England ace shows the way in Shield

It seems that those of us occasional anglers who finished out of the prizes in this year’s Halifax Courier Shield sea angling competition shouldn’t feel so disappointed after all.

The results of the annual event fished off Anglesey in late August were revealed at the prize presentation at Sowerby West End BC last Saturday and the top two performers turned out to be international anglers.

Dave Shay, who caught 73 counting fish and amassed 225 points, has fished 12 times for England while runner-up Wyn Parry, who had 70 fish worth 220 points, is a Welsh international.

They travelled from Doncaster and Liverpool respectively to beat the Calderdale anglers in a 40-man competition which is evidently broadening its appeal.

Shay, Parry and third-placed Dave Bateman had the skipper of the Kerry Kim to thank because he found more fish than his counterparts on the other three boats, the Centurion. Empress and Julie Ann.

After last year’s record catches, there were fewer fish and less species caught, but a total of 1,079 fish, pleasant weather and a fairly flat sea still added up to a decent day’s fishing.

Dogfish again accounted for the vast majority of catches and Shay used the tried and trusted method of using fresh mackerel on three hooks on the sea bed to win from his unfavourable draw next to the cabin.

“All you can do is try to win on your boat,” said Shay, who didn’t manage to catch any of the high-scoring bull huss but had several wrasse, including a two pounds-plus fish early on which might have been a contender for the specimen prize had he bothered to weight it.

Shay was also in the winning team of four which won the main trophy, alongside Alan Suddick (105 points), Eddie Parkin (30) and Carl Barnfather (126).

The two-man competition - with pairings also drawn and kept secret until last Saturday - was won by Richard ‘Fishy’ Lowe (168) and last year’s individual winner Burt Lansdale (114).

Craig Riley won the biggest fish prize with a bull huss weighing 10lbs 1oz caught from Empress while Dave Bateman took the specimen prize with a 2lbs 3ozs wrasse from the Kerry Kim.

The event was sponsored by the ‘Courier’, Rigby Plant Hire, Tezelec wholesale eledctricals and PI Consultants.

Meanwhile, changes are afoot for next year’s event, although the anglers will still head out of Amlwch harbour. One of the boats is unavailable for the usual August Bank Holiday weekend slot so the competition is likely to be held a week earlier or later on the Sunday.

Also, competition organisers Steve Breeze, Tommy Dunn and Alex Sinclair are looking at alternative ways of getting the anglers to Anglesey with the cost of the coach likely to be in the region of £700 and at least a dozen competitors preferring to travel to the venue early to make a weekend of it.

Individual result (number of fish in brackets): 1, Dave Shay (73) 225 pts; 2, Wyn Parry (70) 220; 3, Dave Bateman (64) 204, 4, Richard Lowe (56) 168; 5, Alex Sinclair (39) 146; 6, Greg Lloyd (48) 144; 7, Craig Riley (31) 129; 7, Tommy Dunn (43) 129; 9, Carl Barnfather (33) 126; 10, Ian Moore (37) 120; 11, Burt Lansdale (38) 114; 12, Ben Thornber (31) 113; 13, Alan Suddick (35) 105; 14, Paul Ridley (31) 102; 15, Mick Timlin (29) 96; 15, Tony Clissett (29) 96; 17, Bob Deakin (31) 93; 18, Steve Breeze (30) 90; 19, Colin Battye (27) 81; 20, Andrew Tatchell (25) 75; 21, Mark Mellor (24) 72; 21, Nigel Beaumont (21) 72; 21, Phil Naylor (24) 72; 24, Ian Rushworth (21) 63; 25, Tony Sykes (20) 60; 26, Warren Smith (19) 59; 27, Terry Dunn (19) 57; 28, Alan Boyles (17) 51; 29, Neil Sowden (16) 48; 30, Barry Walsh (10) 39; 30, Tracey Whippey (13) 39; 32, Tommy Morris (9) 36; 33, Tony Burgess (11) 35; 34, Steve Fleet (11) 33; 35, Stuart McPherson (10) 30; 35, Eddie Parkin (10) 30; 35, Tom Hay (10) 30; 35, Colin Middleton (8) 30; 39, Ian Levell (6) 18; 40, Steve Quinn (0) 0.