Shore 2015 – Report


Way back nineteen months ago, I can remember getting a text message from two of our Officials, Sandra and Claudette who were at that moment attending the EFSA Standing Committee Meeting at Crawley informing me that Malta had been chosen to organize the 2015 European Shore Fishing Championships.

Needless to say that, this message was immediately forwarded to Michael, the person who I work very closely with on large events and then, to all our Committee Members whom I must say that all were waiting for this news to arrive.

Although we had organized other major Fishing events namely The Sea Bream Festival in 2005 with 100 Local Anglers participating and, the Blue Sea – Puttinu Fishing Festival in 2010 with 785 Local Anglers competing to see Malta enter into the Guinness Books of World Records, we knew that the European Shore Fishing Championships were a bit more hectic as this wasn’t something to handle locally but, Internationally.

As the Championships had come to an end, we are pleased to note that the months of hard work had given us the desired results that we had expected.

The 2015 Shore Fishing Championships experience started on Sunday the 15th of November were we greeted most of the International Participants at our Championships Head Quarters, the Dolmen Hotel Resort at Qawra.

Their arrival was also beforehand greeted by our truly lovely weather where although we are moving towards the winter season, one must say that it was a teaser for sunbathing instead of fishing.

Only one person from the 60 Participants that were representing 9 Countries was short as he was arriving the following day.

Monday 16th

As scheduled, this day was reserved for training. At 09.00 hours, our supplier arrived at the Dolmen Hotel Resort at Qawra where all the International participants were staying, to distribute the bait to everyone.

All bait distributed was exactly similar to what was delivered to them during the three days of the Championships.

Before leaving to the training venue which was only two minutes away from the hotel, the team leaders had agreed upon that due to the fact that the following day’s program looked very hectic, the drawing of the zones should be done later in the day. This was agreed by all.

Reaching the training zone, the Participants found the peg numbers in place where upon their request, each Country’s participants were grouped to train near each other.

This session started at 11.00hrs under hot weather conditions where one had noticed that most took the opportunity not only to fish in shorts and wearing short sleeves but some of them also took their top off to acquire a tan. By the way, only Men did this…

At 19.30hrs, most of the Anglers met at the hall were the zone draws for the three day Championships took place.

Tuesday 17th.

After having their buffet breakfast, most of the Anglers and their Guests found two coaches including the tour leaders waiting for them nearby the hotel to start their much awaited full day tour.

At 09.00 hrs when everyone was aboard, the coach drivers started to roll on their wheels.

The first place that they had visited was our Capital City, Valletta were all present had the opportunity to use their cameras for some wonderful photos of our Grand Harbour and other interesting places.

Some of our Committee Members were also present to accompany our friends for a good chat and a coffee with them during this relaxing period.

The second place to visit was the ancient walled city of Mdina which served as our Capital from antiquity until the year 1530.

Mdina is commonly called the Silent City by natives and visitors. All present had the opportunity to see its Baroque architecture including some impressive Palaces that are owned by Barons and well off famous people. The narrow shady and quiet streets of Mdina make this place a truly extraordinary one.

Although the Mdina tour was fruitful, unfortunately and due to the time allocated to this visit, the tour leaders had to miss the other part of this City that one must say it has many more things to offer to visitors. (Let’s hope that this part will be visited on some other occasion).

The third part of this tour was more designated to the Anglers. This was a visit to one of the largest Fishing Tackle Shop on the Island, Mr.Fish. Needless to say that, they not only had the opportunity to look around but also bought anything that they thought might be useful for them during the following days.

We concluded this full packed day with a visit to one of the oldest Wineries in Malta, the Marsovin Winery. This included a walk through the 400 year old Cellars which are authentic and true to Maltese heritage. Everyone also saw how wine is matured in barrels.

To truly end this memorable tour, there was a wine tasting session where after, one had also the opportunity to buy any bottle at a special reduced price, to enjoy its unique taste back at home.

