This year's Swanage classic was organised and sponsored by HOBIE. With a Hobie kayak up for grabs for the winner it was all to play for. The Competition was a species hunt and the kayak angler back first with the most species would win the Hobie.
The day started with an early 4am wake up and a 5:30am meet at the Rownham services for a few of the Hampshire lads. After a quick brew and chat we headed to Swanage in convoy. Due to the time of day the drive only took an hour with some great scenic views on the way. We arrived at Swanage to be amazed at the number of kayakers already setting up and we knew it was going to be a good day. The sun literally appeared over the hill as we arrived in the car park and signalled the start of a Great day. After setting up the kayaks we carried on with a great tradition of bacon rolls cooked out the back of Dave Orphin's car. Nothing better to start the day with than bacon sizzling on a gas stove.
After registering and receiving our comp cards we had some time to kill and literally couldn't keep still. I hadn't fished Swanage before but a few of the lads had fished Swanage a few days earlier and the discussion of the best place to fish began. It helped burn some time but eventually it was time for the safety brief so we headed down to the green next to the Hobie tent.
After the brief over a 100 kayak anglers descended down to the beach. For what was a very pleasant launch. There were people helping everyone get their kayaks down to the water and it went very smoothly. The Start was a rolling start because of a group photo opportunity however it worked very well and didn't cause a panic getting the kayak launched.
After the countdown it was a mad rush as everyone paddled hard. Those who had fished the venue before headed straight to their marks which for some was on the other side of the bay towards the cliffs. It turns out that was the place to be however a long paddle. I noticed a feature on my fish finder and decided to anchor up half way to the cliffs. Shortly after anchoring up the gusts of wind picked up and it got pretty choppy at one point. Within the first ten minutes my rod bent right over and I was into a really nice Bream. While taking a Photo it managed to escape and needless to say I was fuming because it was a biggen maybe not the biggest of the day but definitely one of my biggest.
I didn't have to wait long though and I was in again and had another couple nice two pound Bream. I tried to move but my anchor was stuck and just decided to stay put until the end encase I had to cut the line. I managed 8 fish overall but only three species unfortunately. Ended up with Bream Wrasse and Pouting. When it was time to head back I asked the Safety boat to help me with my stuck anchor and they struggled to lift it with a huge boat so I had no chance of freeing it from a kayak. I don't know their names but I know they were from the Swanage angling club and saved a lot of other angler's anchors. Thanks Guys!!! I ended up almost coming in last from my anchor situation but managed to get back in time and register my Bream and sign off the water.
Shortly after putting the kayak back on the car we had the prize giving and there was plenty prizes to give away from all the generous donations to the comp. The closet I came to winning a prize was last kayak off the water. If I knew there was a prize for that I would have stayed out longer lol. The winner was Mark Radcliffe with 10 species and he ended up registering off the water 2 hours before the comp ended. He had been fishing Swanage all week so had a pretty good idea where to go or a cheeky anchor line with a bag full of fish lol he wouldn't do that. Anyway it was a cracking day really enjoyed it and thanks goes out to all those involved. Really looking forward to The Swanage Classic 2016. I made a short video of the comp scroll down and check it out!
A few of the Hampshire kayak kings
Video of the day