A recent article on Match Fishing's website discusses how open matches at Surrey's Gold Valley Lakes have great attendances during the winter period. The article can be found here.
John Raison runs a tight ship on the opens, the club house has great facilities and organisation for the matches is spot on. John clearly explains the rules to all and all competitors take the responsibility for the weigh in and recording of the weights (aka the 'boards').
Another great reason to attend these matches are the following prizes: As mentioned in the Match Fishing article, there is a prize for both total weight (normally dominated by the large carp at Gold Valley) and also a silver fish weight prize. There is also a mystery weight, which helps to encourage all anglers to weigh in, and finally there is a biggest fish prize. These extra chances of winning a brown envelope beyond a section win or first, second or third placing really get the post-match banter going. I encourage other fisheries to think about a similar open match structure!
Also, at the end of the day, where else can you fish alongside friendly, helpful local anglers and other more famous anglers like Will Raison, Steve Sanders and Paul Holland, to mention just a few?
After 13 years of living in Australia, Pole Fishing reader Mark Lewis is now back in the UK and really enjoying his fishing. Check out his Lewy's Lines website at lewylewylewy.blogspot.com for more.