Protea anglers fair well in England waters
By Franscios Beukes
The Protea bottom fish angling team represented South Africa in the European Federation of Sea Anglers (EFSA) Boat and Line Class Championships in Weymouth England held on September 9 until the 14, 2019.
It consisted of experienced anglers in the form of captain Martin Gierz (Port Elizabeth), John Luef (East London), Allen Ford (East London) and two new caps Wayne Gerber (Port Elizabeth) and Francois Beukes (Natal).
After months of preparation, the Proteas team did exceptionally well in the line class facet as it is similar to how fishing is done back at home. After coming third place after day one they managed a credible fifth position overall out of 17 countries and 22 teams.
The last three days were the ‘Boat championship’ which was fished on drift, using open line tackle of choice and targeted any fish of 20cm’s and over. This format of the championship saw the Protea team having mixed results but ultimately placing ninth overall out of 22 teams.
For noting, over the five days Protea team members John Luef won his boat twice, Allan Ford once and Wayne Gerber once out of the five days fishing.
John Luef also caught the second-most fish for the entire Championship.
The SA team arrived at the prize giving with the hope of picking up some silverware in the individual trophy and medallist. It was confirmed that the Protea team finished fifth in the European Line Class Championship and ninth in the European Boat Championship out of 17 counties and 22 teams.
Wayne Gerber was awarded a gold medal for the best Bream and Francois Beukes was awarded two gold medals and prizes for the best Pollack and the ‘Best Fish other’ [Wrasse]. In total, the team had fished nine out of the 14 days that we were in England and eventually it was time to bring down the curtain on what can only be described as a competition the team would cherish for years to come.
In order for the team to be competitive, they spent hours researching the expected species, tackle, traces and bait presentations which are extremely technical and different to what the team is used to angling in SA waters.
Four days before the competition in Weymouth, the team transformed their accommodation into what can only be described as a makeshift fishing tackle shop, with tackle and traces everywhere.
They encountered rough seas, winds and extreme sea currents caused by the radical change in tides, giving them a taste of what was to come.
They came across various types of fish for targeting. These target species include Conger eels, rays, tope [shark] and Bull Huss [dog shark], together with a variety of small edibles.