Fish 3,606 (Season 32,026) Returns 816 (7,128) Rod average 4.41 (4.49)
We have seen a number of quality fish this week with one angler recording five Browns between 4lb and 8lb 4oz; along with Rainbows to 4lb 12oz, fishing fry patterns and a Di3 line. One of our season ticket holders fished from the bank taking three cracking rainbows averaging 3½lb. These fish fell to hoppers and fry patterns.
Anglian Water Airflo International Final 8-9 October
The biggest competition in the match calendar took place on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th October with 144 anglers taking to the water to battle it out in the prestigious Anglian Water Airflo International final.
The teams had all put in hard practice sessions with not much being given away beforehand!
Day One of the match saw the field very spread out with boats from Gibbets Gorse and Old Hall down the South Arm, Yellowstone, New Zealand Point to the Sailing Club, 14 buoy in front of the lodge, and down the Normanton bank and also Armley Wood in the North Arm.
The best fish of Day One fell to a WCC Airflo Costa rod; this was a fine 6lb 9½oz Brown, with the best bag going to a Menteith Ospreys rod – 8 fish for 22lb 14oz.
Menteith Ospreys, Northern Drifters, Alba Orvis and the Spotty Hors all had anglers recording their limits and unsurprisingly took the top four rod places on Day One. With only 8lb separating the top five teams on Day One it was a very close contest going into Day Two.
Day Two proved to be more challenging for the anglers with a number of competitors choosing to target Manton and the North Arm for bigger fish. Many were rewarded with a bigger stamp of fish and anglers reported seeing and losing some big fish around the weedbeds.
The best fish on Day Two fell to a Flybox Welsh Hawks rod with a superb Brown of 7lb 7oz. This fantastic specimen was the heaviest fish caught across the entire match series. The best bag on Day Two was recorded by a Change Fly Fishing AC’s rod weighing in 8 fish for 19lb 10oz.
After two fantastic days of competition the results were announced at the presentation dinner held at Greetham with the top team winning the prestigious silver salver, a cheque for £1500 and individual gold medals. Congratulations to Menteith Ospreys, crowned AWAI Champions for 2019. Their 47 fish weighed a mighty 108lb 1¾oz; whilst runners up and silver medalists Flash Attack Dogs had five more fish for 6lb less at 102lb 1oz. The bronze medals were awarded to Northern Drifters with 42 fish for 101lb 12oz, this consistent team finished in the top three for the second consecutive year.
A wide range of tactics were employed over the two days of keen competition with pulling tactics on a fast glass/di3 the most popular, especially on Day One in a stiff breeze. Tiplines were utilised more on Day Two with less wind making presentation better with blobs, cormorants, daddies and diawl bachs all featuring on the anglers’ casts.
We would like to thank all of the anglers who have participated in this year’s AWAI and we look forward to seeing you all for the grand final at Rutland in 2020.
The margins of the reservoir have been producing the bulk of the sport this week with fry patterns coming to the fore. Drifting onto the windward bank, starting circa 60-70 yards off is a good starting point. Floating fry, humungus, snakes and suspender minkie have produced quality Rainbows and a number of specimen Browns in the 4-7lb class. These fish are feeding hard on this year’s roach and perch fry which are taking shelter in the vast submerged weed beds around the banks.
Gibbets, New Zealand Point and the Sailing Club Bay are all holding plenty of fry feeders. The North Arm is also producing with healthy weed beds to be found at Stockie Bay, Earnies Point and Whitwell frontage to Willow Bay. Barnsdale Creek has also produced fish with grebes working the tree lined bank inside the creek – a sure sign that fry are present. From the boat the open water across the middle of the South Arm is holding plenty of fish, these are not deep and a humungus/snake is an ideal way of targeting them on an intermediate.
The bank sport continues to improve with some quality fish being taken. New Zealand to the Sailing Club and the Normanton bank have been the most consistent areas, with Old Hall and Yellowstone also worth a look. The fry are continuing to increase in numbers around the harbour with the wall producing both Rainbows and Browns to fry patterns. Although fry is certainly on the menu, snail, shrimp and corixa have also been seen in the spoon. A floating fry and rough hares ear combination is a good way of hedging your bets off the bank. It’s worth taking into account the weed beds in terms of leader strength in relation to putting fish on the bank.
Prospects look very good as long as the weather is kind. A lot of fish are feeding on fry up to 4-5 inches, snails, beetles and corixa. Good solid Rainbows in the 3-5lb class are showing along with the specimen Browns.
Best Rainbow: 4lb 14oz.
Best Brown: 7lb 7oz.
Fry Feeders Match 20 October.
George Moore Memorial Trophy (rudder) 26 October
Anglian Water Rudder Match 16 November
Anglian Water Fur & Feather (bank) 1 December
Beginners courses: 18 & 26 October;2 & 10 November; 8 December; 4 January 2020.
Boat handling courses: 21 & 30 October; 4 November.