THE SPECIES HUNT DAY 1
Saturday morning was glorious and looked just right for the start of the competition. Boats are allowed to start from which ever port they wanted too and on this occasion they started from four different ones, Ramsey in the North, Douglas in the East, Port St Mary in the South and Port Erin in the West. Each boat had their own tactics which by the end of the competition would either prove fruitful or fruitless. Most boats started at Douglas and having fished for fresh Mackie and Launce it was a rush out to the Six Mile mark and anchor up. This mark will produce quite a number of fish including Tope, Spurdog, Thornback Rays, Smooth Hound, Bull Huss, Whiting, Red, Grey and Tub Gurnards and Codling, not a bad start to the species hunt if all goes well. From here boats would head off to the Paddle Wheel Wreck to add Poor Cod and Pouting to their totals. From here some headed to Laxey Bay in search of a Thornback with good results. From here all boats headed South and called at My Tope mark and at Port Grenangh in search of Ling, Wrasse and Conger.
Kirsty 111 had been one of the boats to start the comp from Port St Mary and had tried unsuccessfully to capture a Conger Eel on the Sheddings mark, normally a great place for the slippery Eels, but on this occasion best had to be given and Skipper Michael Emery headed out firstly the Wart Bank mark for launce and then made his way out to the Haddock mark where haddock was quickly caught and moved on to a wreck close by for Pouting, Pollack and Coalfish before heading to the Ling Mark Seven miles out of Port St Mary.
The recently refurbished Merit 1 and Corrie “C” were battling it out at the top of the leader board at this time with both well into double figures half way through the first day, snapping on their heels were Falusi 11 and Trampie both of whom were having good a good days fishing with Trampie getting a great bonus fish in the shape of a Dragonette caught by Martin Lambden.
The two up and coming stars of Manx Boat Fishing young Stan-Lee Cooper and Jack Kissack both fishing with Stan-Lees’ Dad Mikey, were having a great day catching fish they had not caught before such as Thornbacks and Spurdogs and finishing on twelve species at the end of the first day.
The “POOL FISH “ for the first day was a Cod and although no records were broken the winner of the £100 1st prize went to Michael Emery of Kirsty 111 with a Cod weighing-in at 3lb.14ozs.
All fish that are caught have to be photographed with that days catch card in order to count and if not then that fish will not count and so at the end of the first day we thought that we had a tie only to find out that Merit 1 failed to produce a picture of their Ballan Wrasse, so it meant that we had a clear leader.
POSITIONS AFTER DAY 1
1STCORRIE “c” WITH 19 SPECIES
2ND= MERIT 1 WITH 18 SPECIES
2ND= FALUSI 11 WITH 18 SPECIES
4Th STRIKER WITH 15 SPECIES
The rest of the boats were in striking distance of the leaders and it was all set up for a cracking finale on day 3.
DAY ONE FISH POOL RESULTS
1ST Kirsty 111 with a Cod of 3lb.14ozs £100
2nd Corrie “C” with a Cod of 3lb.2ozs £40
3rd Striker with a Cod of 2lb.00.25ozs £20
4th Merit 1 with a Cod of 1lb.6.875ozs £10
THE POLLACK HUNT
With all boats except Falusi 11 spending the night in Port St Mary all competitors gathered to have Bacon and Egg baps freshly cooked by Myself before departing to catch bait for the days fishing.
The area that is mainly used for this is the Castletown Bay area with some boats going off to fish around the small Island known as the Calf of Man which can hold some very decent Pollack at times. Drifting is the more preferred way to fish Castletown Bay and is normally fished by running your main line to a 14” boom and then a 4ft to 6 ft hook length to a 4/0-6/0 Sakuma with a live launce lip hooked lowered to the bottom 4 to 6 turns back up and then “Bang “ fish on .Lures are fished in the same way and produced some cracking results with Pollack being taken on every drop using the 2012 Eddystone Eels lures. Eddystone Eels were also putting up £100 for the best specimen fish caught on their lures at this years’ Fishing Festival.
The fishing at Castletown however was quite slow with very little run to start with so Kirsty 111 decided to push off shore to a wreck and take a gamble on getting larger fish out there. It paid off to a degree with the fishing fast a furious, unfortunately the heaviest that Kirsty 111 could manage was a Pollack of 5lb.13.75ozs.
Merit 1 had gone to the Calf of man in search of big fish and had success but once the tide turned every boat was drifting the bay in Castletown. There was a couple of nice Cod taken on the Eddystone 2012 blacks with red tails both weighing in over the 5lb mark. The days competition finally drew to a close and it was all down to the weigh-in back at Douglas Yacht Club to see whoo had won the £200 1st prize sponsored by Colin Duke owner of All Round Fishing tackle shop. The top four in the Heaviest Pollack Competition are:
1st Merit 1 with a fish of 7lb.7.625ozs £250
2nd Falusi 11 with a fish of 7lb.3.75ozs £100
3rd Corrie”C” with a fish of 6lb.4ozs £30
4th Striker with a fish of 6lb.00.25ozs. £20
THE FINAL PUSH FOR VICTORY
With the final day dawning the weather had held and the Festival would be in for a nail biting final day, Merit 1 having to make up lost ground on Corrie “C” after having a fish thrown out due to not producing a picture at the end of day one. Kirsty 111 also had a lot to make up having spent too much time trying to catch Conger Eels on day one and only finishing on 12 species that day.
