The British Spearfishing Championships are made of 4 competitions throughout the year. Spots are in different parts of the country and participation is by individual clubs. No boats are used, so starting and finishing are from a designated area. The competitions last 6 hours. We had already followed the British Spearfishing Championships in 2019.
Round 1 – Meadfoot Beach – Devon
The 1st competition of the British Spearfishing Championships was run by the Forces Club. It was a very successful event. Conditions on the day were very calm, but visibility was poor. It varied from 0.5 to 3 m depending on depth and part of the area fished. Depth spearfished on the day varied from 0.5 m to 15 m. The visibility got worse the deeper the diver went. Fish also were in short supply, so that added to the lack of visibility made for a very tough competition. Every fish caught was very hard to earn. The species caught on the day were Bass, Mullet, Wrasse, Pollack, Plaice and Pouting.
Dave Stephens (current British Champion) from the Fins4u Team won the opening event with 7 fish. He caught a mix of Basses, Mullets and Wrasses. 2nd place was conquered by the evergreen Dave O’Callaghan (Exe Club) with another mixed catch. Matt Hill (The Forces Team) was 3rd.
Round 2 – Challaborough Bay – Devon
The 2nd round was run by the Exe club. Conditions were pretty good on the day with over 40 divers competing. Decent visibility with quite a few fish about in both numbers and variety of species. This included Plaices, Flounders, Soles, Rays, Basses, Trigger Fish, Red Mullets, Pollacks, and Grey Mullets.
The winning catch was from Chris Mills of the Exe club with several trigger fish and a Ray. An impressive performance by Chris winning his first National.
2nd place was Kev Daly (6 x British Champion) of the LIC club. He obtained a mixed bag of Bass, Mullet, Pollack and Plaice.
3rd place was Dave Stephens (Fins4u Team), with a catch of Trigger fish, Mullet and Flounder.
Round 3 – Perranuthnoe – Cornwall
The 3rd round of the championships was held at a new venue to most, down in Cornwall, Perranuthnoe. Conditions on the day were excellent, with flat calm seas and good visibility. Unfortunately, the fish had gone AWOL leaving most divers scratching around for a catch. It did result in a variety of species being caught. Divers tried various depths and techniques in an attempt to find fish.
Kev Daly of the LIC club won the day with a very impressive catch of Pollack, Bass, Plaice and Wrasse. 13 fish in total, which gave him a huge win with everyone else catching between 1 and 4 fish.
2nd place was Mick Veal (2 times British Champion) of Team Fins4u. He caught a Pout, a Pollack, a Ray and a Wrasse.
3rd place was Tony Sykes of Cornwall Spearfishing Club, with Bass, Dogfish and Wrasse.
1st Female on the day was Feena Arey (2021 Female Champion) of Exe Spearos.
Round 4 – Ringstead -Dorset
Unfortunately, due to very poor weather, round 4 of the British Spearfishing Championships had to be cancelled. This happened a couple of times throughout the year. Finally, this year’s championships were decided over 3 competitions instead of 4.
The British Champion for 2022 was Dave Stephens of team Fins4u, successfully defending his title from 2021.
2nd place was conquered by the 6 times British Champion Kev Daly (LIC Club). Third was Matt Hill of the Forces Club in 3rd.
Feena Arey was again Female Champion, successfully defending her 2021 title.
(Text and photos supplied by David Stephens)