Debbie’s bream festival win is perfect tribute to dad

Debbie Shelley recorded a poignant win in the black bream festival
Debbie Shelley recorded a poignant win in the black bream festival
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Bognor Amateur Angling Society’s annual open black bream festival attracted anglers from far and wide.

Boats set off at 9am from Felpham beach and Littlehampton Marina and it was a poignant trip for one angler.

Debbie Shelley, accompanied by her husband Kevin, laid to rest the ashes of her father John Elcott on the fishing grounds where he had won the festival four times.

At 10am many boats anchored up around Debbie and Kevin’s vessel as the ashes were laid to rest. Each crew put a single red rose into the water.

John was a much-loved member of the Bognor club for more than 50 years.

It might be said that fate took its part as Debbie won the festival, weighing in with 36lb 11oz of black bream – becoming the first woman to win the prestigious trophy.

Some 31 entrants fished in the event and the total weight of black bream caught was 144lb 6oz.

Results: Class 1, heaviest bag of black bream: Debbie Shelley (BRAAS) 36lb 11oz; Class 2, best black bream / heaviest single fish: Dave Harvey (Emsworth Sea Angling Club) - 3lb 2oz; Class 3, heaviest total of fish caught excluding black bream: Wayne Hart (BRAAS), 39lb 13oz; Class 4, top juinor for overall weight: Megan Lawson-Bryant (BRAAS), 4lb 7oz.

BRAAS held a club match at Bognor Pier.

Results: 1 Wayne Hart, 1 thornback ray, 6lb 15oz; 2 Steve Middleton, 4 dogfish, 5lb 13oz; 3 Dan Middleton, 4 dogfish, 5lb 2oz. 10 people fished, 7 weighed in, total agg weight 22lb 11oz.

The society held a club boat match.

Results: 1 T Chant, 23lb 15oz, bream, skate, other; 2 G Lawson, 23lb 1oz; bream, pout; 3 W Hart 21lb 11oz; pout, bream, skate. Heaviest fish - T Chant, skate, 10lb 12oz. 13 people fished, 11 weighed in, total agg weight - 155lb 5oz.

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