At 19.30 hrs, all the 60 Participants and their respective Guests were seated at the Dolmen main Hall for a press conference where this was followed by the Official Opening Ceremony.


This saw all the team Captains of the 9 participating Countries entering the hall all holding their National Flag to the applause of those present.


After holding a minute silence with respect to the French People for the event that happened some days earlier, there was the calling out of the names of all the participating Anglers.

The protest Committee was composed as follows: Mr.Warren Dolye (Ireland), Mrs. Miranda Koop (The Netherlands), Mr.Marcus Wuest (Germany), Mrs.Sandra Agius Darmanin (Malta) and Mr.Phillip Lustig representing Wales and as the Shore Championship Officer.

Included in the speech, everyone was encouraged to use fair play and not to do any infringement as this will lead to immediate disqualification.

To conclude this evening, all participants and their guests were served with plenty of mouthwatering Finger Food and unlimited Drinks while they took the liberty to familiarize themselves with each other.


Wednesday 18th

The Championships first session had finally arrived.

At 08.15 hrs, most of the Anglers found the coach waiting from them in front of the hotel main entrance were after they loaded their fishing equipment, they were all seated to start the trip to Marsaskala (Zonqor Point) located at the South of the Island where the first match was held. Other anglers, who opted to travel by their own transport, also arrived at the same time.

Upon arrival on site just before 09.00hrs, each Angler went directly to their respective zone where their zone Officials distributed the bait and drew their peg number before everyone left to their fishing points.

Twelve peg numbers were placed on each zone.

Each Angler had ample time to sort out the fishing tackle and equipment and to think of the best technique to be used on the day.

The match Officials and the Stewards were ready to do their assigned work. There was 1 Steward for every 6 Participants with Officials as relievers.


A selection of the Officials and the Stewards had included Students, a Lecturer and Dr. Adriana Vella, a conservation biologist from the Biology Department at the University of Malta.

Our Fish Recorder Sandra Agius Darmanin also a Marine Biology post graduate researcher was their main coordinator.

The Officials assigned to the starting signal sounded the horns at 11.00hrs. The challenge began.

This was complimented by hot weather and calm sea.

All fish caught had to be over 15cm in length where at first, many were those who had to return the fish back into the sea without registering them, as their measurement had not reached the minimum limit.



The ending signal was given at 16.00hrs where the zone Officials collected the signed score cards.

During this match, every Angler experienced loss of many traces.

The coach driver had kept his time and was waiting to take everyone back to the hotel.



Species caught during this first match were mostly parrot fish, various type of wrasse, painted comber and scorpion fish.

The amount of fish caught was 433 and these were all returned back at sea as soon as they were measured and registered.

Salvatore Messina (Italy) managed to catch 21 fish during the first match with a total of 401cm in length to finish in first place.

Simon Axiaq (Malta) had 20 fish measured at 314cm to end this first session in the second place while Josef Cassar (Malta) ended up in third place with 18 fish with a total length of 303cm.

In the National Team category, Italy had managed to obtain 44 zone points to finish in first place followed by the Malta B team with 41 zone points while the Netherlands finished in the third place with 36 zone points.

The Life category saw Jerry Knight (England) at the top of the list with 10 zone points, Warren Doyle (Ireland) finished 2nd with 9 zone points while Richard Russell (England) place 3rd also with 9 zone points (Richard had 6 cm less in fish length than Warren.)

Derek Gregory (Wales) had a good start with 11 zone points to end this first session in 1st place with Jerry Knight (England) in the 2nd position with 10 zone points while Richard Russell (England) ended this match in 3rd place with 9 zone points.

The Ladies category had Catherine Farrugia of Malta at the helm with 10 zone points, Tina Lustig (Wales) made a good start to finish in 2nd place with 9 zone points while Miranda Koop (The Netherlands) finished in the 3rd place with 5 zone points.

Jean Luca Cardona (Malta) who is new for the Championships ended his first attempt at first place with 10 zone points while Daniel Tucker of Wales ended in second with 3 zone points.

