Town’s biggest fishing festival ready to start

David Shay, winner of Whitby's spring angling festival in 2012
David Shay, winner of Whitby's spring angling festival in 2012

Whitby’s biggest angling festival of the year kicks off on Saturday (22 June) with cash prizes of more than £10,000 at stake.

The competition is the highlight of the angling calendar and attracts people from all over the north of England.

The angler who catches the heaviest fish during the three-week festival will take home a bumper cheque of £5,000.

Organisers, the Whitby Charter Skippers’ Association, are hoping for some cracking catches - in particular, halibut.

Secretary Paul Kilpatrick said: “The forecast for the start of the competition looks all right but then it might turn next week.”

But there’s every chance the recent trend of the winning fish being caught on the final weekend of the festival could continue.

“It usually comes in towards the end when it gets warmer,” said Paul.

“Someone caught a 71lb halibut recently so there’s every possibility someone with a big halibut could win it.”

“This year we have a new sponsor, The Fleece pub, which is sponsoring the top prize of £5,000, with many anglers popping in for a quick beer each night after being out at sea.”

“There is over £10,000 in cash prizes to be won during the competition - as well as the jackpot, the second heaviest fish is £1,000 plus third and fourth major prizes plus £100 per day in daily prizes.”

People can still get booked up - there is list of all eligible boats on the WCSA website.

The competition starts tomorrow and finishes on Sunday 14 July.

To book a boat, visit