Good catches at international festival

Bill Ellis receives the ICSA Gold Cup from John Thomson
Bill Ellis receives the ICSA Gold Cup from John Thomson

The 111th Hastings & St Leonards International Sea Angling Boat Festival was fished over three days last weekend.

After a stiffish breeze from the north east on Friday, the weather for the rest of the weekend was exceptional with hot sun, cloudless skies and very light winds.

This match is determined on the five best specimens weighed in with points being given according to the percentage of the specimen weight. Fishing was generally good with some fine specimens being weighed in. Dabs and smoothounds were very good along with some good rays, wrasse and dogfish.

The winner came on Friday with Bill Ellis scoring an exceptional 452 points to clinch the South of England Trophy and £500 first prize. Ellis also took the ICSA Gold Cup for most festival points and the Herne Bay Cup for the best dogfish, a smoothound of 15lb 3oz.

Lucy Cramp, 12, had the best specimen of the festival with a very fine dab of 1lb 2¾oz for 125 points, giving her the Friendship Trophy and £500 best specimen prize.

Lucy’s mum, Sunisa Cramp, also had a very good match, winning the Ladies’ Rosebowl with 236 points. George Dadswell took all three junior trophies.

Rodney Shoesmith captured the Veterans’ Trophy and was the top scorer on Saturday with a very good bag of dabs for 378 points.

Colin Crosby won on Sunday and took the Lewis Abbott Cup for most flatfish points with five excellent dabs for 403 points (usually enough for a clear festival win).

Best skate was a cracking thornback ray of 12lb 2oz caught by Gavin Bourne. Another notable ray was a rare painted ray of 9lb caught by Pete Wiseman and taken alive to the Blue Reef Aquarium.

The prizes were presented by East Hastings Angling Association honorary secretary John Thomson in the absence of vice-chairman Jack Reece QPM.

Great thanks is given by everyone involved for the generous support of the main sponsors Alex and Ellie of White’s Seafood & Steak Bar in the Old Town, Charlie Ball of C&G Commercial Services Ltd, Hastings Windows, Hastings Hire Centre and Berforts Ltd. Many thanks also to tackle suppliers Akios, Sonik and Svendsen Sports for donating fine tackle prizes.