Thursday 19th

The travel arrangements for today were similar to the previous day

The fishing venue for this second match was Sliema and therefore a bit closer than the first one. Taking this into consideration, the Anglers took it a bit easier and started their trip at around 08.30hrs to arrive at the fishing venue at 09.10hrs.

The bait was handed to each Angler at their zone point where after, the Officials drew the peg numbers. This was done by 09.30hrs to see all the Anglers going to their allocated number which this time was a bit easier to do as the rocks were flat and not mostly pointed like it was at the previous venue.

Logistically, this second match was similar to the first one with all the Officials and the Stewards knowing their area to monitor.

The starting signal was given at 11.00hrs. If the Anglers weren’t fishing during the Championships, I can assure everyone that most of them would have opted to take a dip and sunbathe after as the hot weather, tempted everyone to do so.


Once again, the sea was calm where most of the species were similar to the day before with the parrot fish topping the charts. This time we also saw some Anglers netting some small mullets as well.

The amount of fish caught was higher than the first day as the total amounted to 550. All fish enjoyed their freedom again soon after they were measured and registered.

By obtaining the second zone win, Simon Axiaq (Malta) had topped the chart with 24 zone points. He managed to catch 26 fish with a total length of 418cm.

Miguel Cutajar (Malta) also managed to win the maximum zone points for the second time but with less fish caught. The amount of fish that he had managed to net was 20 measuring 359cm.

The Italian Angler Salvatore Messina had dropped to the third place with 23 zone points, with a total catch of 18 fish measuring 302cm in total.

Although getting 43 zone points to the 44 obtained by the Malta B team, the Italians National Team had managed to retain the top position of the National Team chart.

This also happened to the Netherlands B Team when they only manage to get 35 zone points to the 37 that Malta and the Netherlands A Teams got but still succeeded in maintain the third place, thanks to the higher points that they had got in the first match.

On the second day of the Championships, the Life category saw Paul Hart of England advancing from the fifth place to the third with Jerry Knight (England) and Warren Doyle (Ireland) keeping their first and second place respectively as it was on the first day.

Jerry and Warren got 7 points each while Paul had 6.

For the second time in a row Derek Gregory of Wales and Jerry Knight of England have kept their first two places of the Senior Category with Charles Caruana (Malta) advancing to the third position.

All three had during the second match, obtained an equal 7 zone points.

Richard Russell lost his 3rd place that he was enjoying on the first day as he only got 4 zone points from this second match.

Reg Clough (England) advanced from the bottom position to the fifth place when he obtained 8 zone points.

Catherine Farrugia (Malta) managed to keep her first place at the Lady category while Miranda Koop of the Netherland and Tina Lustig of Wales swapped the second and the third place between them.

On this second match, Miranda got 9 zone points, Catherine had 8 while Tina had a bad day to only get 2 points.

Ria Van Ranst of Belgium, managed to get 6 zone points holding her fourth place likewise on the first day.

The Junior category classification remained the same when Jean Luca Cardona (Malta) obtaining 9 points while Daniel Tucker of Wales had no fish to count.

Friday 20th

The last day of the Championships, had started earlier.

Following their early breakfast, all Anglers boarded the coach to arrive to their final fishing destination Bahar ic-Caghaq at 07.00hrs where they found the Officials ready to deliver their bait at their zone points.

Following the drawing of the peg numbers, all Anglers proceeded slowly to their place as the rocky surface in most parts of the area, was not so easy to walk on.

As many zone points were close and many Anglers were standing neck to neck, everyone was eagerly waiting for this final match to start.

The final starting signal was heard at 09.00hrs and they all went on to offer their utmost.

At first we had some few drops of rain (only for about 3 minutes) and this to let everyone know that we do have rainy intervals in Malta.

The sea was calm at first but started to roll a bit as the time passed.


This last Championships venue was no pleasant situation for the Officials and the Stewards to do the measuring of the fish as the rocks were hard to move around on very often. But, thanks to their ability they did their job very well and correctly as they had done throughout the other Championship days.


