Forty two anglers descended upon Stafford Moor Fishery to take part in a fund raising match organised by North Devon match angler Neilsen Jeffery.
I was privileged to have been invited to take part once again as the event is run every other year and has raised thousands of pounds for good local causes.
The match was fished over three of the complex’s lakes; Oaktree, Tanners and Woodpecker.
The draw was from 8.00am and there was plenty of friendly banter and greetings from the start as competitors arrived. Today was a mixture of dedicated match anglers, carp anglers and pleasure anglers. Match fishing is not my normal forte but I always enjoy trying and there is a great amount to be learnt from anglings different branches.
The competition is a pairs match drawn out the previous weekend at Summerlands Tackle where anglers congregated to discuss pre match tactics and swap angling tales of which there are always plenty!
The draw is of course a vital part of the match angler’s day as this will to some extent determine the winners and losers.
My partner on the day was Dave Downton a regular visitor to Stafford Moor and considered a local expert. We drew pegs 5 and 6 on Oak lake and Dave kindly put me on the better peg.
I am always amazed at the amount of gear match anglers carry with vast arrays of poles, rods, nets and angling paraphernalia. I felt very under gunned with my rucksack, pair of rods and canvas chair!
There was plenty of time before the match started to tackle up and prepare and even a bit of time to chat and compare notes as this was as much a social occasion as a match.
At 10:30 however it was down to business as the water was peppered with free offerings and a range of hook baits and tackles. My own tactics were to use a straight running lead with pellet on the hook feeding steadily catapulting half a dozen pellets at regular intervals. To my surprise the rod tip lurched around after only two minutes!
The day was punctuated by hot sunshine and heavy rain showers. As the match progressed my rod tip was pulled round on a regular basis and I was to end up with 18 carp for 58lb 15oz, I also had five come off which was a little frustrating but all part of the game. I am sure that individual dramas unfolded all around the lake with lost fish, broken poles and other misfortunes!
As is so often the case the five hour match flashed past in no time and when the whistle blew it seemed hard to believe that the days fishing was done.
I followed the weighing party around all three lakes taking a picture of each smiling competitor with their nets of fish.
What a fantastic venue Stafford Moor has matured into with easy access around the lakes, walkways all surfaced with chippings. There is a fine mix of fishing available for match anglers, pleasure anglers and specimen carp anglers.
The Results :-
1st– Kevin Shears – 76lb of carp, 10lb of silvers total – 86lb
Ian Brookes – 65lb 10oz of carp, 8lb 10oz silvers total – 74lb 4oz
Combined total – 160lb 4oz
2nd– Dean Willoughby – 57lb 7oz of carp , 15oz silver Total 58lb 6oz
Mark Taylor – 83lb 12oz , 12oz silvers total – 84lb 8oz
Combined total – 142lb 14oz
3rd– Dave Willoughby – 57lb 4oz carp, Total – 57lb 4oz
Steve Ford – 72lb 15oz carp, 1lb 2oz silvers Total – 74lb 1oz
Combined total – 131lb 5oz.
Tanners 1st– Kevin Shears – 86lb
2nd– Mark Taylor – 84lb 8oz
Oaktree 1st– Steve Ford – 74lb 1oz
2nd– Wayne Thomas – 58lb 15oz
Woodpecker 1st– Tom Downing – 102lb
2nd– Rich Harman – 64lb 4oz
Silver Fish winner – Craig Lamey – 13lb 12oz
Neilsen Jeffery thanks all the competitors for taking part and gives special thanks to Joanne and Paul Coombes for hosting the event and making everyone welcome. Thanks also to Martin Cox Angling, Drennan Tackle and Summerlands Tackle and Jo and Paul Coombes who all donated prizes.
The event raised a total of £2,159 for a defibrillator to be installed at Stafford Moor and a contribution the Appledore Lifeboat.
The total weight of fish caught was 1682lb 10oz and the nearest guess to this was made by Sian Gillespie who guessed 1683lb and wins £25.