The 4th annual Norfolk Sea Angling Festival took place on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of April, along the coastline of North Norfolk, boundaries were from Cromer Pier to Cley, with 39 anglers competing to catch the single heaviest fish each day, and then combining their daily weights for the two day overall position and a chance to win the top prize of £500 (subject to entries).
Other prizes on the table this year were the heaviest flatfish over the two days and the heaviest single bass which was a catch and release conversion due to current EU laws. 4 juniors and 4 ladies also competed for separate prizes, and with prizes down to 10th place everyone has a chance in this fun family event ran by the Norfolk Angling Club. Sponsorship and Support this year was again from Colmic UK and Rite Gear Angling Centre, so a big thank you to Shaun Stockley and Adam Nurse from Colmic UK.
With spring finally in the air and the last few weeks throwing up some decent codling, bass and dogfish expectations were running high and maybe this year as with 4 years ago some spring codling would make a welcome appearance.
Onto day one we were greeted by a lovely sunny day , light winds and perfect spring conditions, as anglers began returning with fish rumor control had already been rife with talk of a 3lb plus codling being caught by Gary Medlar this turned out to be a nice fish at 41cm but a tad short of the rumors, Helen Molloy had caught a nice dogfish on her first cast and this rumor proved to be correct much to the disdain of her young England international son Adam Molloy who apparently now must wear a wig for the next teams of five match, as usual within our area there is always plenty of banter, with some good friendly rivalry.
Sadly only 18 anglers managed to find a sizable round fish on day one and that included 3 of the 4 juniors, and 2 out of the 4 ladies, showing the men how it’s done, the biggest fish of the day was Helen Molloy with a cracking dogfish of 1.005kg.
Onto the second day and its all to play for those that blanked knew they had to find a sizeable fish to card if they had a chance of getting in the top ten, and the pressure was also on for those who carded on day one as they needed to add to their weight on day two, decisions needed to be made whether to try for the top ten or try for the flatfish or bass prize, or as many would do just go all out for a big fish.
Top fish on the day was Chris Clare with a lovely codling of 1.435kg, and reports filtered in that a sizeable bass had been caught by junior angler Curtis Taylor with a cracker at 45cm, measured, photographed and returned, it was turning out to be lads beating dads as Chris had also beaten his dad Chuff Clare over the weekend, Curtis beating his father Russell Taylor, Fynn Betts also beating his dad Darren Betts, so well done to all.
A big well done to all competitors who brought fish back to the scales, as the care given to these fish with regular changing of water throughout the match meant that more than 60% of the fish caught were in fact returned alive and those that didn’t make went to local families and business owners for free.
Onto the final combined results from each day, we started the presentation with the Juniors, as always we try to make sure all get a prize and this year was no exception, 4th place went to Adam Molloy, 3rd place to Keiron Edwards 2nd place to Curtis Taylor and Top Junior of the weekend and in his first competition was Fynn Betts, well done to all of you.
The Ladies were next to take the stage with Ros Stanley taking 4th place, Nicole Conway 3rd place Stephanie Erison 2nd place and top lady of the weekend was Helen Molloy.
Biggest Bass of the weekend went to junior rod Curtis Taylor with a 45cm specimen
And biggest flat was a 33cm flounder for Michael Gill
Onto the overall winners Gary Medlar managed to add to his day one weight with a nice dogfish giving him a combined weight of 1.555kg taking 3rd place overall , Ian Nelson also in the frame last year managed a dog fish on both days and took 2nd place overall with a weight of 1.585kg and taking top spot this year and the new Norfolk Angling Festival Champion 2018 was Ian Childerhouse again managing to card both days for a total weight of 1.690kg.
Full results are listed below.
Let’s hope next year’s event is even bigger and better once again thank you to everyone who supported the event, including all competitors and all sponsors.