Although we had these situations, we still registered a good amount of fish.

The species were similar to the ones caught from the previous venues and this time the total of measured fish amounted to 454.


After one and a half hours of fishing, Jean Luca Cardona (Malta) managed to register the first heaviest fish of these Championships. This was a parrot fish of 560 grams.

A few minutes later he managed to catch another one but, unfortunately, after he managed to give it a good fight and brought it to the surface, he failed to net it. From the size of it, one must guess that it was well over 1 kilo in weight.

This wasn’t enough as on the 13.20hrs, he managed to conclude the heaviest fish scenario when again he caught another parrot fish this time weighing 740grams. He concluded this match with a total of 27 fish and managed to get a total of 667 points for the day and managed to win the maximum zone points.

For the third time in a row, Simon Axiaq (Malta) managed to win the 12 zone points and therefore managed to obtain the maximum zone points of all to finally be declared the 2015 European Shore Fishing Overall Winner.


The total length that Simon had was 1024cm with 320 fish points netting a total of 64 fish.

Josef Cassar (Malta) finished in Second Place Overall with a total of 33 zone points. He managed to catch 41 fish having 673cm in length with 205 fish points.

Remi Lindhout of The Netherlands also managed to get 33 zone points but, with his 666cm in length and with 210 fish points, he failed to get the second place for just 2 total points and therefore finished in Third Place Overall.

This final match was crucial for the National Teams where the Maltese A team managed to get 43 zone points followed by the Netherlands B team with 42 zone points and Malta B team who this time managed to get 39 zone points. The Italian team who was leading in the previous 2 matches, only managed to get 35 points, 1 point less than England A.

This result saw Malta B going into First Place with 124 total zone points.

The Italy National Team ended the Championships in Second Place with a total of 122 while Malta A finished in the Third Place with 113 zone points.

The Netherlands B team also had 113 zone points with only 2876 total points compared to the 3198 that the Malta A team had and therefore finished in fourth place.

Unlike the first two days of the Championships, Jerry Knight (England) had a bad result on this third match which also saw him lose one of the first three places.

Meanwhile, Warren Doyle (Ireland) who had placed second on the previous two matches, managed to make a good advance on the last day. He had managed to get 8 zone points and when added to the previous ones, he had a total of 24 zone points to win the Life Category.

Paul Hart of England continued to improve and finished in the 2nd place with 21 zone points while Helgi Bergsson (Iceland), finished in 3rd place with 20 zone points.

Like Helgi, Jerry Knight also finished with 20 zone points but only had 429 total points against the 471 of Helgi‘s.

Without any doubt, Derek Gregory of Wales showed that he was in a class of his own in the Senior Category when he retained in the first place to win this Category.

Reg Clough (England) who had started his first match at the very bottom of the senior category advanced to the fifth place in his second round and made a leap in his final match to win the 2nd place.

Catherine Farrugia of Malta showed that she was determined not to lose the top post of the Ladies Category. The 9 zone points on this last day gave her a total of 27 zone points to see her crowned as the Winner in her category.

Miranda Koop (The Netherlands) managed to keep adding her zone points to finish with a total of 22 to award her the 2nd place while Ria Van Ranst of Belgium finished in 3rd place with 14 zone points only 1 zone point ahead of Tina Lustig of Wales who therefore finished in the fourth place.


With his three wins and with a total of 31 zone points, Jean Luca Cardona of Malta showed that not only he was able to win the Junior category but also managed to finish 6th Overall and as mentioned earlier, he also won the heaviest fish prize.

Daniel Tucker of Wales won the 2nd place of his category.

A small note for the record:

Simon Axiaq the 2015 European Shore Fishing Overall Winner was also crowned the overall winner at the Blue Sea – Puttinu Fishing Festival that was mentioned earlier when he was competing with 785 Local Anglers for the Guinness World Record Challenge.

