Dan Finds Rays At Trunch Lane

Skegness Pier Angling Club Match 6

by Paul Coulthurst

spac-logoSkegness Pier Angling Club fished match six of the 2023 league at Trunch lane on Saturday. Twenty five anglers fished for the Stan Marvin Cup, in fairly calm conditions with an Easterly breeze. There was a strong North to South drift and a lot of weed in the water on a 6.7m tide which made fishing difficult and resulted in many crossed lines in the early part of the match.

To summarise the fishing was a lot slower than expected which may have been due to the cold East to Northeast breeze blowing up. Nineteen anglers caught at least one fish and most landed just 3-5 fish with a decent sized individual fish such as a ray or dogfish backed up with flatfish or whiting needed to get anywhere near the top.


Dan Jackson had two whiting and a large ray early in the match at 77cm on squid and sandeel, fished at range. The next three and a half hours had been very slow and knew he couldn’t win the match with a single ray as all it would take on the total length system is a few decent whiting to beat the 77cm centimetres.

Match winner Dan (Rayman) Jackson with a 74cm thornback ray

Match winner Dan (Rayman) Jackson with a 74cm thornback ray

He had to decide whether to drop down to smaller baits and target the few whiting that were around or stick it out for another late ray in the last few casts of the match. He chose to target rays and dogfish and it paid off with his second to last cast producing another thornback which won the match for him. He had total length of 197cm.


Adie Cooper had only two whiting on the northern end peg by the last hour of the match. Keeping disciplined casting, fishing times and fresh baits going out at all ranges through the entire duration of the match Adie was prepared if any fish to showed up.

Adie Cooper with a 54cm ray

Adie Cooper with a 54cm ray

In the last 45 minutes they appeared in front of him and in a short window he caught a 54cm ray and a couple of whiting which were enough to finish in second place with 186cm of fish.


Gary Hutson started slowly with a single whiting in the first couple of hours, then fishing a three hook loop rig and punching it out as far as possible into the Easterly head wind he landed a 66cm Ray on squid.

Grimsby ace Gary Hutson in third place with a nice ray of 5lb 6oz and 66cm

Grimsby ace Gary Hutson in third place with a nice ray of 5lb 6oz and 66cm

Gary added two more whiting to come in third place with 155cm.


Shaun Bullock had two rays and a whiting early doors on squid and pulley Pennel rig on continental rod, casting a long way out with small squid baits.

Shaun Bullock with his second ray

Shaun Bullock with his second ray

Shaun’s peg went quiet for the rest of the match adding another whiting to finish in fourth with 153cm.

Tony Holmes finished in fifth place with a nice ray and a 28cm sole with a total length of 149cm just outside of the money but a great performance for his fist match with the club in 2023.

Tony Holmes with a nice ray at 69cm and a fifth place in a very talented field of anglers

Tony Holmes with a nice ray at 69cm and a fifth place in a very talented field of anglers

Dave Shorthouse on the next peg had a bite and on winding in found his lead completely stuck in the clays or some lost gear pointing the rod down the line and walking back pulled for a break and the lead came free with a heavy weight still attached which slowly, it became lighter at the end of the retrieve a nice ray surfed in over the wave!

A nice male thornback 66cm

Dave with a nice male thornback 66cm

The ray had been digging into the soft sand all the way in only swimming up right at the shoreline.

Russell came in 7th had several fish for 141cm including including a decent whiting of 37cm.

Rik Jarvis who had four decent whiting on mackerel and squid raps fishing around 80yds out, Rik finished in 8th place.

Tracey Cooper had nothing at all until the fish showed up in the last 45 minutes, she fished brilliantly and with her new off the ground casting she was getting far more distance and caught four fish including a 27cm sole to beat 16 anglers and come in 9th place, well done Tracey.

Tracey with a Dover sole

Tracey with a Dover sole

In tenth place was Frank Cribb fishing his first match with us had 112cm including a flounder of 30cm which won him the longest flatfish prize.

The rest of the field including some of the best anglers in the UK caught rays, dogfish to 61cm, dabs, turbot and whiting but even though they caught some nice individual fish they had total lengths of less than a meter which show how difficult it was and a distinct lack of any fish to target. Six anglers blanked.

Matty with his first ever thornback ray

Matty with his first ever thornback ray

It was great to see a lot of anglers fishing with us for the first time a warm welcome to Andy Bates, Barry Charman, Frank Cribb, and to Mark Bradbury coming back for his second match. Many thanks to the travelling anglers from the Grimsby and the Corby areas for their continued support for the club and it was fantastic to see England Shore International George Smith and Simon Drayton fishing with us again.

The match stretch looking South at Trunch lane

The match stretch looking South at Trunch Lane

In addition to these anglers serving RAF members and International Boat Anglers Daz Rose and Scott Rennie also fished, Scott travelling all the way from Oxfordshire to fish. Arty Akrill another RAF International Shore Angler and Chas’s old team mate also competed in the match. Hopefully they will be able to fish again with the club. Many thanks to Adie for pegging out the match, to Russell parsons for running the match and Chas for all the organisation and great photography.

The match results

The match results

Steve opened the Café at Lakeside leisure for complementary drinks after the prize presentation as he usually does.

The next match is planned for Sandilands Pumping Station on April 22nd, which should see plenty of fish caught, we are looking forward to seeing you there.

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