So a slight change to format this year to what many have been used to in how the prizes were sorted in that we chose to do the same as the year that Paul Singleton one the 1st prize in that the main prize would be for the biggest single squid and also a trophy followed by a trophy and smaller prize for the person that won with the most body length of accumulated squid not most actual squid catches.
Looking at the tides it was decided to go for 24/04/22 yesterday 🙂 am not sure way it wasnt set to 3pm as normally we try to get 3 before and 3 after but it was set to a 2pm finish and prizes/raffle draw to be done straight after the squidding.
Wind forecasts raised a few eyebrows running towards the date as there was a constant NE breeze showing but myself having faith that the walls would offer a fair bit of protection and forecasters habbits of going over and then finding next to no wind on said day … we opted to go after input and help from the shop boss David Grinham with a slight change in that we used the upper bays numbering pegs in reverse so bay 60 became peg 1 with bay 34 being peg 26.
in preparation we had asked prior on facebook if anyone wished to have a bay double peg for names and had 42 declare interest in attending. Usually with these things we get dropouts for many reasons & some simply dont show while others just show on the day. The number loss sometimes can be as much as a third so with the wind factor heavily making people unsure if to go or was it worth it we pushed on as the back up option was hosting it the following weekend , a bank holiday that could cause bigger issues. Add to this over night and early messages indicated 4 pairs and 3 singles couldn’t make the event due to covid, colds, work changes and breakdowns ! so we really were not shre what numbers would greet us on the morning.
So for me was a 6am get up as well as my wife Angie and son Michael who had offer to help. Taxi down to the east carpark for 7.45 am got us underway meet/greet/set up and sort the draw out. Chris Grinstead covered the raffle sorting the prizes with some background work put in the weeks prior form Steven Tapp and a few others.
Angie & I got going with the draw set up with 2 separate posts for pegs 1-25 and a back up bag of 25- 35 in case was needed(it wasnt) and Michael went to bay 60 to chalk the numbers in the centre of the front wall 1-26 downwards.
The idea was if a pair one would draw for their peg and singles would draw a peg we would ring the ticket to show 1 on it so far and if the ringed number was re drawn by a pair it would go back in for a single to draw and they redrew. it worked smoothly and competitors printed names on our entry list master copy and also signed it to show they had read the now required health & safety form.
Once that was done competitors could walk off up to their drawn pegs to set up for a 9am start. As we did the count we found that 32 had come, 28 adults 2 seniors and 2 juniors and while less than some years was not a bad turn out considering the conditions that were expected on the day.
By 8.30 am it was fairly clear that no more were likely to show so a swift sort out to separate the wall fee’s for dave from the entry money for the competition which was passed to Chris who was sorting the raffle ticket sales and would combine the two to work out what was raised v’s cost of prizes/trophies etc a bit later.
Just b4 9am I walked up the wall & to be honest the wind was much lower than the prediction and the cloud predicted to mid day/1ish broke quickly and the sun came out. Though a bit chilly the sun was in everyone’s faces most of the day, I even got a patch of sunburn on my left hand!(grantedI had skin cream on & it probably fried)
9am prompt we started with the help of Tim Albright assisting with any entry form signing and pictures on the day (already uploaded on squid gallery) and 2 squid came up very quickly giving me hope that we had got the day bang on because water conditions looked perfect.
Unfortunately that wasn’t quite the case as it soon became clear that the squid were not quite so easy or obliging as various types of lure and float method got used. Casting (egi) Jigs, pairs of jigs tied inline, single jigs set just under the bottom weight were all in use including a few with floats that suddenly found the N/NEast wind was to some level helping add some distance to cast distance as the wind was now in flurries directly behind them and adding some push to the flight to the water ! bonus :).
A third squid came up on the 30-40 minute in mark followed by rogue knocks and a couple of dropped squid on the pegs between 5 & 12 or bays 55 down to39 ish but it was clear this could be a tough day for everyone. Home the high tide about mid day It was clear that the wind was making some quite uncomfortable and the lack of squid was causing a slump feeling in many with some thinking about giving up but end of day most stayed although a couple packed up but stayed to watch convinced that it wasnt going to happen for them. The good & bad of chancing the day I guess but as said our back up date b4 the mayrot takes hold was the bank holiday weekend with faster running tides and highly likely crowding issues.
Up and over the high things were very flat and we had agreed that after 11am if squidders wanted to swap about their pegs they could providing they stayed within the chalked bays of 1-26 for one it proved very profitable when he moved. Around 1ish we saw Robin Howard out doing some research in the wind and some spotted him land a squid or 2 just off the end of the west wall one of which looked very decent. but for the wall it was an hour of nothing but seeing rob catching showed some promise for the turning tide.
