Many of you will realize that the Pole Fishing team has shifted around recently, as I’ve had the pleasure of taking over from Tom Scholey as Editorial Assistant! Tom is now our Digital News Editor, and has also taken control of our new ‘Angling News Week’ App! I’ve been here for three weeks now, and can honestly say I’ve loved every day!
I’ve been out on the back with some of the country’s best anglers, snapping them in action under the watchful eye of Jon Arthur. He’s the strictest bloke I’ve ever worked with, I’m sure he’s trying to fatten me up for Christmas, he’s been forcefully sharing his lunch with me everyday. He’s already started to get serious during the pole tests, with the £1 side bet rolling after my first week! On a serious note, it’s a dream job and I’m learning by the minute, it doesn’t feel like work yet!
Following my first week here it was the Evesham Festival, an event myself and Tom have been practicing for since the start of the season. I could go into detail here about the terrible pegs we drew, but I’m not going to even start after being shot down by David Hall after the final day! He was the first to remind me that I hadn’t broke the 7lb barrier in all 3 days of fishing! My nearest sniff of any individual money was on the first day, where I needed another 1.5oz to beat Mr. Dean Barlow for a default section win…that’s how desperate it was! Monday’s team event was a little more successful, as our Ultimate Barnsley side scraped third spot behind ever consistent Starlets and Dorking. Nevertheless, the event held a fantastic atmosphere and it was a pleasure to be fishing. We enjoyed two fantastic curries, (which weren’t kind to the bowels) as well as a good craic in the evenings. I’m certain we’ll be back for another go next year.
Last weekend proved a little more successful for the blue van team, as we ventured back up north to fish the two-day Beard ‘O’Mania festival at Little John Lakes. This is a favorite haunt of ours, where we usually catch a few fish, despite having banter fired at us regarding orange hair and large chins! The first day saw us both on Robin Hood Lake, although we were luckily in different sections. I drew peg 18, a decent area in the middle of the lake. Tom on the other hand was on an out and out flyer, peg 2, which nearly always wins the section! I had a cracking days fishing, catching a few big fish on the short pole with caster and worm, before continuing to catch on pellets shallow for the rest of the match! I ended up with 130-11-0 which was enough to win the section and finish 2nd on the lake. Tom also put in a performance, and weighed 107-4-0, only to finish second in the section! To be fair, he had to fish 20m all day long, and I think his excuse of ‘My shoulders were aching’ can now be accepted. Just to show how well our lake fished, the average weight was 96lb, with 11 ton plus weights!
The second day saw us both on Maid Marrion Lake. Tom drew peg 3, which hasn’t got the best form recently, although the wind was blowing that way. I was at the top end of the lake on peg 20, which won the section the day before. I spent the first half hour of the match looking down the lake at Tom emptying it, before I started to pick up the odd fish by fishing maggot on the short pole. Although they weren’t coming thick and fast, they were decent fish, carp to 3lb with a couple of better ghosties putting in a colourful appearance! At the two hour stage bites dried up, and I had to pick up my extensions which I could just reach the island with at 19m! It was hard work, but I caught steady for the rest of the match. Feeding a sloppy mush of chopped worms, casters and hemp in groundbait was best, as it didn’t come out of the pot all that way out! I ended up with 88lb odd, which was enough to win the section! To make things even better, Tom put in an awesome display, and weighed 151lb, to win the lake and take a point off the chap who was going to beat me! However, this is where things were looking interesting, with a possibility of four people on a two point score! As it turned out, Steve Beard beat Chris Greensides, who was another contender, which put myself and Geoff Bennett on two points tying for first place! Geoff put in two exceptional displays, catching 120lb on Saturday, and then 130lb Sunday! He beat me on weight by a 40lb to pick up £430! It was a fantastic weekend, and Steve even put on a barbeque after each match! I can’t wait for next year already!
Tom returned to Little John on Saturday, going on to win the match with 73lb from Friar Tuck Lake! All I got to say is that it must have been solid! I was quarantined to a day with the Mrs so I can’t talk! I did however make a trip to my local BW Kiveton Waters on Sunday, and finished 2nd with 68lb of carp on the method. I had a really frustrating day, and lost more than 10 carp! If anyone’s got any tips to help with loosing fish on the ‘thod’ send them my way!
This weekend Tom and myself are off to the Czech Republic to cover the men’s World Championship. It sounds like a very interesting venue, and we’ve so far heard reports of bleak floats and 50g flatties! I’ll let you know how we get on next time!
Matt Godfrey is Pole Fishing's Editorial Assistant, and a top flight match angler.