Friday 20th (Evening)

Following to the restless nights and tension, we headed for the final part of the Championships, The Presentation Dinner.

We all met at the Dolmen Room to find this venue decorated for the occasion. The table set up was outstanding with the F&B Manager and his team overseeing that everyone was seated to start serving us.


On finishing their third plate, no one was expecting a surprise that the only persons who knew about it was Michael and myself.


The atmosphere at the Dining Hall changed to a more Festive one as a ten piece Brass Band entered to entertain everyone with their cheerful music that is normally played in the Local Towns and Villages Festa that is celebrated mostly during the summer period.


The photo cameras, tablets and mobiles had some more work to do as most of those present took photos and videos of the enjoyable moment.

I must say that this was the moment when beaming faces highlighted the night.

To continue enjoying the evening while the Brass Band was still playing, it was the time to conclude the meal with a mouthwatering selection of sweets.


Following to the last piece of music, the EFSA – Malta Committee took the stage to start with the presentation.

The first to start with was the thanks given presentation of mementos to all those who helped us during these Championships.


This was followed by the calling to all the Participants to offer them a memorable souvenir and to take a photo of the occasion.


The Junior Winners were the first to be presented with their Medals and Trophies followed by the Ladies, Senior and life category Winners.

Derek Gregory of Wales who won the Senior Section honored us with a cheering thanks giving speech to the applause from

Another round of applause plus a standing ovation was given to Brian Brooker (England) as he was celebrating his Birthday.


Prior to the Overall Winners presentation, Jean Luca Cardona (Malta) was presented with the trophy and the amount of €400 in cash, the prize money for the heaviest fish caught.

The much awaited moment finally arrived when the first six Overall Winners were called to be presented with their respective prizes.


Following to the presentation of the medal, equipment, the trophy and with the Championship pin to Simon Axiaq (Malta), the 2015 European Shore Winner, it was the time for Mr. Warren Dolye to and on behalf of EFSA – Ireland invite all present to the 2016 European Shore Fishing Championships that are going to be held in Kilmackridge Co.Wexford Ireland.


We concluded this evening by again thanking everyone especially the Management and all the Employees of the Dolmen Resort Hotel who helped us to make these Championships a truly memorable one.

To make sure that everyone was safe till the very last minute, we stayed with our EFSA family till Sunday 22nd to therefore give our farewell wave to all.

Now that everything is over, I cannot end this report without thanking all those who had helped us to make these Championships a successful one especially:

  1. All the Committee Members and the Sub Committees of Blue Sea Sport Angling Club whom without their financial and their manpower support, such event wasn’t possible to take place

  2. Mr.Phillip Lustig, EFSA HQ Shore Championship Officer who went all the way to help with our organization

  3. All the Officials, Stewards and the Marine Conservation Biology Group at the University of Malta who have done an outstanding job

  4. Silstar and their Malta representative Mr.Stephen Busuttil Naudi of S.B.Naudi Fishing Tackle Suppliers who sponsored the top prizes

  5. The bait supplier Mr.Josef Camilleri of Mr.Fish Fishing Tackle Shops, Horace Enterprise the trophies supplier, Mr.Francis Darmanin our official Photographer and Noel our coach driver

  6. The Malta Tourism Authority for providing the guided cultural tour and to the Management of Marsovin Winery for the guided tour at their Winery

  7. The Management, the Sales and F&B Departments of the Dolmen Resort Hotel and all their respective staff for their five star plus services

  8. The C.E.O and the Administration of SportMalta

  9. The Parliamentiary Secretary responsible for the Sport the.Hon Chris Agius

  10. All the Participating Anglers, their Guests and all our Families for their vast support.

And finally a big Thank You to all the EFSA – Malta Committee Claudette, Robert, Sandra, Willie, Speditu, Jonathan, Catherine and especially to Michael whom for months, we worked very closely together to make sure that these Championships went according to everyone’s desired requirements.


Chev. Charles Caruana KLJ CMLJ
EFSA – Malta