Ray of light through the rain

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Andrea Smith

Smith flying high after England call-up

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SPOTTED RAYS proved the catch of the day in the latest round of the ISAC Solent League.

The battle raged from 7pm until midnight on Saturday from Eastney Beach.

It was a change for the ISAC who had never fished the venue in July before.

Pegs were placed in three zones from the radar mast just past the pipe at Eastney peg one, back towards St George’s Road peg 75. 

This was the end marker for the Southsea rowing regatta as they occupied the anglers’ usual spot.

The contest was fished in good conditions as the rain dropped the wind down to virtually nothing.

More than 40 entrants returned a total of 70-plus fish to the scales for a total match weight of 52lb 13oz.

This included bass, tub gurnard, plaice, pout, spotted rays, scad, silver eel, smoothhound and 51 top ups. 

Both of the spotted rays broke the previous ISAC record of 4lb 5¼oz. 

Pete Jones, from Horndean, established the first new record with a specimen fish of 4lb 8¼oz. 

His fish was beaten by another specimen of 4lb 15¼oz, reeled in by Matt Brook, of Sandown on the Isle of Wight, setting the new Solent League record.

England international Darren Newland, from Lake on the Isle of Wight, won the match.

He landed a 90cm smooth-hound of 5lb 12oz – the heaviest fish of the match.

This was Newland’s fifth match victory in all ISAC competitions and his first of the season, winning him the top cash prize of £145, as well as the trophy and certificate. 

Brook was runner-up as he added a silver eel to his ray.

The final podium place went to Mike Groves, from Havant.

Rob Marshall continues to lead the Individual Championship table. 

The next match will be fished at Hayling Island on Saturday, August 18, from 7pm until midnight. 

The book-in at Eastoke Corner seafront car park, PO11 9LU, is from 5pm.

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