WELL HOW DID THE FESTIVAL GO?
2015 saw the 4th 3 Day Manx Fishing Festival due to take place in early July postponed due to the weather. However organiser Jamie Hinchliffe had set aside backup dates of the 9th of August for the Allround Fishings sponsored heaviest Pollack, and the Manx Fork Trucks sponsored Flatfish competition along with the heaviest fish caught on an Eddystone Eel, and the 29th and 30th of August for the new Elas Business Support sponsored 2 day species hunt. The big question was would the weather be kind to us for the alternative dates.
It was with great reservation that the 1st part of the festival went ahead on August 9th, with a couple of the smaller boats taking part hesitant at taking part. However the weather abated enough that the competition went ahead.
This part of the Festival was 8 hrs duration and boats that were taking part could leave from any preferred port around the Island and after the booking in at the Battery Pier in Douglas at 9am.Boats were allowed to leave port at 09:45 ready to start fishing at 10:00.
Most boats headed towards the South of the Island where the preferred Pollack and Flatfish marks are. The conditions were to say the least a bit choppy but the further South you went the calmer the sea,” Merit 1” leading the way in doing this. However not all boats headed South with “Striker” leaving it home port in the North of the Island at Ramsey they decided to fish the large sandbanks up there in their quest to land the Heaviest Flat Fish. “Trampie “under the Captaincy of John Maddrell tried catching a Flattie at the back of “Douglas Head” but without success and so moved South along with the other boats. This left “Bones II” my boat fishing in Douglas and with perseverance a Plaice was caught 100 yards off the Victoria Pier. The end of the breakwater at Douglas proved to be another good move by the crew of “Bones II” as the quality of Pollack caught here was 1st classwith the heaviest just under the 8lb mark.
“Kingfisher II” departed out of Port St Mary at the South of the Island and with great success catching plenty of good sized Pollack and lots of small Flatties but none of these would trouble the scales. “Merit I” fished hard and even managed some Pollack on the Eddystone Eel Lures but without success as the best fish of the day falling to an Eddystone Eel went to David Walls fishing on “Bones II”.
After a hard day at sea the clock ticked round to 18:00 and it was game over, back to port and the weigh-in at 19:00 on the Battery Pier. Fishing had been hard and no records had been broken but everybody had a good day with plenty of good banter.
RESULTS OF THE DAYS COMPETITION
ALLROUND FISHINGS’ SPONSORED HEAVIEST POLLACK COMPETITION
1ST KINGFISHER II 9LB.9.5OZS £250 & TROPHY
2ND MERIT I 8LB.1.75OZS £100
3RD BONES II 7LB.12.125OZS £75
4TH TRAMPIE 4LB.2.125OZS £50
MANX FORK TRUCKS SPONSORED HEAVIEST FLATFISH COMPETITION
FOR THE “DAVE CORKISH MEMORIAL CUP”
1ST STRIKER 2LB.2OZS FLOUNDER £25O & TROPHY
2ND MERIT I 15.25OZS PLAICE £100
3RD BONES II 12.625 OZS PLAICE £75
4TH TRAMPIE 11.625 OZS PLAICE £50
HEAVIEST FISH CAUGHT ON AN EDDYSTONE EEL
DAVID WALLS (BONES II) POLLACK 4LB.12.625OZS £100
This concluded this part of the event and all that could be hoped for now was the weather to be kind to us over the 29th &30th August which was a bank holiday weekend.
DAY 1 OF THE “ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT “ 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT 2015
With the 2nd part of this years’ Festival closing in, the weather was still very unsettled and there was a decision to be made, would I have to put bounderies on the 1st days fishing. For the 1st day it was quite obvious that fishing some of our normal “hot Spots” would be too dangerous, so with that in mind a line was drawn from the point at Maughold lighthouse down to the point at Derbyhaven and no more than 1 mile out from land. This would make if fair for all the boats with nobody being able to gain any advantage. Boats set off from their preferred ports at 09:45 and with fishing commencing at 10:00 the battle for species champions 2015 would begin in ernest.
