Old Southendian Angling Society

The Old Southendian Association Angling Society was formed last year in the hope we could encourage a few more Old Boys to become involved in one of the OSA’s associated clubs. It is run on a similar basis to the golf circle with different outings organised throughout the year including sea fishing, trout fishing and coarse fishing. Our inaugural trip was held last November and involved a charter boat trip out of Wallasea Marina aboard Predator, owned and skippered by Stewart Olley. 8 excited and well wrapped-up chaps took to the sea in the hope of catching a whopping great cod or two to take home for tea. The day was a real success and everyone enjoyed a top day out with plenty of smaller fish caught (codling and whiting) plus some nice sized Thornback rays, however the monstrous cod remained elusive.

The next trip was once again a sea fishing excursion aboard Predator. This time, instead of cod, the fabled Tope (a species of small shark) was our quarry. There is a run of Tope that happens once a year off the Essex coast, predominantly in June so we’d booked our session to coincide. The Thames Estuary is well known for whackers (it still holds the British record) but none of us were expecting too much. After several Topeless hours and about 400 cups of tea to while away the time, Mark Boon pointed out to Clive Shiret that he had a bite. Clive, being very much a novice, began faffing about and eventually connected with something he said “didn’t feel that big”.

Clive Shiret bags a 70lb Tope
Dick Cox with his 30lb Tope

After about 15-20 mins and with lots of coaching from the skipper, Clive got the fish close to the boat. Stewart the skipper then became very animated when he saw the size of it and proclaimed it to be a leviathan of the deep. The rest of the chaps sighed with incredulity whilst I sat dumbfounded with my head in my hands. Another 5 mins passed and eventually the Skipper and Barry Delf managed to wrestle the fish aboard. It truly was a monster. On the scales the fish went just over 70lbs, a mere 10 or so pounds below the official British boat caught record and 69lbs heavier than Clive’s previous best sea fish! That wasn’t quite the end of the excitement because a little later, Dick Cox managed to hook and land a nice 30 pounder. On any other day, this would have been a fish of a lifetime (and it was for Dick) but it paled into insignificance for the rest of us in the shadow of Clive’s huge fish.

Our next trip is a fly fishing trip to Chigboro fisheries in Maldon, Essex on two separate weekends in November, where an instructor has been booked to show us the ropes and hopefully help us catch a fish or two. Anyone who might be interested in becoming a part of the Angling section and getting involved in a trip or two, please contact me or Richard Maddison to let us know. Please contact the OSA Secretary for email addresses.

Tight lines

Nick Robins (Athens, 1978-1984)