August 2016 the Isle of Man saw the 4th Annual Manx Boat Fishing’s 3 Day Fishing Festival crown new champions in the form of veteran Skipper Denny Moore and his boat Wicked Hen, crewed by his son Peter along with John Senogles and Graham Newsome. The “HEN” as it is locally known took the ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT sponsored £1,000 1ST prize and the ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SHEILD.
10 boats and a total of 89 anglers took part in this years’ Festival.
Here is how the story of the festival unfolded.
Day 1 ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SPONSORED 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT.
The day begun with all competitors meeting at the Battery Pier in Douglas for the final “BOOKING IN” before going off to their preferred starting port (boats are allowed to leave from any of the ports on the Island) and getting ready for the10 am start of fishing. Manx Boat Fishing organiser Jamie Hinchliffe provided Bacon baps for all and with everyone fed it was time to set off.
Five of the boats taking part in the species hunt left from the port of Douglas whilst others left from Ramsey in the North and Port St Mary in the South, the weather on the 1st day was not too bad although the smaller craft and indeed most of the larger boats stayed inland as it was a little choppy further out at sea. The boats from Douglas caught bait behind Douglas head in the form of Launce and mackerel with the Boats in the South went out to the Wart Banks to get theirs. (Any bait is allowed in this Festival, there are No restrictions).
From here boats went off to search for species at their own favourite marks with some boats fishing alongside each other with all the boats from Douglas fishing at Port Grenaugh at anchor.
This mark can throw up all manner of species from Cuckoo Wrasse to Conger Eels along with Black Bream and Tope, it has to be said this mark can be very hit and miss but you cannot afford to miss it as all boats in this competition will fish this mark at least once.
Wicked Hen found the fishing here very slow and in 3 hours of fishing had only a Cuckoo Wrasse, Dogfish and a Pollack to show for their endevours, but other boats were not having much better luck which lead to all boats upping the anchor and steaming to the South of the Island for marks such as the Wart Banks and the Sheddings in search of Flatfish at the former and Conger Eels at the latter.
Both Kirsty 111 and Merit 1 had very nice Conger Eels at the Sheddings mark and Barry Dulson fishing on Kirsty 111 had a very nice Tope. Other species taken here were Ballan Wrasse, Ling, Codling.
From this mark boats seemed to go in different directions looking for Coalfish at the Calf of Man and both Plaice and Dabs on the Wart Bank mark. Some boats even went to the “SECRET“ Dragonet mark, some blooming secret (we all know where it is) Peter Moore.
“Striker” under skipper Orry Turner started the day at the North Port of Ramsey and had a good day on the whole finishing the 1st day with 15 species which included the inevitable Flounder but no Bass on the 1st day.
With most boats fishing close in due to the weather all boats had a reasonable day with attaining double figures and with some of the smaller craft such as Sherolyn 111 and Kingfisher 11 who both had a very good 1st day. Merit 1 the 2014 champions also had a great 1st day capturing 19 species.
The boats at the South end of the Island all seemed to have better luck as the day went on with others having more good fortune than others on the 1st day but would that be an advantage going into the second day.
There were also two POOL FISH that could be caught over the 2 days of which their combined weight would determine the winner in case there was a draw in the number of species caught. The pool fish were Ling and Haddock, the latter proving elusive to all over the two days.
With the clock quickly approaching the finishing time of 6pm boats had to pack up and head for port as the weigh in for the days fishing was to take place in Douglas at 6.30pm
(All fish that are caught during the comp have to attain a length of 20cms and have to be photographed with each days catch verification card and then checked against the catch card list, if a fish is declared without the catch card in the picture then that fish is not counted, likewise if a fish is declared and there is no picture that fish is also not counted.)
POSITIONS AFTER DAY 1 OF THE ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT ARE:
JOINT 1ST: MERIT 1 & SHEROLYN 111 WITH 19 SPECIES
JOINT 3RD: STRIKER & KINGFISHER 11 WITH 15 SPECIES
JOINT 5TH: KIRSTY 111 & TRAMPIE WITH 13 SPECIES
7TH: WICKED HEN WITH 12 SPECIES
8TH: BONES 11 WITH 10 SPECIES
DAY 2 OF THE ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SPONSORED 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT
The second day of the competition saw some boats leave Douglas early to get down to Port St Mary so that they could start from that port at the allotted start time of 10am, this included Kirsty 111, Kingfisher 11 and Trampie.