Several boats headed straight for the Port Grennaugh area which can throw up all kinds of species from Black Bream and Ballan Wrasse to good double figure Bull Huss and Conger Eels along with the odd Tope. Just out from here by about ½ a mile Spur Dogs and Gurnards are plentiful.
“Bones II” however got off to a flyer by catching a Plaice just off the Victoria Pier again before going out into Douglas Bay where Cod and and a couple of Gurnards were caught. From here they stopped off at the back of Douglas Head to top up on Mackerel and Lauce and then headed for Port Grennaugh in search of Conger Eels.
Every boat in the competition was fishing in this area now which did give good shelter from the wind, boats fished hard all day with different degrees of success, the best was obtained by the crew of “E V Grace” who lost a rod over the side only to drop down another bait which tangled with the 1st rod and once that was recovered it was found that a Tope was on the other end of the line, now that’s luck.
“striker” was the only boat to start at the north of the Island and with good results as they went to “Cranstal” at the north end of the Island and caught a nice Bass, they then headed south to join the rest of the action stopping only at appoint south of Maughhold to catch a Pollack.
This year has seen a slight change to the rules in the event of a tie, in previous years it has been decided by whoever caught the heaviest Pollack in the Pollack comp, however it now falls down to the combined weight of the “POOL FISH “, this year the pool fish were Ling and Cod, and you could weigh either in on both days. This was felt a better way of doing it and meant that everybody had a chance of winning.
With the day coming to a close the weather was constantly getting better and would make for a thrilling second day. 6 pm came and all boats headed back to the port of Douglas for the days weigh-in and find out who was leading at the ½ way point.
The heaviest Cod on the 1st day went to “Trampie” with a fish of 4lb.13.125ozs and the heaviest Ling went to Sherolyn III with a fish of 5lb.14.25ozs.
POSITIONS AFTER DAY 1
1ST MERIT I 15 SPECIES
2ND BONES II 13 SPECIES
3RD SHEROLYN III 12 SPECIES
4TH = 10 SPECIES
6TH= 9 SPECIES
8TH E.V.GRACE 4 SPECIES
With the favourites to make it a hat trick of wins Merit I were in the lead by 2 species but would they be able to hold on to their lead, with other boats close on their heels it was going to be a great battle on day 2 with the weather improving so much that the boundries would be lifted and all fishing marks would be in play. Time for tea and a good nights’ sleep.
DAY 2 OF THE “ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT” 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT 2015
Sunday morning came and the weather was perfect for the climax to this years’ Fishing Festival.
All boats had gathered in Douglas and were all refuelled and raring to at 09.45 for one last effort to become Manx Species Champions for 2015 and a winning cheque of £1,000 and our nice new trophy.
Boats headed out of Douglas Harbour with the clearance of the Port Authorities and were soon on their way to their 1st fishing spots of the day. Bones II along with Wicked Hen headed straight out to the “Paddle Wheel”, ( just off an old paddle boat from years ago but can hold a great veriety of fish ), here we were after Poor Cod and Pouting and anything else would be a bonus, although this is a great place to top up on fresh Mackerel too. It was noted here that “Wicked Hen” did manage to capture a Scad here aswel.
With these fish caught it was full steam ahead and with “Bones II” purring along at 30 knotts it did not take long to get out to the 6 mile mark with “Wicked Hen” in slow persuit where the anchor was deployed and fishing for some larger species could begin.
First order of the day was to get a couple of big baits down for Tope, Bull Huss and Spurdogs, also a couple of scratchy rigs for the likes of Whiting and the possibility of a Haddock. There is always a chance of a Thornback Ray out here, but not on this occasion. From this mark it was a 9 mile jaunt down to the Liverpool wreck for a Coalfish and then continuing, South to another Haddock mark which we caught within minutes of our arrival and from there it was a 5 mile hike to the Wart Banks just off the South of the Island in search of a Dab. “Merit I” were not having the best of days fishing and were finding it hard going for once.” Wicked Hen had made steady progress all day and with that bonus fish of a “Scad” (Horse Mackerel) on the card it put them right in the mix at the top of the leader board. Another boat not having a great time of it was “Sherolyn III “who were struggling to make headway in their species tally.