Other boats also had their Nemesis fish that were eluding them and in some cases it was fish that would normally be bread and butter fish like Bull Huss and Tub Gurnards. The final day saw boats leaving from two ports Douglas and Port St Mary. For the boats who started in the South it was for Flatfish such as Plaice and Dab, and other fish such as Haddock and Dragonettes. For those starting from Douglas it was the hunt for Tope, Spurdog and Thornback Rays plus others not already caught on the first day. Trampie headed straight for the Paddle Wheel mark for Poor Cod and Pouting, while Kirsty111 headed straight for Laxey Bay in search of Thornback Rays which was caught very quickly it has to be said with Jamie Hinchliffe making short work of getting it into the boat. Kirsty 111 quickly drew up the anchor and made for the Paddle Wheel and soon had their quarry of Pouting and Poor Cod, so it was straight out to the six mile mark and drop anchor and capture the next set of species to be had here in the form of Tope, Spurdogs and Bull Huss.
Three of the boats that were hunting down the South of the Island for Dabs and Plaice all had success and such was the closeness of the competition now that some made the decision to travel all the way back up to Laxey some 12 miles, to fish for a Thornback in the hope of getting that one fish ahead of the rest .David Christian, skipper of Corrie “c” even loaded up the boat onto the trailer at Port St Mary and shot back to Douglas and re-launched and went to Laxey in search of Thornys’, but this bold move did not pay dividends for them on this occasion.
Still searching for a Conger, Kirsty 111 left the six mile mark and headed for Port Grenaugh but could still not catch one although a welcome Bull Huss was taken here. From here it was out to Skip Emerys’ Gurnard mark to see if a Dragonette could be caught along with Gurnards. The Gurnards came thick and fast, but the Dragonettes were just not playing. Other boats such as Striker, Kingfisher 11 and Trampie were all in Port Grenaugh looking for that one extra fish that could make all the difference to their final scores.
The finishing time of 6pm came and so it was full steam back into Douglas for the weigh-in at 7pm.Mrs Hinchliffe awaiting all anglers with fresh sandwiches and sausage rolls along with scones and lots of beer for those who needed one.
The “Pool “ fish for this day was Whiting and although the main priority of the day for all boats was species hunting, several boats had made the effort to go for the pool win as well. There was also a further £100 1st prize for the heaviest flat fish over the festival and this also had to be decided on the scales.
With the weigh-in complete and everybody stuffing their faces with food and beer it gave me time to get all the scores right and correct for the prize presentation. Here are all the final placings for the 3rd MANX BOAT FISHING FESTIVAL 2014.
OVERALL TOP 8 STANDINGS OF THE SPECIES HUNT:
1ST MERIT 1 24 SPECIES £700
2ND CORRIE “C” 24 SPECIES £400
3RD FALUSI 11 22 SPECIES £200
4TH STRIKER 22 SPECIES £100
5TH KIRSTY 111 21 SPECIES
6TH TRAMPIE 20 SPECIES
7TH KINGFISHER 11 20 SPECIES
8TH ANDORRA 20 SPECIES
THE FINAL POSITIONS DETERMINED BY THE HEAVIEST POLLACK PLACINGS
DAY 3 POOL RESULTS
1ST FALUSI 11 A WHITING OF 8.125OZS £100
2ND KINGFISHER 11 A WHITING OF 7.875OZS £40
3RD CORRIE ”C” A WHITING OF 7.125OZS £20
4TH MERIT 1 A WHITING OF 6.75 OZS £10
HEAVIEST SPECIES CAUGHT ON AN EDDYSTONE EEL LURE OVER THE FESTIVAL
1ST CORRIE “C” WITH A COD OF 5LB.13.625 OZS £100
2ND KIRSTY 111 WITH A COD OF 5LB.5.625 OZS
HEAVIEST COD OVER THE 3 DAYS
CORRIE “C” 5LB.13.625 OZS £50
HEAVIEST FLATFISH OVER THE 3DAY FESTIVAL
1ST CORRIE “C” WITH A PLAICE OF 12.75OZS £100
2ND MERIT 1 WITH A PLAICE OF 11.25OZS £40
3RD KIRSTY 111 WITH A DAB OF 5.625OZS £20
Manx Boat Fishing would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors of this years’ Festival, for their sincere generosity, and I hope that with the success of this years’ festival, it will encourage you to support us in 2015. A very big thanks to all the competitors I know that you all had a good time and I look forwards to seeing you all again in 2015. The dates for next year are the 4th, 5th 6th July which is Saturday, Sunday & Monday as the Monday will be a Bank holiday.
Here are some piccys of the Festival, please send me yours or put them on yourself, the more i get the better for the magazine feature.
CHAMPIONS MERIT 1
LEE GRAHAM RECIEVING THE SPECIES CUP& £700
MICHAEL COWIN OF MERIT 1 RECIEVING THE HEAVIEST POLLACK TROPHY
DAVID CHRISTIAN RECIEVING THE DAVE CORKISH MEMORIAL TROPHY FOR THE HEAVIEST FLATFISH OVER THE FESTIVAL
FOR BEING THE "TIT" OF THE FESTIVAL FOR THROWING THE ANCHOR RING OVERBOARD DAVID CHRISTIAN RECIEVES THE "BIGGEST TIT" TROPHY
MICHAEL EMERY RECIEVING THE POOL MONEY FOR HIS WINNING COD OF DAY ONE
MY THORNY AT LAXEY
TRAMPIE BAIT FISHING AT DOUGLAS
BOATS COME IN ALL SHAPES AT THE FESTIVAL
THIS IS ANDORRA
MERIT 1 LOOKING GOOD
MY COD ON THE EDDYSTONE
TIME FOR A BREW MARTIN?
TRAMPIE ARRIVING AT PORT ST MARY
A WINNING COD FOR STEVE QUILLIAM
LEE WITH HIS WINNING POLLACK
THERE ARE LOTS MORE PICCYS OUT THERE SO LETS SEE SOME