For the rest of the boats after a brief stop for bait at the back of Douglas for fresh bait, they all headed out for the paddle wheel or the 6 mile marks.
Merit 1 headed straight out to the 6 mile mark in search of a Spurdog which proved to be a very fruitless exercise, with Merit already on 19 species the day would prove to be a very hard and long one for them as they even steamed up to Ramsey in search of a Flounder, again with no success and were only able to add 3 species of Haddock, Pouting and Scad to their 1st days total giving them a final total of 22, would that be enough to crown them as the 2016 champions?. The other joint leaders after day 1 Sherolyn 111 faired even less better than Merit 1 only catching a further 2 species of Bull Huss and Scad to add to their total to give them a final tally of 21 species.
Striker and Kingfisher 11 who had been joint 3rd going into the second day improved their scores by 5 and 7 for Striker to finish on 20 species which included a Bass caught on one of their northern marks at the Cranstall area, whilst Kingfisher 11 finished level with Merit 1 on 22 species whish was a great effort by them as skipper Mikey Cooper is still recovering from a hip replacement operation.
Bones 11 improved their score from the 1st day by 8 and although not in the running for the big prize did capture a very nice Tope of 50lb plus at the 6 mile mark and also managed to find Spurdogs at another Tope mark where everyone had failed to do so, but at the cost of the skipper getting spiked and having to spend most of the night in A&E as the hand swelled up with a bit of poison in it, so Bones 11 finished the day on 18 species.
Kirsty 111 with Skipper Michael Emery, was determine to get amongst the top places and improved his 1st days score of 13 by catching a further 8 species including the elusive Dragonet (to Michael that is) and a Scad to take his final tally to 21.
Trampie the 2015 species champions and winner of the 1st ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SHEILD who had a slow start to day 1 with a score of 13 went out on day 2 with all guns blazing and amassed 10 more species which included a Dragonet and Scad along with haddock and Conger Eel a fish seldom seen on Sipper John Maddrells boat.
Day two belong to only one boat really and that was Wicked Hen under the leadership of local veteran fishing skipper Denny Moore who put his crew on the mark all day to improve their 1st day tally of 13 by catching a further 11 species including Scad, and one of only 3 boats to catch a Spurdog. With Wicked Hen on a total of 23 it was going to come down to the combined weight of the pool fish.
The two pool fish of Haddock and Ling would decide who was to become the 2016 Manx Boat Fishing Species Champions, however no boat landed a legal sized Haddock so it had to be decided on who had the heaviest LING, this meant that the new 2016 champions were WICKED HEN whose Ling weighed in at 6.6.01lbs, whilst Trampies’ weighed in at 5.02lbs.
CONGRATULATIONS TO”WICKED HEN”
FINAL STANDINGS OF THE MANX BOAT FISHINGS’ 2 DAY SPECIES HUNT
SPONSORED BY ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT: ARE:
1ST WICKED HEN 23 SPECIES, £1,000 & THE ELAS BUSINESS SUPPORT SHEILD
2ND TRAMPIE 23 SPECIES & £500
3RD KINGFISHER 11 22 SPECIES (BY HAVING THE HEAVIER POOL FISH) £300
4TH MERIT 1 22 SPECIES & £200
5TH KIRSTY 111 21 SPECIES & £100
KIRSTY 111 A LING OF 10.5 LB £100
THE HEAVIEST POLLACK COMPETITION SPONSORED BY COLIN DUKE OF ALLROUND FISHING
THE HEAVIEST FLATFISH SPONSORED BY MICHAEL EMERY OF MANNIN ROOFING
THE HEAVIEST FISH CAUGHT ON AN EDDYSTONE EEL SPONSORED BY EDDYSTONE EEL
This is a hard day on the boat as everyone is trying to get that one big fish and every bite is treated with respect as there is big money on offer for three single fish.
All but one of the boats taking part in this competition fished south of the Island with only Striker who were favourites to collect the flatfish trophy fishing out of the North port of Ramsey.
This days fishing started 1/2 an hour early so that at the end of the day we had time to go and get showered and changed in time for the presentation that night.
All boats had their own plan as to which way they fished the day with most boats heading straight to the Calf of Man to try and capture the big Pollack (Callig), whilst some boats headed round into the bay at Port Erin in search of a decent Flattie.
