We’ll let Kieron tell the story …
First the Catfish challenge held at Lakemore Fisheries (Crewe). The original idea was to pair up a match angler with a specialist angler, so they could bounce ideas and techniques off each other. In the early years of the competition the specialist angler had to use the match anglers gear during the day, and the match angler fished through the night with the specialist gear. This year has been the first year when it was a straight forward match fishing for cats.
Two years ago 2009 I was teamed with Phil Aylett, and we managed to win the event. This year under the new system we had to draw new partners and my partner out of the hat was Nick Edwards the specialist manager from Stapeley Water Gardens. Between us we had a fair amount of knowledge on cat fishing and we drew the peg next to the one where I won the event with Phil two years previously, so we felt reasonably confident.
Our first bite produced a 40/12 cat, followed during the night by a 28/12 and a 27/0, one 19, one 13 and one 17. It was awesome fishing. So we weighed in well over 140 pounds, the second weight was 69 pound. So I am the first person to win the event twice.
I’d been up all night fishing the Catfish challenge, so when I got home I grabbed a bit of sleep but was up at 5-00 a.m. to drive to Boldings near Bridgenorth for a Fish-o-Mania qualifier. I’d not fished the venue for 15 years so when I drew peg 9 on Ash, I wasn’t too sure what to expect so I had a quick word with a few of the local anglers. The general consensus was a maggot approach, with a lot of F1’s rather than the usual carp. For the first 50 minutes I fished at 5 metres with 4mm pellets, and I probably caught about 14lb to 15lb like that. I was cupping in micros with a little toss pot. I was feeding the 12 metre line with maggots, and I saw a fish swirl. So I went shallow with a Daiwa dibber (DB5) I fished straight through to a Gamma Power size 18 hook, 0.14 mainline. I never looked back after that. It turned out to be a race between myself, Luke Bamford, and a lad opposite called Rob Hitchens, Luke ended up with 46 kilos, Rob 45 kilos and I had just over 61 kilo so I qualified for the Fish-0-Mania final.
Back home on the thursday evening I entered an evening match on Blundalls. I drew ball 41 so picked peg 27 on West, and ended up with 90lb-10 oz. made up of 32lb of Ide, then several carp, including two over ten all caught using the purple hydro down the edge, sort of appropriate for my purple patch!
Well what can we say, brilliant fishing by anyones standards. Having spent some time watching Kieron practising we know how much effort he puts in, and how much attention he pays to get it right, but even Kieron, must think that lady luck is on his side at the moment… I wonder if he’ll help us pick some lottery numbers.