NATIONAL ANGLING COUNCIL
This year’s event saw all eleven regions in fine form and eager to return to the prolific Weston Pools.
Some regions had taken it upon themselves to organise not just one practice session, but a full week’s worth of fact finding tactical espionage.
The venue was in reasonable form, with recent match weights regularly topping the ton. The decision had been made to allow teams to nominate an angler to fish the Clay Pit, as this was not only ‘half a mile off site’, but was totally different to the other lakes being used for the match.
The draw was done in The Hand Hotel the night before and this went well without any hitches, (thanks to Andy Sinclair’s preparation, Robbo’s clear instructions and the cooperation of ALL the captains that took part).
The day of the match arrived and anglers were greeted by a bright, sunny morning, albeit a little on the chilly side. They were keen to get to their pegs, but had to wait until 9am before leaving the car park.
As the clock struck 9am, there was a flurry of activity as everyone began transporting their gear to their pegs, some were laid back knowing they had 2 hours in which to set up, whereas others seemed frantic to get to their pegs as soon as they were able to do so.
Far away from the maddening crowd, the lads were getting set up on the Clay Pit, (Section A). North West’s Dave Lowe made the most of his ‘end peg 3’ and secured a great section win with 75lbs 3oz. Not far behind was Yorkshire’s Tony Hotchkin on peg 21 with 66lbs 4oz, both lads had caught carp shallow, with a few short later on.
This tussle for first and second between the North West and Yorkshire was replicated on most of the other sections throughout the fishery.
Sections B and C were on the ‘Canal’. Section B saw Yorkshire’s John Bilsland taking 1st place with 52lbs off un-fancied peg 8, with the South West’s Carmine Lane in 2nd place with 46lbs 1oz, just pipping the North West’s Brian Hill with a level 45lbs. Section C was won by Steve Bettis of the Eastern region with 58lbs 15oz off the fancied ‘bridge peg 34’, followed by Yorkshire’s Alan Weare with a great net of silvers totalling 51lbs 3oz, (the North West’s Kev Bradshaw had to settle for 5th with 29lbs 2oz).
Section D was on the ‘Stretton pool’, this again saw another great scrap between Yorkshire and the North West with Chris Kitchin of Yorkshire taking the honours with a great weight of 110lbs 7oz off peg 2 and the North West’s Alan Pendlebury taking the runners-up spot with a creditable 95lbs 2oz off peg 30, (another flyer!!).
Section E was on Belvedere, this lake is on its day one of the ones you would give your left arm for! The section was won by Nathan Lumb of the North West region with a superb weight of 125lbs 7oz off an absolute flyer, peg 1! Mark Wells of the London region took 2nd place with 87lbs off peg 5. Sadly from a Yorkshire perspective, Janie Burrell could not manage any better than 7th in the section with 56lbs 3oz off peg 32…the match result was now totally back in the balance with only one more section left to weigh in.
Section F was on the Weir pool, yet again there were plenty of fish feeding well and weights were decent throughout. In an unbelievable twist of fate, the North West’s Rob Crompton had drawn another ‘flyer’… that being said Rob still had to do ‘the biz’ and against all odds, he did just that! Rob not only won his section with 142lbs 7oz, but he was the individual winner overall. Yorkshire’s Neil Robinson, (Robbo), had to settle for 2nd place with 111lbs 6oz.
All in all, the event was another huge success!! A big thank you needs to go to the fishery, the Hand Hotel and its staff and to the Angling Council for all of their efforts to ensure things ran as smooth as they did.
Next year sees the final returning to the prolific Glebe fishery at Kirkby Mallory, I hope to see you all there again and on a personal note, I’d just like to congratulate the North West lads again for a great win!
All the best, Robbo
Individual results -
If you qualify to represent your region at the final
you are expected to attend the whole event ie. stay the previous night,
fish the match, attend the presentation and stay that night also. If you
cannot commit yourself to this then you should consider relinquishing your
place to another qualifier.
SECTION A - CLAYPIT
SECTION B - CANAL
SECTION C - CANAL
SECTION D - STRETTON
SECTION E - BELVEDERE
SECTION F - WEIR