EFSA European Species, Bream, Weymouth 2023

Thursday 6th July the registration and opening ceremony for the 2023 EFSA European Species was held at Weymouth Angling Society Clubhouse. During proceedings there was time to have a complimentary drink, and a chat with other anglers from the other Sections attending. There was a total of 53 anglers from 10 Sections fishing, besides England, Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Wales were represented.

Friday 7th July and the 53 anglers boarded their boats for the first day of the two day Championship. Six boats took part and the bait for the day was squid and mackerel, though it would be squid that would be the main bait for the target species of bream.

The weather was set fair for the day, so hopes were high as the boats made for their favourite fishing spot for bream. Initially, several of the boats went different ways but all ended up at the same ground known as “Lights and 1”. Also, while most boats anchored, some found good numbers of bream on the drift.

At the end of day one all boats had good numbers of bream, though individual catches varied greatly! Of the six boat winners four were from France, with the other two English. Matt Osborne was in first place on countback. Best bream of the day was one of 45cm.

Saturday 8th July, day two, and the wind stayed light but there was a lot of rain forecast for the day, wet weather gear was the order of the day. All boats headed for the “Lights and 1” ground which proved the better option on day one. Again, some boats favoured anchoring while most started the day on the drift. The catches were similar to the first day, with most boats catching more bream. I am not sure if the reason for better catches was the skippers finding more fish or some of the chat after day one on what worked, made the anglers improve!

After the fishing, there was time for most to rest a while before the presentation which was held at The Belvedere public house function room There was a good buffet which the anglers helped themselves to before the presentation. Our England Chairman, Neil Bryant announced the results with The EFSA Chairman, Marcus Wuest, presenting the medals and prizes.

The top three longest bream were caught by D P Berger 45cm, Paul Hart 43cm and Wayne Gerber with a 42cm fish.

In the National Teams event and with their three boat wins on day one and another on day two contributing to their well-earned 1st place it was the France A team of Jean Pierre Coutauchaud, David Corday, Francis Couzinet, Simon Elgrishi and  Cyrille Bardin. England A were 2nd and the 4-man team of Norway in 3rd.

The Individual event was close with three anglers with the perfect score of 200%. On countback it was Didier Marest of France who was who cam eout on top tp take the gold pin, Mark Smith of England was 2ndto take the silver pin, with another French man David Corday in 3rdreceiving the bronze pin. Marcus Wuest presented the pins to the anglers.

Top boat was Flamer skippered by Luke Pettis with the greatest number of fish per angler. Luke’s usual boat is Snapper.

Full results are below.

Marcus Wuest on behalf of EFSA Germany made a short presentation on the 2024 European Species Championship to be run on 4 man boats out of Spodsbjerg, Langeland on the 6th to 11th October, fishing for flat fish. He said the final brochure and entry form should be available later this year

Allen Ford of South Africa said a few words on the EFSA Game 2024 to be run out of Simon’s Town, South Africa on 6th to 10th May.

Neil Bryant then made the closing address, firstly thanking the anglers for attending and making the event a success, The Belvedere for hosting us and the staff for doing a great job of looking after us and putting on a good buffet. The Crown Hotel, where most of the anglers stayed, looked after us well, including an early breakfast. Special thanks to the EFSA England committee who work behind the scenes in making sure the event is well run. Neil then officially closed the Championship.