Mark Harding (Alderney Angling) shares his review of the 2013 Lure Only 24 Hour Species Hunt Competition:

Dropping winds were promised and not delivered for the first 24 Hour Alderney Lure Competition held at the weekend, although we did get sunshine throughout and a cracking start to Sunday wind wise so no complaints from me. This was a LURE comp, no live bait or any bait previously alive could be used. Competitors came from the UK, Guernsey and Jersey plus of course an Alderney contingent for this inaugural event which was covered by Sea Angler magazine and will continue in 2014 such was its success. Many thanks to the sponsors Tronixpro, Majorcraft, Seaspin, Sunline, HTO, YGK, Hart, Marukyu, Ecogear, Graphiteleader, Bait Breath, Toray, Vanfook, Gary Yamamoto, The Lure Forum, Sea Angler magazine and Alderney Angling who made this happen. Over £1300 of prizes and £600 cash up for grabs with the cash split between 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Thanks too to the Harbour Lights for hosting us over the weekend.

Fishing was from midday Saturday through to midday Sunday, a tough start was endured by those starting ‘at’ the obvious marks due to the wind and it was the harbour quay with all its mini species that got the eventual winners on a roll.  Actually there was Roger Mortimore on a roll too but that’s another story! One that needs too much explaining!! What was most apparent throughout the event, and as an organiser of it myself so pleasing to see, was the camaraderie between the competitors, purely here to have fun and have a craic. Methods and marks were shared throughout but still that competitive edge maintained. Those that had a plan to sleep reneged on that plan and finished up pinching barely enough horizontal rest before embarking on the next quest to capture that next species. Through the night personal targets were adjusted and instead of pie in the sky plans the task of finding species became easier for some as more realistic targets were made and stuck too. By the early hours three anglers had hit double figures! The race was on.

Sunday dawned and boy did it dawn, not once but twice! Firstly the sun rose a bright red spreading a magnificent orange/red glow around the horizon turning white fluffy clouds in to balls of fire and then secondly it dawned on those anglers out of the running of ‘Most Species’ they had to start to target the bigger fish if they were to get any recognition for their efforts. Meanwhile the top 6 were battling it out, some losing that battle as their decision making proved costly but for two anglers that had been neck and neck throughout it was becoming a battle of personal pride, it truly was the battle of top dog and the soon to be top dog in years to come between Nigel and Matt!

With cloud thickening, wind increasing, (that would soon reach 50mph later in the day) it was the end of 24 hours of lure fishing.

The results were as follows:

Least Species – Derrick Thatcher (1)

Most Unusual Catch – George Cunningham/Mark Harding – Shore Rockling

Longest Garfish – 61cm Alistair Walters

Longest Ballan Wrasse – 49cm George Cunningham

Longest Mullet – 51cm Dicky Smith (Thick Lipped)

Longest Pollack – 51cm Gary Maurice

Longest Bass – 52cm Gary Maurice

Longest Flat – None

Longest Round – 52cm Gary Maurice (Bass)

Longest Overrall Length of Species Registered by Overseas Angler – Adam Kirby 142cm

Longest Overall Length of Species Registered – Nigel Bowditch 378cm

Special Prize – Roger Mortimore

Species Hunt

1st – Nigel Bowditch (19)

2nd – Matt Smith (15)

3rd – Dicky Smith (12)

(Top 8 received prizes)