Scores of anglers lined Penarth Pier and the shoreline in brilliant sunshine yesterday to compete in one of the most prestigious fishing contests of the year – the South Wales Open Sea Angling Competition.
Unfortunately however, the other participants – the fish – also appeared to have noted the contest in their diaries and had taken the precaution of keeping well clear of the hooks and lines being cast into the sea.
The annual contest is organised by Penarth Sea Angling Club and is made all the more challenging by taking place within a relatively short time window from 10:30 to 14:30.
At stake was a top prize of £500 sponsored by the Admiral Insurance Group and a plethora of prizes from other sponsors.
The area of the competition stretches from the rocks of the Cardiff Bay Barrage all the way south past Penarth to Lavernock Point – but fishing is not permitted from the three slipways off Penarth Esplanade.
What used to be a cheap sport, isn’t any longer. Not only is the tackle expensive, but the cost of buying live bait (apparently there’s none left in the mud to dig-up anymore at low tide ) is making it a financial as well as sporting challenge .
As the ranks of anglers on Penarth Pier waited patiently for bites – they complained that the expansion of fishing in the area by local trawlers must be responsible for reducing local fish stocks.
The weigh-in was held at 3.30 at Penarth Conservative Club where only digital scales are permitted to be used.
The South Wales Open Winner was Cardiff ‘s Drew Chapple – taking the top prize for the second year running with a conger weighing 9 pounds 6 ounces (none of that out-of-date old European metric stuff in the angling community) .Drew only started fishing 18 months ago – but has proved, for the second year in succession, he’s got that winning touch.
Second place went to Ray Starling who landed 3 mullett weighing 8lb 5 ounces.