The 17th Wales Air Ambulance Open Beach Fishing Competition, organised by members from Pembroke andDistrict Angling Club and Osprey Sea Angling Club was held on January 6, 2019 on Amroth beach in South Pembrokeshire.
The weather on the day was similar to that which had been experienced locally in the run up to the comp, balmy warm and dry, unusual for early January so the weather gods really smiled on the day with only a gentle offshore breeze which meant the conditions weren’t far away from perfect with a gentle surf building as the tide flooded in with just a few rollers as can be seen in the picture. This should have augured well for a good catch and indeed it was again better than the previous year. The turnout and support was also better than 2018 with 88 (cf85) anglers including two junior boys, one junior girl and four ladies and they are thanked for their support.
The fishing was actually an improvement on 2018 with an increased number of anglers, 26, including three ladies weighing in 35 (cf34 in 2017) sizeable Flounders along with 5 Dabs and 6 Lesser Spotted Dogfish, with other Lesser Spotted Dogfish, undersize Dabs and Flounders being caught but not weighed in.
The winning angler who managed to land 6 decent sized flounder, for 2Kg 60gms was local Osprey Member Haydn Cole (Lamphey), netting him the first prize of £200. Second was Chris Stephens a regular visiting angler from Bridgend with a Lesser Spotted Dogfish of 930gms netting him the £100 second prize. In third place was another visiting angler and Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers East Region stalwart Mike Chadwick (Cardiff), who had 3 Flounder for 1Kg 350gms, taking home the third prize of £50.
The pairs competition, in which both anglers had to weigh in, was won by Haydn and his partner Mark Bennett (Pembroke) with 7 Flounder for 2Kg 345gms. Second with 2 Lesser Spotted Dogfish and 2 Dabs for 1Kg 885gms were another pair of visiting regulars and Saundersfoot club members Andy Young and Franco Attanasio. Third, with 4 Flounder, but for 1Kg 870gms were Steve and his partner Keith Skipper, with local tackle shop owner Mike Rowe winning the Stewards Draw. The Ladies section was won by another regular visitor and Welsh International shore angler Sally Owen who had a Flounder of 415gms, unfortunately no junior weighed in.
However, the most important result on the day was that the event, by the time all the money is in, will have raised £820 for the Wales Air Ambulance pushing the total raised over the 17 years this competition has been running, definitely in excess of £20,000.
Thanks for this sterling effort must first go to the anglers from the organising clubs, together with Mr .Ian Wilkinson, of the Temple Bar Inn who put his premises and valued support at this event’s disposal, and lastly to the multitude of kind and generous sponsors of the event, who donated cash, together with those donating prizes for the mega raffle which ensured continuation of the event’s great success. These were, in no particular order, Ian Wilkinson, of the Temple Bar Inn; Shane Tucker; Andrew Skeels; Osprey Sea Angling Club; John O’Connor; Alex and Denis Nicholas; Chris Wynn; Mark Hagan; Jewson’s of Pembroke, Andrew and Leigh Rogers; Haydn Cole, Mike Rowe, of J and M Tackle, Pembroke Dock; Mark Bennett, St Brides Hotel of Saundersfoot; Hugh Scale of Four Seasons Fruit Shop in Tenby; The Station Inn, Pembroke Dock and Roger Harris, ex landlord of the Amroth Arms. If anybody feels aggrieved that they have been missed off this list (and hopefully nobody has been), we are truly sorry, but you are thanked, most warmly, for your continued support.
One final thing is that the whole ‘shebang’ repeats itself in two weeks on Sunday, January 20 with the 12th RNLI Annual Fishing Open, in aid of the local lifeboat stations at Angle and Tenby, for which prayers are now being offered for at least the equivalent or better weather and as good a turnout.
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