Local children's charities look set to a get a £2,000 windfall thanks to the Ford branch (2/251) of the Transport and General Workers Union.

They sponsored the Fords Sports 28th Open Beach Festival at Weston Shore, in conjunction with Meon Valley Lions.

The 241 competitors - along with the organisers - should also give themselves a pat on the back for raising such a large amount during an event which also provided some fair sport - 65 competitors returning 102 fish to the scales, totalling 112lb 5oz.

The pool for the heaviest flatfish, worth £224, was shared between Mike Driscoll from Hamble and Steve Prince from Southampton, who both caught flounders weighing 2lb 3oz.

The heaviest round fish was a 1lb 13.50oz bass bagged by Paul Cullen, a 48-year-old landscape gardener from Southampton. And 13-year-old Marcus Gale from Southampton, who attends Woolston secondary school, was certainly all smiles (pictured right) after beaching a brace of flounders weighing 2lb 2oz to win the junior section. He is a member of Southampton SAC.

Sam Deathe, who has only recently been celebrating his call-up to the England junior team, was just a couple of ounces further adrift of young Gale to finish runner-up. Raymond Nutbeam finished third in the junior classification with 1lb 4oz, followed by John Delaney from Fareham with 9oz.

The overall winner, who collected £500 for his efforts, was John Linter who had travelled down form Somerset on the morning of the match. He caught four flatties weighing 4lb 8oz.

Steve Prince, from Southampton, collected £250 for coming second with four flatties weighing 4lb 5.75oz to nudge out Wayne Perrett from Eastleigh who won the £150 third prize for four flatties weighing 3lb 15.25oz.

In fourth position was John Dine from Eastleigh with 3lb 9.50oz followed by Alan Rogerson 3lb 8oz, J Davies 2lb 12oz, N North 2lb 6.50oz, R Elliot 2lb 6oz and Andy Parkhill and Stuart Norris, both with 2lb 5.50oz.

l Eighteen-year-old Lee Cullen from Southampton stamped his authority on the Rovers Tackle first mini midweek pegged open of the year, held at Stokes Bay and judged to the measure-and-return system.

Young Cullen used white ragworm fished at close range to tempt 21 whiting, pout, rockling and dabs worth 41 points for a clear victory over Mike Mogridge, who had 13 fish worth 261 points.

Andy Parkhill and John Thompson tied for third position with 228 points each.

The pool for the longest fish was won by Paul Hardy with a 39cm flounder, followed by John Thompson with a 27cm flounder and Tony O'Grady and Dave Edwards both with 35cm flounders.

The next Rovers mini midweek open will be held on February 13 at Lee-on-Solent with fishing from 8pm to midnight. Tickets, which are strictly pre-book only, have been set at just £5 - full details from Rovers Tackle (01329-220354).

l On the freelance front, Ian Holbrook caught a cracking bass during an evening session at Chale on the Isle of Wight. The huge specimen tipped the scales down to 10lb 4.50oz, an excellent fish for the time of year.

Closer to home, Neil Freestone from the Waterside Tackle, fished the Shore Road section at Hythe where he beached a superb specimen flounder weighing in at 2lb 14oz. The 36-year-old fitter used ragworm during a flooding evening tide to tempt the specimen, along with two other smaller flatties, several pouting and even a silver eel - most unusual for the time of year.

l Competitors entering the Isac Open Premier League to be pegged along Avon Beach and Steamer Point on Saturday evening can expect some lively action with rockling, pout, flounders and whiting expected to dominate. If conditions are rough, the odd bass and dogfish could also put in an appearance.

Fishing times are 6pm to 11pm with tickets, which are strictly pre-book only, costing £15. Full details are available from Trevor Sutch (02392-201696).