We set the date of 7th May for our 2023 Annual Bream Open Competition long before His Majesty decided on the same weekend for his Coronation, but no matter – it added to the festival atmosphere! This has become a hugely popular event and all those planning to compete had been anxiously watching the weather forecast all week. As it turned out it was the best day of the weekend and despite the early fog, 77 competitors in 33 boats set off to look for that big, prize-winning bream.
Although there are plenty of good bream marks in the Eastern Solent Approaches, for some reason the larger fish seem to prefer areas to the east of Selsey or West of the Solent so it was a gamble. Take a run through the fog to find a big one, or stay local with more fishing time and chance a big bream among the shoals of smaller fish?
Most competitors were having a quiet time in the early part of the day but as the sun broke through, spirits rose and bigger bream started coming to the baits. By the end of the day we had plenty of fish to weigh in and the placings were decided by the smallest of margins.
By 7pm the results had been decided. Most competitors had settled themselves outside in the glorious evening sunshine with a drink from the Marina Bar, so we decided to hold the presentation ceremony right there (with apologies to the few berth holders that found themselves in the crowd!)
First and second place prizes were a cash percentage of the entry fees, and other prizes to make up 18 places plus bonus prizes for top Junior and top Lady were donated by local businesses. We are very grateful to Sea Angling Classic and Lowrance; Andy’s Baits; Cosham Angling; Marina Bar; Normark UK; Victory Gas & Heating; Premier Marinas; Fish-On Tackle; British Big Game Charters; Prestige Builders; SMDAC; Newnham Builders; Brian van Daal; Sportsman’s Knight and Anglers Edge.
And now for the results. Prizes were presented by last year’s winner Jim Atkins:
First Place and overall Winner was Roger Cummings with a fish of 3.3lbs who wins 60% of the prize pool plus an entry to SAC.
Ladies winner was Eleanor Atkins with a bream of 2.06lb
Junior winner was Ronnie Roberts with a bream of 0.9lb
The prize table was allocated as follows:
2nd place Dave Belcher 3.18lb
3rd place Steve Tambling 3.08lb (and best-placed SMAC member cup)
4th place Tim Ward 2.86lb
5th place Dan Lumsden 2.82lb
6th place Bill Arnold 2.8lb
7th place Mark Jackson 2.74lb
8th place tie Kev Johnson and Mark Banks 2.70lb
10th place Mark Argyle 2.6lb
11th place tie Tony Allen and Dick Prosser 2.56lb
13th place Wayne Comben 2.52lb
14th place Dick Stubbs 2.42lb
15th place Mark Oldfield 2.4lb
16th place Dan Shippen 2.34lb
17th place Dave Newnham 2.32lb
18th place Jim Atkins 2.28lb
We would like to thank Steve Kelly for his monumental efforts in organising our club events; our many behind-the-scenes helpers; the Premier Marina staff who helped with the boats and all the competitors for helping to make this another successful and very enjoyable event.
Until the next one – tight lines!