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Friday 4am saw me heading north to attend the Runswick Bay kayak fishing competition.

Organised by Ken and Fiona of Wet and Wild this has been a regular in the calendar for many years and is a big fish contest. Local knowledge usually comes to the fore here and I have struggled in this and the Scarborough match every time I have attended. I always catch fish, but just not the big ones needed.

Arriving in the car park at 9am a bleary eyed Martin and Snapper from the DAG team were waiting for me having slept in the car park after a mammoth 10 hour drive into the night. The weather was basically shocking with 25mph winds but we decided to give it a go and headed out. I only stayed on the water for a couple of hours, very close in the bay, but had 4 cod to around three and a half pound so was happy I was doing something right.


In the morning it soon came apparent that there was going to be a good turnout and after a safety briefing 74 kayak anglers launched into a very lumpy sea. The boundaries were kept quite close initially and I headed to the same mark as I had caught in the previous day, but to no avail. Once the boundaries were opened up I headed to Kettleness Point. First drop I hooked and pulled out of a good fish but that was the highlight of my day. Despite moving around and trying different tactics I came back to the scale with an embarrassingly small 1lb 11oz Pollack. I had caught many fish but again just could not find a big one. The winning fish was over 11lb and Jackson Kayaks Team member Sam Baxter came in 7th with a Pollack caught in the final moments of the match.

That evening with the weather looking better for the morning myself, Ian Pickering of the OK Team and a few others decided to head back out the following day. In torrential rain, but with no wind and a flat sea we launched and headed to a completely different area to what we normally fish…. What a difference. On a small part of reef we found the fish and every drift was producing fish. I was using Tronixpro pink Hokkai’s with one of their Twin Tiger Tails below and brought up numerous cod and Pollack to around 5lb with bigger fish being lost and they dived back into the kelp. This continued for a couple of hours until the tide stopped running when I decided to head back in and get ready for the long drive home. Today I had seven keeper cod most of which would have put me in the top ten the previous day, so my plans are already forming for next year’s match.

As always big thanks to the organisers. It was another great weekend raising money for worthy causes and it was fantastic to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. I didn’t fare well in the match but that is only a small part of the reason for going to these events, the social side is a much greater part. Two weeks and we will all be heading to Wales for the SWKA Oxwich Kayak Fishing Match and I can’t wait.