The 10th Wales Air Ambulance Open Beach Fishing Competition, organised by members from Pembroke & District Angling Club, Osprey Sea Angling Club, Haven Angling Group and West Wales Match Anglers, was held on 8th January 2012 on Amroth beach in South Pembrokeshire. Just like the previous 2 years, the weather was good with a variable westerly wind that prevailed all day. These mild conditions together with the weather forecasts were almost certainly the reason entries were very good at 102 anglers, which included 4 Junior boys, 5 Ladies and 1 Junior Lady. We thank them all very much indeed for their support and must mention Saundersfoot Angling Club as they held a match within this match which helped swell the numbers. Together with the nice weather, the sea conditions again looked nigh on perfect, with a nice low, gentle rolling surf caressing the sandy beach. 37 anglers, including 3 Ladies & 3 Juniors weighed in 130 Flounders, with more sizeable and undersized fish being caught with quite a few anglers not bothering to weigh in as they had, despite what could in the past have been thought of as decent catches, no chance of making the prize table. It was good to see Amroth once again, like the previous 2 years, back to its best and fishing like it used to fish when my son, now 29, was 6 or 7 years old. This made for a brilliant competition with just about every angler catching something even if it was one of a number Dabs that also turned up in numbers only seen, until recently, some 20 years ago, which although they did not count, made for pleasant fishing and of course good eating. A few 5 beard Rockling also appeared.
Andrew Skeels on his box savouring the weather conditions
The winning angler who managed to land 11 decent sized flounder for 3Kg 690gms was local angler Haydn Cole from Lamphey. This netted him the first prize of £200. Second was Cardiff angler Franco Attanasio with 9 flounder for 3Kg 465gms, allowing him to pick up the runner’s up prize of £50. In third place was a Swansea lad, Nick Beven, who had 5 flounders for 2KG 725gms, to get him the third prize of £25. The pool for the heaviest fish, netting him £102, went to another local Mike Williams from Tenby with a Flounder of 840 gms. The pairs competition, in which both anglers had to weigh in, was won by Haydn and his partner, again a local, Ken Gainfort from St Ishmaels, Milford Haven, with 13 Flounder for 4Kg 430gms. Second with 10 Flounder for 4Kg 055 gms were, father and son combo Jeff and Chris Stephens from Bridgend and third with 9 for 3Kg 315gms were local pair John O’Connor (Pembroke Dock) & Andrew Skeels, who like the winner, hails from Lamphey.
The Ladies section was won by Mair Owen from Carmarthen with 5 Flounder for 1Kg 510gms and for the third year running the Junior section was won by Milford Haven boy Daniel Tucker with 3 flounder for 1Kg 090gms. 2nd Lady was Sandra Thompson, 2 Flounder for 700 gms and third was Sheila Sear-Witts with a Flounder of 405 gms; both from Milford Haven. 2nd Junior was Jack Davies with 2 flounder for 770gms and Cameron Pritchard was 3rd with a Flounder of 480 gms. We have to thank Daniel’s father Shane and Pembroke & District Angling Club members Alex & Simon Nicholas, for sponsoring the Ladies and the Junior prizes. Thanks must also go to Leigh Rogers’ wife Angela and her employers, HSBC banking corporation, as she helped run the magnificent raffle following the comp and her bosses agreed to match fund it with a donation equivalent to the raffle takings, excellent indeed.
Pictured (left to Right) are Wales Air Ambulance’s Mike Ashbridge, Junior Winner Daniel Tucker, Winner Haydn Cole and Peter Kraus.
However, the most important result on the day was that the event, by the time all the money is in, will have raised £9 shy of £1500 for the Wales Air Ambulance pushing the total raised over the 10 years this competition has been running, to approx £14,000. To thank for this sterling effort we must first congratulate the anglers from the organising clubs, you know who you are, together with Roger Harris of the Amroth Arms who always puts his premises and valued support at this event’s disposal. Also we must mention local Air Ambulance contact Peter Kraus, who was instrumental in starting it all and who always turns up on the day and cajoles along other Air Ambulance aficionado’s. Lastly, we must again thank all the kind and generous sponsors of the event, including those already mentioned, who donated cash, made collections and donated prizes for the mega raffle which ensured continuation of the event’s great success. These were, in no particular order, HSBC Bank, Malcolm Greenish, West Wales Match Anglers, Roger Harries (Amroth Arms), Haven Angling Group, EFSA Wales, Andrew Skeels, Pembrokeshire Tackle Terminal of London Road Mall Pembroke Dock, Pembroke & District Angling Club, Pembroke Haven Motor Boat Angling Club, Osprey Sea Angling Club, Neyland Angling Club, John O’Connor, Haydn Cole, Robbie Scale, Mark Josey, Ken Gainfort, Martin & Sandra Thompson of Anglers Corner Milford Haven, Mervyn Davies, Bart Morgan, Dean Brinn, Gwyn Stelling, Leigh & Angela Rogers. If anybody feels aggrieved that they have been missed off this list and we hope there isn’t, we are truly sorry, but thank you, most warmly, for your continued support.
One final thing is that the whole shebang repeats itself next Sunday on the 22nd January with the 5th Felinfoel Brewery Double Dragon RNLI Annual Fishing Open, in aid of the local lifeboat stations at Angle & Tenby, for which we now pray for both the equivalent weather and just as good a turnout.