Runswick bay grand slam.

Runswick bay is a beautiful fishing villages in the north east, not too far from Whitby and is just over an hours drive south for me. The grand slam competition, ran by team mate Sam, was to run in conjunction with the big fish competition ran by Ian Pickering, which had always produced a good turn out. On Saturday both competitions would be running in parallel with each other, and on the Sunday the grand slam would continue as it was a two day event, just as esthwaite was.

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The grand slam target species were cod, pollock and any 3rd species- excluding mackerel, coal fish and whiting.

On Friday I arrived in good time to runswick bay in order set all my rods and equipment up and still leave time to meet up with everyone and have a bit of a social and catch up. When I got there I noticed several kayaks on the water. Practicing and trying to figure out what the fish we’re taking and where they were. I decided against this, as I’d hate to peak too soon and spoil my comp day, it’s happened before! I already had a good idea where to try.

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Saturday morning soon came round and it was competition day! Kayak rigged and ready to go, we awaited the signal to launch- and we were off! I paddled out at a fair pace to get to my chosen spot, around 3/4 of a mile paddle. I dropped my lure and began fishing. Within no time at all it was clear there were plenty of cod about, watching kayak anglers all over bringing fish aboard. A guy close to me had hooked up with a very nice fish, and as I had a net and he didn’t I did the sporting thing to do and paddled over to him to net it. It was a cod of around 8lb. What a fish. I continued to fish this area and picked up a few fish in the morning, cod to around 3.5lb. This was great as a first species of my grand slam, but I knew it wasn’t going to get me anywhere with the big fish competition. Another drop of the lure and a small pollock took it as it went down. This was my second species! Small, but happy with that. I carried on throughout the day with a few more fish but it wasn’t to be and nothing big for me to weigh in.

It was an unbelievable weigh in like never seen before. Top 10 fish were above 7lb and first place for Mike Taylor at over 12lb.

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Day two of the grand slam competition arrived. And so did the wind. The strong winds had forced Sam to bring the boundaries right in for safety reasons. I only needed my 3rd species and had planned to anchor up in the bay fairly close in and try and bait fish for one of the flat fish species. Most the other guys needed pollock so headed further out towards the edge of the boundary.

2 hours had gone by and not a single bite. Was proving more difficult than I first thought. I had heard that the odd dog fish could be caught at runswick, but not that common as they are in other parts of the U.K. I decided to take a risk and try for one. I paddled out into the tidal area, around 40 feet of water and dropped a bigger fish bait. Within minutes I got the typical dog fish bite I was hoping for. I gave it a few seconds then struck. The hook was set. I’ve never been so happy to hook a dog fish, normally cursing them for robbing my bait. Dog fish landed and photographed and I had my grand slam albeit a small slam, a slam it was. By this time the weather had faired up considerably, and Sam made the call to open the safety boundaries back up. I decided to try for a bigger pollock. I trolled a lure over some features I had found on my fish finder. But to no avail.

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Competition over I paddled in and loaded everything in the van. It soon became clear that only 4 anglers had achieved the slam, and I was one of them. At the presentation I had made 4th place with my slam and I was more than happy with that given the weather on day two. Fellow team mate Mark dowse took first place and well done to him, winning a new lowrance elite hook 5 fish finder.

So that was the end of the second competition in the lowrance grand slam series, and I had two slams, putting me in 5th position on the league table! It was all down to the last one at Christchurch. It was all still to play for.

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