WPC England Qualifier - Grafham
This was going to be epic. A chance to compete on Grafham, a first for kayak fishing and competing alongside the boats which was a first for the UK.
This was a one day practice on Saturday with strong winds and only half the water open to us all due to the weather conditions. A perch and few nibbles were enough to give me some confidence for the main event.
Sunday morning and a we were told we could fish the whole water, it was like starting over. I raced to the water tower nearly 2 miles from the launch, had a hit on the first drop then nothing for hours, I fished hard, I drift fished down to the damn at the other end of Grafham. I had seen a few fish being caught and was getting frustrated.
Down by the damn there were boats everywhere, I joined in the drifts and was finally rewarded with a small perch.
I moved along the damn towards the water tower, and had another drift towards the damn wall, had a good fish on dropshot, the next drift I had two more, both upgrades, then another. With an hour to go and a long peddle back I headed home. 3 perch, no zander, no pike.
When I got back not many were talking about great catches so I was hopeful of a top 10 slot... The prizes started at 5th place. I was surprised to hear my name called out, get in. Mike Taylor pulled another great win out of the hat, he has had a cracking year.
Pitsford Grand Slam
August was a busy month for me, two comps and a family holiday. Pitsford was the first stop. A reservoir that hasn't been kind to me in the past dealt me a great hand.
Day 1 and I had the Grand Slam, Pike, Perch and Trout, I was a happy man being one of only a few that had completed the slam.
Day 2 was all about upgrading. The part of the lake we had fished the day before was a little busier today and upgrading proved difficult, eventually adding only a few inches to my total. It was good enough for 8th place overall, Mike Taylor smashing it.
WPC Holland 2016 - Team Reuben Heaton
Was proud to be part of the Reuben Heaton Team for this years World Predator Classic in Hellevoetsluis, Holland. Ian Harris and I made up the kayak team.
We had a good few days of prefishing, finding plenty of good spots to target during the competition.
Competition day came and due to the weather conditions the kayak zone was cut down drastically covering an area we hadn't really explored. We had quite a tough day, but a few fish were caught where others struggled.
Day 2 and we were fishing in the canal, the main lake had standing waves so this was the safest option and gave us all a level playing field as the locals had never fished it. Dizzy and I had some fish.
Day 3 and we drove around to the far side of the lake to a sheltered area, we had been given some knowledge on the area so had some confidence in where to fish. We had a few perch, but needed zander for their length, the event was called off early due to a coast guard warning.
We had fished hard and Ian had managed a fantastic 4th place, me, well I was in 11th, just outside the prizes.
But best of all we had come second in the Team event, an excellent finish.
BerleyPro Raymarine Ready Transducer Mount
Fitting the Raymarine Transducer into the Hobie Transducer slot needed a proper solution and those clever people at BerleyPro started playing around with some ideas and exciting the likes of me.
After what seemed like a lifetime (BerleyPro are based in Australia, with a distributor in the UK) I finally got my hands on the finished product (thank you).
Its a well packed piece with all the bits and pieces you need to successfully secure your Raymarine Dragonfly Transducer into the Hobie Transducer slot. Its very easy to fit only taking a few minutes once you have the transducer plumbed in correctly its a doddle.
Here's a quick video to show how easy the installation is.
For Sale in aid of the RNLI
We still have some AnglersAfloat Baseball caps, Swanage Classc T-Shirts, AnglersAfloat and Swanage Classic Stickers for sale. All profits in aid of the RNLI.
Pick up from the OK Classic at Plymouth or I can post at cost. email or pm me if you want anything.
Swanage Classic T-Shirts £10 - 2 x Large and 1 x Medium
AnglersAfloat Caps £10 - x5
AnglersAfloat Stickers £1 each
Swanage Classic Stickers £1 each, or 10 for £5
Swanage Classic Winners
I was so chuffed that Martin Collison won this year's Swanage Classic, he had already openly stated that he wanted a Hobie Revolution 16 before the year was out... Christmas came early after some hard work. He fished his socks off.
And the runners up were:
2nd Mark Radcliffe
3rd Wayne Morgan
4th Ben Wellis
5th Will Chellingworth
6th Dane Wood
7th Liam Fasey
8th Amos Mak
9th Keith Ward
10th Kyle Waterhouse
11th Paul Gelman
12th Steve Tibbenham
I must give a huge thank you for the support of everyone that attended in what was a horribly wet day.
Also thank you to all the companies that supported the event with prizes, the prize pot this year was quite amazing. So thank you to:
Hobie Cat Centre
Palm Equipment Europe
South Coast Canoes
Time to start planning for 2017.
Action Hat - BerleyProUK
I've been trying to get my hands on an Action Hat since first seeing one in one of the US Kayak Fishing Magazines. When I heard that my sponsor BerleyProUK were going to be bring them into the UK I dove in and asked to have one. Well it's arrived and I'm pretty damn excited.
The Action Hat looks like a standard baseball cap, but look a little closer and you will notice a series of reinforced holes around the cap, in fact there are five sets of holes, these are all mounting points for an action cam or cameraphone, allowing the wearer to mount a camera facing forwards and backwards, from the front, back or sides of the cap. Brilliant.
Internally the cap has a reinforced foam lined shell to take the weight of the action cam and stop the hat from collapsing.
Really looking forward to getting out on the water and reviewing for AnglersAfloat it's going to give another angle to my video's.
More information can be found on the BerleyPro website, but order from BerleyPro UK.
Swanage Classic 2016
21st May 2016, pop the date in your diary, make sure you can get the time off work if you are a weekend or shift worker. For the second year running Hobie will be sponsoring the Swanage Classic along with Raymarine UK and hopefully a few more companies will join in along the way.
The format won't be changing, the rules will remain pretty much the same as last year. If you want to get on the winners podium best start getting to know the venue, how it has fished in previous years and where the main holding grounds for the species are. There are plenty of fish in the bay with up to 21 species caught overall in previous years.
Hold fire on booking any camping, we are looking at different venues this year and hope to create a more sociable environment for all that attend, will keep you posted when we have more to tell.
AnglersAfloat Annual Species Hunt.
Members of the forum may have noticed that David Blair has kindly decided to run an Annual Species Hunt on the AnglersAfloat Forum, this is for members only and will be run on the forum, where you can check out the rules, who's entered and even organise and enter yourself and a few mates in as a team.
At this stage its all for a bit of fun and banter, but David thinks he might be able to get some prizes together if enough competitors.
Landing Net Review
I’m always amazed at how few anglers take a landing net with them when tournament fishing, I wouldn’t be without one… last year I lost two fish when competing, both times I could have upgraded the fish in the bag, but was busy filming and not thinking about the size of the fish I was playing, both were in the water to long and escaped whilst I adjusted the angle of the camera. One of the fish may have got me a 10th place rather than 12th, and onto the prize
table, should have had my game face on! - More
An old Palm favourite
For the past season I have been wearing the new Palm Ion bib and brace under my tournament shirts. I used the old Sidewinder bib & brace some years ago and always loved the comfort that they gave me out on the water.
The new Ion is available in two colours, Saffron and Jet Grey, I went for the Jet Grey it doesn't show the dirt so easily and a lot of my launches involve mud!
An important factor when choosing paddle trousers for me is that they have a high back, water creeps up external clothing and you can soon end up with a damp back, the high back on the Ion keeps my back nicely warm and dry. and with a breatable mesh I don't cook when the sun comes out.
The only thing I would change is the braces, I would permanently attach to the back rather than the front, I'd find it much easier to put them on.
I will be continuing to wear the Ion for as long as I can before I have to get back into my drysuit.
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