As 1pm ticked past there were increased signs of activity and an occasional squid was had with a small flurry just prior to the 2pm planned finish. Seeing this flurry I asked the people around someone who had just put himself into the lead do they want another half hour(snap decision) informing the leader if they say yes and all agree he could in theory lose ! , all wanted that 30 mins so off we went with frantic shouts and calls to anyone higher up the wall on the lower peg numbers , the shout came too late for one who chose not to reset but everyone else seemed happy with the call and the sun had also come out to play fully with coats being shed and rods being re cast.
Was the 30 min call the right one you ask ? well yes for some no for others.
Mike King (runs fins & forks) in the last 2 mins landed a lovely Cuttle fish Yes we include them in the event and finally left us with a total of 9 squid landed possibly 4 dropped and a decent cuttle landed (pics on gallery page squiddly didly) more than some years, less than others. I suspect a few sunburns today as while there was a wind chill the sun was out all day as such. I got the feeling most were happy and many enjoyed the day leaving us all to walk off the wall once packed after 2.30pm to sort the raffle and prizes on the benches by the cafe..
I must add that the wall was left spotless without anyone being asked to clean up so on that, credit to everyone and thankyou all for showing how easy it is to take everything with you when you leave.
Who won ? yep the gent that chose to move from a low peg draw to a mid high bay, Michael Deacon, a past 2nd place winner and comp regular that had put in a few weeks practice on the wall running up to the event. If you havent met him look out for him, a proper gent and always happy to help people wanting to learn.
Thus the tiring (for me was knackering)walk to the cafe and the draw that Chris Grinstead had sorted and would announce for us and some picture opportunities.
The R.N.L.I. With entry fees and raffle ticket sales combined, £414 was raised which will be donated to the RNLI.
Largest single squid, Michael Deacon
Longest collective squid Michael deacon
and yes he did a clean sweep with a raffle prize as well!
We didnt have a junior catch this year so it literally was a case of flip a coin in front of everyone with the result of
Emily Neville winning the rod/reel combo, again donated by Dave,
Otto winning a bespoke Roman Gancedo Rey squid jig
Gareth Williams, Kevan Howe, Neal Lees John Fish
Chocs: Frank Parker
neck gaiters and wading boot studs (aka fetish gear): Kevan Howe
Assorted squid jigs & lure gear: Lewis Clark,
Sean Lacey, Mike King, Graham Savage, Aidan Melia, Conrad Lee, Simon Ho, Mike Deacon Neal Lees
Thanks must go to Steven Tapp for donating all of the trophies and his unseen work for LISA and this comp in general
Dave Grinham for rod/reel combo prizes and his continued support of the event and supply of fishing wardens when needed
Roman for his marvellous jigs,
Ray Neville for the (shed) clearance lurey stuff
Tim albright camera man and marshal assist
and last but not least
Robin Howard for initially getting this event started way back when most people on the marina had never realised you could catch squid here in Brighton
For those that don’t use or see facebook posts I will add here the report from Chris who did an awful lot not just on the day but pulling this comp together
Chris Grinstead report
31 squidders, including 2 juniors, braved a brisk Easterly wind that made for challenging conditions. 2 squid were caught in first 30 minutes so it was looking good but proved to be hard going thereafter until a late flurry that caused the comp to be extended by 30 minutes. 9 squid and a cuttle were caught in total.
Mike Deacon caught the largest squid (38 cms) to win the comp and the rod/reel combo kindly donated by David Grinham. Mike also caught 2 other squid to win secondary prize of longest aggregate length caught. Neither of the juniors caught, so the prizes were awarded on the toss of a coin with Emily Neville winning the rod/reel combo, again donated by Dave, and Otto winning a bespoke Roman Gancedo Rey squid jig.
Many thanks to Dave for allowing us to hold the event on the marina and for generous donation of prizes. Similar thanks to Roman for donating a great selection of jigs for winners’ & raffle prizes. Huge thanks to Frank Parker for running the show and to Angie and Michael and to Tim Albright for their help throughout. Thanks too to Steven Tapp for the unseen work needed to make it all happen and the donation of all of the winners’ trophies. Bravo, all.
Thanks to all who supported the event, either by fishing it or buying raffle tickets. (Full list of winners to follow separately). With entry fees and raffle ticket sales combined, £414 was raised which will be donated to the RNLI.
And with that I will thank everyone that came to the event and all that have supported it over the years and hopefully
We will see you all next year