The 2013 Kayak Wars competition started on the 1st of February and ended on the 14th of December. It was the first year that European kayak anglers could submit teams and compete in the Kayak Wars. I formed a team comprising of Elliot, Kieren and myself under the name of West Cornwall Kayakers!
The competition runs on a fairly simple and basic concept of photographing the fish you catch against a measuring board and then submitting these photos online. A very good competition concept for catch and release fishing as the fish can be returned straight after a quick photo. Each species has a minimum & trophy length and fish above these lengths earns you 10 or 50 points respectively. All you need to fish in the kayak wars competition are: 2 other team members, a measuring device (tape measure or dedicated fish measurer), a camera and a means of uploading photos to the kayak wars website i.e. a computer. Team members can be those who you regularly fish with or just fellow kayak anglers from somewhere else in Europe!
I use 2 means of measuring my fish - one is a fish measuring sticker stuck to a flat piece of perspex for measuring flatfish and ray, the other is a fish measuring sticker stuck to a piece of gutter pipe - this is used for round fish as this holds them much better for taking a photo.
Even though the competition started on the 1st of February none of us actually got out on the kayak until the 20th of May with the last trip of the season on November the 16th, managing 17 trips in this time. My team caught 196 fish that were long enough to count for points and these covered 22 species with an average points per catch of 20.83. This amounted to 4000 fish points giving us 3rd place in the combined freshwater/saltwater European section!!
We all enjoyed fishing the kayak wars competition and cant wait for next year when hopefully more teams will take part. Kieren wasn't able to get out on the kayak so much (too busy chasing girls!!) but still managed some decent catches. Elliot and myself went whenever time and conditions allowed us too and hopefully next year will all be able to get out more and score more points!
We all caught some cracking fish - Elliot managed some lovely flatfish and caught his first ever ray - a blonde of 10lb (50cm wingspan). Kieren managed a monster Blonde Ray of 23lb 9oz (71cm wingspan) and my most memorable catches of the year were a Conger of 20lb (155cm long), a Blonde Ray around 18lb (66cm wingspan) and a Small Eyed Ray of 9lb 11oz (60cm wingspan). We had a few fun sessions catching Haddock and Whiting from deep water and towards the end of the year had a couple of awesome sessions fishing for ray! Below are a few photos of the bigger/better fish we had over the year:
Well done to the Dutchies on coming 1st in the team section and to Daniel for coming 1st individually - a close second for Graham Smith though!!
Well done to everyone who fished and to Rob Appleby-Goudberg for setting up Kayak Wars in Europe this year. Graham Smith has now taken over the running of the competition and i sure he will do a great job of keeping the competition running well. The 2013 kayak wars has been great fun with plenty of nice catches and plenty of good friendly competition between the anglers (some interesting banter too!!). I look forward to fishing against everyone next year and seeing everyones catch reports - bring on the 2014 Kayak Wars!!!
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