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Matchmen enjoy a bumper 12 months
THE first big fishing beach open in 2011 was the Ford Southampton Open and Benfleet matchman Dion Macfayden won with four flounder as he beat 152 other anglers from all over the country.
In February it was the turn for Russel Clark from Rochford to win the Stanford-le-Hope Beach Open with five flounder.
And Clark had a good March too, as he won the second round of the Kent Flounder League at Greenhithe.
But in April Rick Hodson won the third round of the league at Allhallows with seven flounder.
And in the same month, junior match angler Marley Macfayden caught the biggest fish in the Gravesend Beach Open.
His 37cm flounder landed £170 in a competition with 130 entrants.
May was a good month for Benfleet matchman Ian Reynolds as he emerged victorious in the Kent Flounder League.
And in June, Dion Macfayden won the East Tilbury Beach Open with eight fish for 242 points.
Canvey matachman Jason Speller beat 73 anglers to claim £500 in prize money by winning July’s Kent Sole Open with three soles.
Also in July, Lewis Clark win the first round of the Essex Summer League.
In August, 1980 masters champion Dave Tanner, from Rochford, won the second round of the Essex Summer League at the Tilbury Beach Open.
Lewis Clark took the Essex Summer League honours in September, and in October Dion Macfayden won the first of the Essex Winter Beach Open competitions at Thorpe bay.
Macfayden took 15 whiting and one flounder for 61b 50z, and in third place was Dion’s son Marley, 12, as he finished ahead of 20 other seniors with a whiting catch of 21b 10z.
Dion followed that up by winning the Gravesend Beach Open later that month with 20 whiting for 590cm, and in the same match biggest fish prizes fell to Derrick Jackson, from Benfleet, with a sole of 21lb, and Alan Palmer, from Canvey, with an eel of 1lb 10oz.
Dion kept his run of form going in November when he won the Kent Classic against 425 other anglers at the Isle of Sheppy.
In November, Lewis Clark won the Fambridge Beach Open, and Ian Reynolds enjoyed victory at the Canvey Island Beach Open.
In December, Reynolds landed the biggest cod over two days in the Liverpool Beach Open with a fish of 31b coming in at 55cm.
And Dion continued his fine end to the year as he won the Deal 1919 Christmas Beach Open.
And it was also in that match that the Essex Thames team of Dion macfayden, Marley Macfayden, Russel Clark and Lewis Clark emerged victorious as their 15kg of fish beat 19 other teams.
The last big open of the year saw Martin Grossman, from Westcliff, travel to Hastings and take first prize with a catch of 38 whiting, one dab and one pout for 161b 10z to win the £300 first prize.