CRAIG Ogilvie celebrated his best ever finish in one of Europe’s biggest sea fishing events, beating hundreds of competitors who fished on beaches near Hull earlier this month.

The self-employed joiner from North Berwick claimed 13th position in the two-day Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championship, which attracted anglers from all over the United Kingdom, including those from as far afield as Weston-Super-Mare, Southampton, Eastbourne, Pontypool and Carrickfergus.

And it could have been a whole lot better had some of the fish the East Lothian man landed, particularly on the first day, been several centimetres bigger.

Furthermore, Ogilvie landed a sizeable dogfish tempted on his second cast on day two, his friend and fishing buddy Barry McEwan splashing his way into the surf to ensure it ended up on the beach.

But one glance at the rules for the competition, founded in 1994 by the late Paul Roggeman, indicated that dogfish did not count.

Ogilvie came home with a variety of prizes, including waders and clothing, but the winner, Pippen Moore from Sigglesthorne in the East Riding of Yorkshire, pocketed a sizeable cash sum for his bag of 4,690 grams (10.33lb), all caught on the second day after not scoring on the first.

Ogilvie’s fish was 1,855 grams (4.8lb) and his friend McEwan, from Port Seton, who fished for Scotland in the World Championships in Sicily last year, finished 36th, despite a good day one when he landed 880 grams (1.94lb) of fish and was pipped for one of the many prizes on offer, but had a poor second day with only 285 grams (0.62lb).

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Ogilvie, who is recently back in competitive angling after a two-year break, said: “It was a last-minute decision for Barry and I to go down and we hired a caravan.

“Barry was 22nd on day one and we both thought: ‘Here we go.’

“I caught fish but they were undersized, around 34cm, and that was one cm under the limit.

“On day two, it was mid-tide when the rod went boom, and that was against all the local knowledge who said that mid-tide was not the best time to catch.

“Barry waded in again to help get the fish onshore and it was around 4lb, which was enough to get me into the prizes.”

Both men used worm bait on light lines – 20lb braid and a 100lb shock leader – as the fish were around 200 yards offshore.

Indeed, Ogilvie waded out 60 yards before casting and the 46-year-old admitted: “I can only cast about 140 yards, but wading helped get me to where the fish were.”

Only 176 of the field in the 30th anniversary of the competition were listed on the official scorechart and Ogilvie said: “I’m really chuffed. There were some super-stars in the field and I came 13th, that’s a result.

“I’ve had a 15th on one day previously, but not a top-20 place overall and my fish was seventh on the second day.”