Whitby anglers battle big freeze

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Whitby Sea Anglers’ Association members braved a chilly Sunday evening for the latest in their winter match series.

By late afternoon the wind had freshened, a cold westerly aiding a slight long distance northerly swell, surprisingly with plenty of colour.

By 6pm, the four-hour match started (in daylight), just after high water 17.37 hrs 5.4 m.

By 7pm the sun had set to reveal clear skies and the temperature dropped to 3°C, for one of the coldest nights making wind chill a problem on wet fingers for baiting up.

Local beaches were popular with members and pleasure anglers alike.

Some had travelled to Scarborough for a tidal mark with mixed results. Swells were irregular and at times one thought the sea state was growing, only for long periods of calm to follow.

Good strong fish bites were few and far between with undersized fish keeping members busy re-baiting, as hooks were stripped bare.

Fresh lug worm tipped with razor was bait of choice for whiting.

By 8pm the wind had dropped and a near full moon rose bright and orange over the east side of Whitby.

Returning to the cars, a frost was starting to lay in the damp grass.

Seven of the 15 members and one junior returned to the scales with a mixed selection of fish – five codlings, four whitings and one flat fish for 13 lb 12 oz.

Man of the match was Colin Stainthorpe with a single codling 3 lb 3 oz for heaviest bag of fish and heaviest fish of the night.

Paul Short, second, after a slow start was kept busy with undersized fish and a couple of ‘crack offs’ and unknown snags on what should have been a clean beach.

Top tip – before departing for the weigh-in check you and ‘your’ partner have picked up all their fishing gear, it saves a time consuming return journey, and you won’t miss the weigh-in.

Results, Sunday

1 C Stainthorpe with 1 codling for 3 lb 3 oz, 2 P Short 3 whitings, 1 flat fish for 2 lb 11 oz, 3 M Garbutt 1 codling for 2 lb 6 oz, 4 D Thompson 1 codling for 1 lb 12 oz, 5 B Vasey 1 codling for 1 lb 11 oz, 6 P Horbury 1 codling for 1 lb 5 oz, 7 J Gilpin 1 whiting for 12 oz.