Bowles starts year by landing top prize
The year started with the cancellation of the Folkestone Sea Angler’s New Year’s Day event on Folkestone pier because of the storms. And for a time it looked as if the region’s first big open contest, The Folkestone Angling Centre Open, would also suffer at the hands of the weather. But on match day, a slight lull in the wind and rain allowed 78 competitors to line up along Princes Parade and Marine Parade and compete for the £1,000 top prize. The good news was also that because of the continuous rough weather, the fish are inshore and feeding hard on the marine life dashed and killed along the Shepway shoreline. Small dabs, whiting, rockling and pouting made up the catches and it was Hythe angler Kevin Bowles who hooked the most – 37 fish for a weight of 5.400kg. Second was Mick Tapsell who also got among the dabs and whiting with 34 for 4.900kg, Mick also recorded the best round fish, a whiting of 400g worth some extra pool money. Zone winner was Lloyd Page of Sheerness. Freshwater results include a surprise weigh-in for the Cinque Ports Anglers fishing the Royal Military Canal at Hythe. They fished under the trees in the sheltered section opposite the new Sainsbury’s and found the fish in residence despite the canal being chocolate brown and “towing” through. The canal is usually still, without a flow but with all the flood water, it was running. This turned the fish on with Neil West winning with 4.550kg of mainly bream. He was fishing maggot over chopped worm and like many of the other competitors, also netted silver eels. Second was Grant Turner of Hythe with 3.720kg and he included a larger slab bream. Third was Dave Cosgrove with 1.140kg. Catches around the town section of the canal at Hythe have improved in recent weeks because of the extra water with Ladies Walk producing five slab bream for a Maidstone angler while best of the pike fell to local angler Mick Jones. Sea angling competitions coming up include the Folkestone SAA Open on Sunday, January 19 at Seabrook and Hythe. Fishing is 11am until 4pm. Book-in at the Fountain Inn. More details from Peter Owen on 01303 253881. Also the Fountain Sea Anglers’ first event of 2014 at Dungeness is on Sunday. Anglers have a beach event, zoned at West Parade Hythe on Tuesday, fishing 7-11pm.
DRAWN OUT: Competitors who took part in Wye Tennis Club’s annual American tournament
RUNNER-UP: Mick Tapsell – second in the Folkestone Angling Centre Open – caught the biggest round fish, a whiting of 400g