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APND Round 7 Garrucha – A Welcome Victory

After a season of bad pegs, lack lustre performances and back injury it was a relief to come away from the longest competition of the season with an overall victory.The prestigious APND Club de Pesca of Puerto de Mazarron Surfcasting Championship moved down the coast to Garrucha for Round 7 of the series. The twelve hour competition that ran from eight o’clock Saturday night until eight o’clock Sunday morning was a gruelling event. Even before the start I had reservations about taking part as a back injury sustained over a month ago was still causing problems and the lesson I learned at the Calnegre Open back in August was a painful one indeed - do not go surfcasting with any form of back injury. The first problem encountered was Peter Birch, my fellow English member of the club, and I went to the wrong location and, although we arrived before the start, by the time we cast the competition had been running half an hour. I decided from the outset to stick to my original plan and target Lubina (Sea Bass) for the first hour with one rod close in as there is a deep drop off on the edge of the surf on Garrucha beach. Ten minutes and my trusty Grauvell Telesurf had a fish on. Officials rushed over to check the size as we were fishing in Andalusia and had to abide by their minimum sizes, not Murcian Region sizes.

The Andalusia minimums are greater so over the night many fish had to be returned as they were too small to count. The Lubina was fine and confidence was growing within as I cast my second rod out to distances that had not been achievable for months. After catching several decent size Magret ( Striped Sea Bream) the whole sea went dead. Rumour was reaching me that at the far end of the beach competitors were catching sizeable fish so instead of despondency setting in I decided to give it my best and put both rods out at distance hoping a large fish would be swimming around and presenting a worm bait in front of its nose would be too much for it to resist. It took a while but at around five o’clock in the morning one of my rods moved as though someone was just pulling the line for a laugh. This was not the normal bite signs of fish in the area. I started retrieving line but the fish was heading in all directions and as I was using very fine 0.12mm line with a tapered shock leader and size twelve hooks on a light terminal rig I had to be cautious as it would be so easy to lose the fish. The only way that I was going to land this pesky Pesca was to tire it out. I backed the clutch off on the reel and let it run, taking a risk in case the hook was not set or any of the things you start imagining when faced with this situation, they are all bad! After ten minutes or so the fish was flashing in my headlight out in the surf. After the rush of setting up I still had my Wellingtons on so walked into the surf and just held the line taught, raising the rod until I could pick the fish up………. A Mujol (Common Grey Mullet) forty five centimetres long and weighing over a kilo. This was a present from above! Two and a half hours to go and nobody knew what I had caught. Another good size Magret followed together with many small ones that had to go back but my bucket was looking full for the first time in months.

The eight o’clock horn sounded as the sun rose over the horizon and I made my way to the weigh in on the Paseo. Luigi Mateos sat with pen in hand ready to log the results and the excited chat was of which of them had the heaviest bag. When one of the officials picked up bag number four they visibly panicked, who is four? The bag was opened and the Mujol produced, after the usual cracks about where had I been Mercadona, Upper or Caprabo? The weigh in commenced and with baited breath all round the bags were processed. My weight was 2.192 kilos, I had won the section and beaten Luigi Mateos. With four bags left to weigh from the other section only Juan Canovas could beat me. He didn’t and I won the competition outright by two hundred grams. It is too late in the season with only two rounds remaining now to make much of an impact on the top three but a welcome result all the same. The next round is on the 14th October at Calnegre, my nightmare venue, but as usual I will try my best to challenge the undoubted local stars of the sport once again.
APND Round 7 Garrucha Results - 1 Gary Smith Puerto De Mazarron
2 Juan Canovas Snr Totana 3 Luigi Mateos Puerto De Mazarron

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