on one-foot rods!

Unique match with ice-fish­ing gear F

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - IAN JONES

OOT-LONG rods have fea­tured in one of the most un­usual sea fish­ing matches in the UK.

Com­peti­tors had to catch as many species as pos­si­ble, armed with a tiny rod and reel nor­mally used by an­glers fish­ing through the ice in Scan­di­navia.

All places for the un­ortho­dox match were filled within hours fol­low­ing an advert on so­cial me­dia, and it was hailed a huge suc­cess after com­peti­tors did bat­tle with more than 20 dif­fer­ent species in­clud­ing the big­gest fish, a 12lb ray.

Bosses at Wey­mouth An­gling Cen­tre in Dorset pitched the pro­posal to lo­cal skip­pers Ryan Casey and Lyle Stan­ford, who run Su­per­nova and Meerkat Char­ters, re­spec­tively

And such was the suc­cess of the unique fish­ing chal­lenge, another event is be­ing planned.

“There were 40 places avail­able and within a few hours they were all sold out,” said Ryan Casey, skip­per of the 11m BW Sea­cat ‘Meerkat’.

“With a full match booked, Wey­mouth An­gling Cen­tre con­tacted Fladen Tackle who pro­vided the ice fish­ing rods, and it wasn’t long be­fore we were out of the har­bour and cast­ing 2lb leads on pieces of car­bon that were no longer than your foot!

“It was hi­lar­i­ous to watch but the rods were sur­pris­ingy sturdy and could han­dle the weight.”

Over the six-hour event an­glers were al­lowed just five fish of any one species and could use only mack­erel, rag­worm or squid on the hook.

The an­gler who caught the most fish and ac­cu­mu­lated the most points – all species scored dif­fer­ently – was de­clared the win­ner, and a sep­a­rate prize went to the an­gler with the big­gest fish.

Ryan Casey added: “More than 20 dif­fer­ent species were landed, in­clud­ing wrasse, bream, dog­fish and gurnards – with a 12lb un­du­late ray the big­gest fish boated.

“A cou­ple of the ice rods did break un­der ex­treme pres­sure but they’ve proved they can land fish well over 10lb.

“Next year we’re plan­ning to stage a big-fish ice rod chal­lenge tar­get­ing tope, rays, ling and con­ger eels – watch this space!”

The mini-rods proved to be ex­tremely tough.

Heav­i­est fish was this 12lb un­du­late ray.

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