Under new ownership “E.V.Grace were enjoying their 1st comp with us and although not up near the top they said that they really enjoyed the whole thing. “Striker” and “Kingfisher II” made steady progress during the day and just missed out on the top spots. The real threat of the day came from “Trampie” who now had a crew on board that were fishing really hard and pulled out a Streaked Gurnard caught by local stalwart Martin Lambden, a regular on “Trampie” to help pitch them up towards the leaders .Another 1st also for “Trampie” was the capture of its 1st Conger Eel caught on The”Sheddings” mark.
The final days fishing came to its conclusion at 18:00 and it was then back to Douglas to do the weigh-in and count up the species tallies to find out who would become the 2015 Manx Boat Fishing Champions. Most people had concentrated on species totals and not the pools fish so there was no real change in the pool fish results.
No records were in danger of being broken this year, but after all the bad weather that we have had here it was a great relief that the competition was able to be completed.
POOL FISH FINAL STANDINGS
1ST SHEROLYN III LING 5LB.14.25OZS £100
2ND TRAMPIE LING 5LB.6OZS £75
3RD WICKED HEN LING 5LB.4.125OZS £50
4TH BONES II LING 2LB.13.50OZS £30
5TH MERIT I LING 2LB.12.875OZS £20
1ST TRAMPIE COD 4LB.13.125OZS £100
2ND WICKED HEN COD 4LB.1.50OZS £75
3RD E.V. GRACE COD 3LB.15.375OZS £50
4TH MERIT I COD 3LB.2.25OZS £30
5TH BONES II COD 2LB.13.50 £20
MANX BOAT FISHINGS’ ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SPONSORED 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT 2015 FINAL STANDINGS
1ST TRAMPIE 23 SPECIES £1,000
AND THE ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SHIELD
2ND WICKED HEN 22 SPECIES £500 (HAVING THE HEAVIER POOL FISH)
3RD BONES II 22 SPECIES £300
4TH MERIT I 21 SPECIES £200
5TH STRIKER 20 SPECIES £100
6TH KINGFISHER II 18 SPECIES
7TH SHEROLYN III 17 SPECIES
8TH E.V. GRACE 10 SPECIES
There were a total of 81 anglers fishing over the the three days of the Fishing Festival which means that we are growing steadily in stature. There was a total of 26 different species caught this year which is 1 down on last year.
The species caught were:- BALLAN WRASSE,BULL HUSS, POLLACK,COALFISH,COD,CONGER EEL,CUCKOO WRASSE,DAB,GREYGURNARD,HADDOCK,LAUNCE,DOGFISH,LING,MACKEREL, PLAICE,POOR COD,POUTING,RED GURNARD,SCAD(HORSE MACKEREL),SPUR DOGFISH,TOPE, TUB GURNARD,WHITING,DRAGONET,STREAKED GURNARD AND BASS.
This was thought to be a good tally considering how the weather was on the 1st day.
I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all the anglers that took part in this year event and I hope that you will all be back next year.
I would like to say on behalf of all anglers that took part a very big THANK YOU to all the sponsors, some of whom have been with us since the start of this Festival, and I am forever thankful to you, I would also like to thank ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT for their sponsorship and “Jar Bar” in Douglas for laying on the buffet for us at the presentation, many thanks to Mr & Mrs Ian Martin and his staff there.
Manx Boat Fishing would like to thank the I O M Tourist Board and the I O M Steam Packet for their continued support, deals can be made through me with the Steam Packet for next years’ Festival, come and have a go in 2016 it’s the place to be for catch and release fishing.