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This is another of the established big events on the UK calendar and another chance to spend a long weekend of kayak fishing, drinking and camping with a bunch of like-minded people. Organised by Al and Michele of The Kayak Fishing Shack it has become a regular fixture for kayak anglers in the North of the UK.

I headed up on the Friday to have a couple of days fishing before the event. This is a big fish contest which I won last year with a large ray but everyone I spoke to was convinced that this year it would be a large cod or pollack that was going to take the prize, even the guy in the local tackle shop told me that no ray would be caught and it would be a cod or a pollack that would take the day. I am never one for taking other peoples word as gospel on these matters so on the Friday spent an hour and a half fishing the sand just to see if any ray were around. I had three in that short time so decided I was going to stick to my original plan.

On the morning of the event over 60 kayak anglers were in the car park hours too early as is usual at these competitions. However this gives plenty of time for the usual banter and to check out each other’s yaks and tactics. Noticeably there were five Jackson kayaks on display this time. It seems that every event I go to there is more and more of a presence of Jackson Kayaks and I think this will only increase once the Kraken hits the market.

After the usual safety briefing, everyone headed off. Most people set off on the two mile paddle to Flamborough Headland and the rough ground around it where the cod and Pollack can be caught. Others who were targeting the ray went straight out a mile or more onto the banks. I paddled 500m and dropped anchor. I was only in 16ft of water but had caught fish here two days ago so was confident I would again. Within half an hour I had a small ray on board of maybe 4lb. I missed a couple of bites but then it went quiet. Doubt started to set in as I thought I needed to be in deeper water and I did move out for a little while but after thirty minutes decided to come back in to my original mark.

I need not have worried as once the tide started to run the rays came on the feed in earnest. I had bite after bite and despite missing many I landed 7 rays including one good sized one that had to be in the running for a prize. In the last couple of hours I had a small armada of kayaks around me as people realised I was catching fish and anchored close by to try and get in on the action, but it made no difference, be it the bait or the presentation I was still the only person on the group to be catching.

On landing the usual banter was exchanged, it soon became clear that I had made the right choice targeting the rays as the cod and pollack fishing had been poor. I was in with a good chance of winning, along with Jeff Elliot who had also had a good ray. Back at the scales Jeff weighed his first and it went 9lb 4oz. I hung mine on the hook and looked on in anticipation as the reading settled on 9lb 3oz. One ounce short of holding on to my crown!

In the Heroes On The Water challenge sponsored by TronixPro myself and Jeff had tied for first place both having dabs of 11oz.

Over the two sections we both took first and second places with only one ounce separating our combined fish weights. It couldn’t have been any closer.

Once again thanks have to go to The Kayak Fishing Shack for organising such a fantastic event. As with all events in the UK it was raising money for Heroes on The Water and the RNLI and I believe over £ 1,500 was raised on the day, a fantastic effort. I am looking forward to next year already.