Most boats fished the Wart Bank mark to catch the Flatties and although there were plenty of them to catch there was no monsters brought back to the scales. However Striker had a very disappointing day and did not manage to catch a flattie or a decent Pollack fishing in the North.
All boats managed to catch Pollack, but this year no one managed to get one into double figures, the lightest Pollack weighed in was one caught on E. V. Grace which weighed in at 4.3.75lbs. Seven out of the 10 boats did manage to catch a sizeable Flatfish, no one who caught fish on the Eddystone Eel lures could live with the Ling caught by Martin Lambden fishing on Trampie which tipped the scales at 8.11.875lbs, well done Martin.
Kirsty 111 had the best of the days fishing though taking both the heaviest Pollack and heaviest Flatfish trophies and the money, the Pollack weighed in at 9.4.625lbs and their Flattie weighed in at 14.75ozs, Paul Surgeon fishing also on K3 went close to getting the Eddystone trophy with a Pollack of 7.1.375lbs, hard luck Paul.
FINAL STANDINGS FOR THE HEAVIEST POLLACK SPONSORED BY ALLROUND FISHING
1ST KIRSTY 111 POLLACK OF 9.4.625LBS £250 & THE MANX BOAT FISHING TROPHY
2ND KINGFISHER 11 POLLACK OF 8.8.25LBS
3RD WICKED HEN POLLACK OF 8.4.5LBS
4TH SHEROLYN 111 POLLACK OF 7.5.875
FINAL STANDINGS FOR THE HEAVIEST FLATFISH SPONSORED BY MANNIN ROOFING
1ST KIRSTY 111 PLAICE OF 14.75 OZS £200 & THE DAVE CORKISH MEMORIAL CUP
2ND BONES 11 PLAICE OF 13.125OZS
3RD WICKED HEN DAB OF 12.625OZS
4TH SHEROLYN 111 PLAICE OF 12.125OZS
HEAVIEST FISH CAUGHT ON AN EDDYSTONE EEL
1ST TRAMPIE WITH A LING OF 8.11.875LBS £100 AND THE EDDYSTONE EELS TROPHY
The Manx Boat Fishing Festival is no over for another year, we had 10 boats fishing the festival with a total of 89 anglers fishing over the 3 days, I hope that ever body has enjoyed it and I hope to see you all again next year, all I have left to do is say a very BIG THANK YOU to all our great sponsors for their continued support and encouragement, it means a great deal to me and the anglers taking part, so thanks to ELAS BUSINES SUPPORT, COLIN DUKE OF ALLROUND FISHING, MICHAEL EMERY OF MANNIN ROOFING, GARY BRIDSON+1, JOHN MADDRELL, A to Z PLUMBING,DAVID & MARTIN BEER OF EDDYSTONE EELS, JAR BAR FOR THEIR HOSPITALITY (the buffet was tremendous), G.E.WHITES AND GOLF & LEISURE, I must also thank my wife who puts up with me putting this altogether, for a single operation I think we do ok.
The Festival will be back in 2017 and I hope to improve on what we do, follow us on FACE BOOK OR LOG ON TO THE WEB SITE ON www.manxboatfishing.forumsmotion.com.
Manx Boat Fishing.
HERE ARE SOME PICCYS
L TO R JOHN SENOGLES,PETER MOORE, ORGANISER JAMIE HINCHLIFFE, DENNY MOORE, GRAHAM NEWSOME
PETER MOORE ON WICKED HEN
THE BEST FISH OF THE FESTIVAL MBF HIMSELF WITH A 50LB + TOPE
LEE GRAHAM ON MERIT 1
LEE WITH A TUB GURNARD
MICHAEL COWIN WITH A NICE TOPE
MBF WITH A NICE TUB ALSO
BARRY DULSON ON KIRSTY 111 WITH A NICE TOPE
A NICE PLAICE
MICHAEL EMERY WITH A CRACKING LING
DAN COL ON KINGFISHER 11
MICHAEL WITH HIS WINNING CALLIG
A NICE BULLS HUSS FOR MOI
A NICE BRACE OF DABS
PAUL SURGEON WITH HIS EDDYSTONE CAUGHT POLLACK
SOME OF THE BOATS GETTING READY
MARTIN LAMBDEN WITH HIS EDDYSTONE EEL CAUGHT LING
ANOTHER NICE PLAICE