Whenever we have to delay our annual open Cod Competition there is always more chance the fish will hear about it and go into hiding. The competition was originally scheduled for 14th November and was delayed by weather four times before we were finally able to hold it on 19th December. By then the news had got out and the cod made themselves scarce.

A total of 88 anglers in 37 boats set off on a slightly murky Sunday morning although the visibility was far better at sea than further inland. The mist came down a couple of times, but the wind dropped during the day and all boats found somewhere fishable from the Solent to south of the Nab.

Not surprisingly, the whiting had also read the news about the competition and the larger fish we had been catching on midweek practice runs were noticeably absent from the marks where they had been caught before. Nevertheless, the target species were found by three anglers and we had three cod and eight whiting to make up the prize list.

All the boats returned to weigh-in by 5:30pm and we are very grateful to the Marina Bar for staying open to host the presentation of prizes from 6pm. The evening opened with a short address from Ross Honey, founder of the Sea Angling Classic competition who gave us a few highlights about the 2022 competition. Then onto the prizes!

First prize went to Paul Hanks for a cod of 6lb 12oz, winning him £500 cash and an entry ticket to the 2022 Sea Angling Classic donated by Ross.

Second prize went to Mark Argyle for a cod of 5lb 11oz which won him £100 cash.

Third prize went to Pip Saunders for a cod of 3lb 2oz which earned him £100 of vouchers from Andy’s Baits.

The Ladies Prize went to Megan Haughton who won £50 cash for a whiting of 1.06lb.

Two identical whiting meant we had a tie for first place in the Juniors competition. Jake Kelly and Sian Houghton both won £50 each for whiting of 1.16lb

The following Runners-Up prizes were awarded:

4th Place – Lee Swire, whiting of 2.64lb, boat rod donated by Fish On Tackle Shop

5th Place – Des Clare, whiting of 2.08lb, boat rod donated by Fish On Tackle Shop

6th Place – Dennis Hayden, whiting of 2.02lb, boat rod donated by SMAC

7th Place – Tim Warren, whiting of 1.92lb, boat rod donated by SMDAC

8th Place – Peter Churchill, whiting of 1.84lb, £50 bait voucher donated by Premier Marinas

9th Place – Peter Reynolds, whiting of 1.76lb, two places on boat trips donated by Sportsman’s Knight

10th Place – Darren McKnell, whiting of 1.72lb, boat trip donated by Anglers Edge

11th Place – Thomas Clare, whiting of 1.72lb, two meals donated by Marina Bar

Our sincere thanks to Steve Kelly and Chris Ellis for all their work organising the event; to Ross Honey of Sea Angling Classic, Andy’s Baits, Fish On Tackle, Premier Marinas, Sportsman’s Knight, Anglers Edge, SMDAC, SMAC and Marina Bar for donating prizes and to all the competitors who turned out to participate in the competition making it another successful event for SMAC.

Scroll through the photo gallery below for more photos from the day.

Nevile Merritt

SMAC, December 2021