Angling Trust – Marine – Wyvern Region Open Shore Slapton

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Angling Trust – Marine – Wyvern Region Open Shore Slapton, South Devon, On the 15th Jan 2023.
The South West’s first major event in 2023 attracted 130 anglers to the South Hams to fish the annual Angling Trust Wyvern Open Festival, with some competitors traveling from South Wales & the Isle of White, the weather conditions on the day saw a strong to gale force, west / south westerly wind with occasional heavy blustery showers for the five hour event. Whiting, Dogfish, Smoothounds, Spotted Ray & Small Eyed Ray were caught during the event, 52 competitors returned to the scales with fish to record. The results were announced within half an hour of the close of scales at the Festival Headquarters at the Stokeley Farm Shop.
The main sponsor was Julian Shambrook of Anyfish Anywhere Ltd, a major fishing tackle manufacturer, based in Torquay. All of the sponsors for the day were thanked for their continuing support each year, also a big thank you to Stokeley for their hospitality & providing an excellent venue.
The worthy winner, of the event was Tom Travers of Honiton S.A.C., he recorded a Whiting of 1.225lb & a Spotted Ray of 3.25lb giving him a total of (153.89%),he was presented with the top prize of £200 cash and the Brixham Bowl, other tackle prizes to the value of £800 were awarded down to 12th place, these were announced by the Chairman of the Wyvern Region Alex Parker and presented by Julian Shambrook.
It was also very encouraging to see a junior Archie Sweetland from Honiton SAC take 11th place in a competition which attracted 130 anglers.
The Region promotes the Angling Trust “Take Five” anti litter campaign and encourages all anglers to leave the beaches cleaner than they found them.
The first Twelve Places are as follows: –
First: £200 Brixham Bowl
Tom Travers Honiton SAC, Whiting 1.225 lb, Spotted Ray 3.25 lb
Total: 153.89%
Second: Pick of the Prize table & Bideford Cup Cup
Adam Slack Brixham SAC, S E Ray 6.69 lb, Whiting 0.855 lb
Total: 131.31%
Third: Pick of the Prize table & Appledore Cup
Julian Shambrook, Torquay, L.S.D. 1.785 lb, Whiting 0.755 lb
Total: 121.73%
Fourth: Pick of the Prize table & Sidmouth Cup
Rob Marshall, Unattached, Whiting 0.670 lb, L.S.D. 1.845lb
Total: 118.47 %
Fifth: Pick of the Prize table
Liam Teppett, West Bay S.A.C. Whiting 0.805 lb, S. E. Ray 5.75 lb
Total: 117.56%
Sixth: Pick of the Prize table
Matt Werbitzky, West Coast S.A.C. Whiting 0.570 lb, L.S.D. 1.970 lb
Total: 116.80%
Seventh: Pick of the Prize table
Joe Walton,Teignmouth SAS, Whiting 0.590 lb, L.S.D. 1.825lb
Total: 112.33%
Eighth: Pick of the Prize table
Adam Green, Plymouth Sound SAC, Whiting 0.635 lb, L.S.D. 1.670 lb
Total: 109.13%
Ninth: Pick of the Prize table
Gavin Hitchcock, S.W.A.F.S.A.C, Whiting 0.645 lb, L.S.D. 1.565 lb
Total: 105.60%
Tenth: Pick of the Prize table
Paul Rohrabaugh, Sidmouth S.A.C. Whiting 0.685 lb, L.S.D. 1.430 lb
Total: 102.87%
Eleventh: Pick of the Prize table
Archie Sweetland, Honiton SAC, Whiting 0.730 lb, L.S.D. 1.290 lb
Total: 100.27%
Twelfth: Pick of the Prize table
Johnathon Bray, unattached, Whiting 0.830 lb, L.S.D. 1.110 lb
Total: 99,73%
Best Team: Team Shield: (Team of four anglers, Best fish by each angler)
Team: Anyfish Anywhere:
Rob Marshall
Julian Shambrook
Marcus Ward
Pete Hutchins Total 251.87%.
Pool (best individual species)
1/ 50% Alan Hobbs Roving Rods SAC 92%
2/ 30% Tristan Rowe Cormorants SAC 90.33%
3/ 20% Tom Travers Honiton SAC 81.67%
  As a member of the Wyvern committee, I attended the event and was nominated as the end marker at the Strete end of the beach. I also acted as a steward but saw very little action at this end of the beach until the final hour witnessing just 2 dogfish and a couple of whiting. Despite the lack of action, (I blanked) it was a very enjoyable day.

Coming from North Devon it was great to be able to set up on the beach without having to chase the tide up and down. The sight of beach shelters are rare up on the North Devon Coast where the tides make them impractical. And up North we are of course more hardened to the cold weather shunning the need for shelters!

         Slapton is a superb competition venue having plenty of parking and easy access along its 3 miles of course sand. There are a wide range of species caught from the beach throughout the seasons.

  Slapton sands has an interesting history with a very moving story attached to it. In 1943, the beach was used by the allied forces as a rehearsal area for the D-Day Landings. Unfortunately, a combination of live ammunition and poor visibility resulted in the deaths of 749 American servicemen. You can visit a stone monument which was set in place on Slapton Sands to commemorate the ill-fated.

        Whilst I had never fished the beach at Slapton I have fond memories of pike fishing in Slapton Ley before angling ceased under the stewardship of the Slapton Ley Field Centre. The Ley once held huge shoals of rudd and pike to twenty pounds. Its reed fringed waters provided a fascinating and atmospheric venue.

            As is often the case in large sea angling competitions the weigh in reveals plenty of fish at the scales with dogfish and whiting dominating. The introduction of catch and release for ray, smoothound and spurdog was in my view a positive step towards conservation. I intend to fish again next year and hopefully tempt a brace for the weigh in.

            Congratulations to all those who won prizes. And big thanks to those who organised the event and to the generous sponsors.