Greasby’s BILL LINDFIELD with 26 fish for 6lb 8oz (312 points) and pipped to the top spot by a double shot at the end by Andrew. Third place in this section went to the one who really did take the local advice seriously and go very short in Cardiff’s CHRIS EQUALL with 6lb 6oz (305 points) from just 14 fish comprising a raft of those points earning Flounders.
In Section B, GEORGE SMITH took the honours followed by DARREN BOND. Third place went to Dover’s NATHAN ELLIOTT who makes regular visits to this venue these days finding 25 fish for 6lb 9oz (314 points). Heaviest Fish of the match went to Tonyrefail’s RORY JENKINS with his Hound of 2lb 5oz. Top 10 in each Section received Penn Points ranging from 10 points for the winner to 1 point for 10th place. Altogether 577 fish were recorded weighing a total of 156½lb.
In the SUMMER OPEN MATCH on Sunday, the turnout was good at 46 which included an excellent 18 Club Members, many thanks for their support. 15 of the Penn Finalists participated with a few probably been put off by the weed the previous day. There were also others from Essex, Lincolnshire and Suffolk and many thanks to them for supporting the event. As it happened the conditions were very similar to the previous day and the weed was not quite as bad but that is a very small “quite” as it was still there. With a little more water at the start it was expected that the Hounds as the previous day would make a brief appearance at this end of the match but that “brief” was very optimistic as none appeared.
The pattern of the match then took on that of the previous day’s match with Dabs at the start before the weed kicked in although the Dabs were there amongst the weed. Fortunately, the weed was not quite as bad but even so it was still there. There were also a few Flounders although not as many as previous day along with a few small Bass and Gurnard. Fish numbers were down to 388 ( 339 Dabs, 39 Flounders, 8 Bass and 2 Gurnards ) weighing just over 91½lb although 8 cards were not submitted.
The match stretch again was split into two Zones but this time the Overall match winners were determined by weight and not Zone position. The class act was again in top form as GEORGE SMITH did the double by taking this one from an almost identical peg with an almost identical weight of 6lb 15oz (332 points) just 6 points less with 24 fish just one more fish than last match. Runner-up and almost matching him fish for fish was ROB TUCK with 6lb 10oz (319 points) from 26 fish. Making his stay for the match worthwhile with the final podium slot was BILL LINDFIELD with 5lb 11oz from 19 fish. This was a Penn Plus match so the Top 10 by weight will receive Penn Points with the winner receiving 10 points down to I point for 10th.
In the Zones, Zone A was taken by BILL LINDFIELD followed by Waterlooville’s IAN DANCEY with 3lb 10oz (174 points) from 14 fish. Third zone place went to Suffolk’s JACK AKESTER (164 points) with 3lb 7oz from 17 fish and just fending off JULIAN SHAMBROOK by ONE point. Zone B was taken by GEORGE SMITH followed by ROB TUCK. Third Zone place went to Sunderland’s KEN McCOY with 5lb 10oz (271 points) from 23 fish. Heaviest Flat fish was a specimen Flounder of 37cm (1lb 4oz) taken by Ipswich’s JOHN SMITH and heaviest round a Gurnard (yes Gurnard!) of 32cm (11oz) taken by Lowestoft’s MARK GOOCH.
Two extremely competitive matches which we hope has put this stretch of our Shingle Ridge down as a true Match venue. A venue that is fair to all requiring some real Match skills to perform and do the business. Let’s hope this might encourage more to taste our Bass Festival in May. Thanks to everyone who participated in both matches helping to make them two excellent competitions.
The Next Club Match is the 7th Leg Summer Accumulator & the Final 3rd Round of the West Norfolk Challenge Open on SATURDAY 17TH JUNE at KINGS LYNN West Bank (North) fishing 9:00-2:00 HW 12:14 4.3m. Access is via North End of Clockcase Lane (PE34 4BZ) with draw from 7:30, early for most and even earlier for others. Please text 07780793141 if you are fishing this match and please bring a raffle prize if you are ... Tony T