Good draw only half the battle!
THE pressure was on Stoke-on-Trent AA’s Roger Abnett when he arrived at fancied peg E25 on the Forge Lane section – but five hours later he was celebrating being National champion after weighing in 14-870 of bream!
Runner-up Simon Wain and third-placed Colin Smith had drawn adjacent pegs to him and shared the bream, finishing on 12-540 and 12-210 respectively.
“The team plan was to catch 1.5kg and take it from there so I began fishing next to my keepnet with red maggot,” said Roger. “I caught nine perch quickly before it died. After a look down the track at 5m, where I’d fed three balls of groundbait without any joy, I moved across to my squatt line at 11m where again I’d fed groundbait.”
Baiting up with a single pinkie he dropped in and the float didn’t settle. Lifting into the bite, No2 elastic streamed out and after a nervy battle Roger netted a 2kg bream. A few small fish followed before bream number two was landed – target weight met.
“I then put the squatt rig down and went over on to my 11m chopped worm and caster line fished at an angle, and single red maggot saw me take another bream,” Roger continued. “A string of small perch came next so I re-fed with more soft groundbait and minced worm and caster and had another look on my squatt line. Another bream turned up here with a run of small roach and gudgeon before I went back on the worm line.
“That produced two more bream and set the course of the match – alternating between the squatt and worm line for a total of 67 fish, including 15 bream. Had I done enough? I watched the scales as the two pegs next to me weighed in around 12kg each and then, on my turn, the scales settled at 14-870. That proved to be enough for my section and the match, so the rumours were right – it was a good peg!”
Individual: 1 R Abnett, Stoke-on-Trent AA, 14-870; 2 S Wain, Slaithwaite DAA, 12-540; 3 C Smith, Matrix Halifax CRFT, 12-210; 4 C Storey, Matrix Halifax CRFT, 11-780; 5 M Taylor, Matrix Halifax CRFT, 11-250; 6 A Turner, Slaithwaite DAA, 8-400.
Winner Roger Abnett is congratulated by Canal & RIver Trust official John Ellis.