After a soggy spring at last the sun was shining for some superb fishing at the third OK Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament which took place at Swanage on 12th May. Kayak anglers from all over the country came to take part in this competition which is organised by Johnson Outdoors UK and supported by AnglersAfloat.
A record number of 19 different fish species were caught in this catch and release competition and over £1400 was raised for the local RNLI lifeboat station. A total of 133 competitors took to the water, including a growing number of junior anglers this year and the online fishing forums have been buzzing about what a superb tournament it was. “A fantastic weekend,” “a great success,” “a cracking day out once again,” – just some of the comments on AnglersAfloat.
The winner was Keith Ward from Horsham who won an Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3. Second prize, an Ocean Kayak Prowler Elite 4.1 went to Ryan Turner from Lyme Regis and in third place was Ben Wallbridge from Wareham who went away with an Ocean Kayak Tetra 12 Angler.
Because there were so many entries this year (the event now has over three times as many anglers taking part as it did when it started in 2010) the organizers even added another boat as a fourth prize. A Yak Sport was won by Amos Mak from Leyton. The top junior was Jamie Lloyd from Swansea who had some great fishing accessories to take home. Other great prizes included C-Tug kayak trolleys, a Pacific Action kayak sail system, paddles, buoyancy aids, a subscription to Sea Angler magazine, rod mounts, dry bags, kayak lights and various fun awards given away to competitors who distinguished themselves on the day. No-one went away entirely empty handed either as each entrant got a commemorative T-shirt plus an RNLI goody bag.
Carolyn Hooper of Swanage Tourist Board presented the main prizes and Martin Steeden, Coxswain of the Swanage Lifeboat, accepted the donation cheque on behalf of the RNLI. The species caught were Undulate Ray, Small Eyed Ray, Mackerel, Bream, Plaice, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwing Wrasse, Pollack, Brill, Tompot Blenny, Garfish, Scorpion Fish, Gurnard, Shanny, Dogfish, Bass, Starry Smoothhound, Dragonet and Goldsinny.