Durham Invitation, Forest Lane
Thursday 11th June 2020 was the first match of the year, due to the covid 19 lock down. This match was held on the Furlong Lake, Forest Lane, North Yorkshire, it’s a lake that both teams have fished previous years and had some good catches. If you draw the right peg, you are in for a good day catching Barbel.
The meet was at 08:00hrs, unfortunately due to the safe distance imposed and lots of restrictions, anglers could not meet as usual over a good cooked breakfast in the café. Instead it was meeting at the car park and once all anglers had arrived your allocated peg was drawn for you.
It was a fantastic turn out by both Northumbria and Durham teams, the whole lake was booked and each angler had plenty of room between each other’s pegs. The weather however was not on our side. During lock down it had been red hot with plenty of sunshine. On the day we suffered with very strong winds and rain, it was like fishing in March instead of mid June.
At 09:00hrs the draw was made and all anglers headed to the pegs they had been allocated.
All in was sounded at 10:30hrs, due to the strong winds a lot of anglers went for the feeder rods or fished at 6mtrs. Only the brave went to 12mtrs, this paid off as fish started to be caught straight away. The difficulty was holding the pole and keeping the presentation of the bait still.
During the afternoon the wind got stronger and it was near impossible to hold the pole at 12mtrs, so it was time to fish the inside line and down the edge. This was also instant for some, plenty of small barbell to be caught at the bottom of the inside shelf, the bigger carp were sat in 18” of water close to the very edge. Paul Hutchinson landed a nice 4lb tench then went on to catch 3 nice carp,
At 16:30hrs the match ended, due to the 2mtr social distance, anglers couldn’t walk to other pegs and watch the fish being weighed. Staff member came to each person and weighed the fish, this was then recorded:
1st Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 60lb 8oz
2nd Graham Colclough (Durham) 56lb 10oz
3rd Rob Smith 55lb 4oz
Great match in hard conditions, every person that attended caught fish.
Next match will be held at Braferton, North Yorkshire 25/05/2020.
The Third match of the season was the Vic McClean Memorial match this took place Thursday 23rd July, at Forest Lane, Alne, York, Northumbria could fish this but only a Durham Angler could win the trophy.
The lake had been changed at the last minute from ‘The Furlong’ to ‘The Oaklands’,
due to a large match being fished on the Furlong the day before. The owner stated it
would not fish as well.
Because of the covid 19 restrictions social distancing was adhered to at all time. The draw for pegs was made at 9am and all anglers made their way to the allocated pegs. The weather was again not on our side stating heavy showers forecast throughout the day.
The match started at 1030am as the “All In” was shouted the expected rain started. Some anglers started fishing close in, others went for the rod and fished either the feeder or the float, only the brave went for the 13mtr line on the pole.
After a short while fish were starting to get caught, Kenny Kitching (Durham) started on the feeder close in and was catching some large carp, he even managed to catch a lost pole top kit that had been in the lake for a while.
Throughout the day the rain never stopped in fact it got so heavy at some times it was hard to see the float. Thankfully the wind was only light.
At 16:30 “Time” was shouted, the match was over, trying to pack up in the heavy rain was a task in its self and you wouldn’t think it was the middle of July. Eddy the owner of the complex came with his scales to do the weigh in. Every angler caught and all had double figures.
1st: Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 82lb 10oz
2nd Roy McClean (Durham) 80lb 12oz
3rd Kenny Kitching (Durham) 65lb 7oz
4th Graham Colclough (Durham) 59lb 2oz
Well done to Roy McClean winning vic McClean memorial for the second year running.
The fourth match that should have been held on The Don, Forest Lane and hosted by Durham on Thursday 13th August Unfortunately at short notice this had been cancelled. Some frantic calls were made to local fishery owners; Team Northumbria was pleased to secure the F1 Lake, at Brafferton, North Yorkshire.
The days before Thursday 13th the weather was not great for fishing, bright sunshine, no wind and temperature reaching 30c by mid afternoon. Thankfully the day of the match it was forecast for cloudy conditions and 10mph wind. With the full lake booked there were plenty of spaces between anglers. Covis 19 restrictions social distance was adhered to at all times. The draw was made by one person who entered all peg numbers in a hat, shouted the anglers name and then pulled out the peg he was allocated. The angler then made his way to his allocated platform.
The match started at 12:00hrs with the usual shout “All in,” most people went straight onto the pole fishing approx 10mtrs out, Vince King (Northumbria) had a good corner peg with the wind blowing into his direction, he went straight onto the feeder rod, but found it difficult to locate the fish. After the first few hours it was only the odd fish being caught, some catching from the deep parts of the lake , some went on to the shallow rigs and tried to sneak a few from the surface, nothing was consistent. Approx 16:00hrs the fish switched on and the better stamp of fish was now being caught and placed the keep nets. Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) started feeding heavy in the margins, this paid off as every time his rig was lowered over the ground bait, the float buried and a large carp had been captured.
At 18:00hrs “Time” was shouted and that was the end of another match, for once the weather stayed warm and dry and packing up in the dry conditions was a rare thing at matches this year. The scales went to each angler and it was surprising how close the results had been, some missing out by a few ounces.
1st Paul Hutchinson 89lb 6oz
2nd Paul Hunton (Cleveland) 66lb 8oz
3rd Vince King 66lb
4th Boyd Weddle 65lb 6oz.
Next matches will be the Westwood festival Lincolnshire early September.
Westwood Lakes Festival 2020
This year the event took place form Monday 7th September until Friday 11th September 2020 at the fabulous Westwood Lakes complex near Boston in Lincolnshire. Anglers travelled from all over the country and booked into their lodges on the Monday late afternoon. This year was a little different due to the covid 19 pandemic, instead of the usual four matches, this had been reduced to three, fishing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The draw took place on the evening before the match the next day; this made it easier for anglers to attend their peg the next morning. The weather for the 3 days was supposed to be very nice with sunshine and little wind, for once we were going to have three matches with no rain.
Swallow Lake,8th September
This lake was just outside our lodges, so made it very easy for walking to the allocated pegs and setting up. Anglers had only fished this lake once before, so the tactics to be used was going to be hit or miss. Plenty of advice was obtained from the complex tackle shop, this resulted in lots of maggots purchased. Some areas of the lake had the wind blowing across the swims and other people were so sheltered next to no wind.
“All in” was sounded at 10:30, some anglers went straight on the method feeder and others stuck to the pole, but only fishing 5mters in front or down the edge. Fish started being caught, as the afternoon went on, Vince King (Northumbria) had so many fish at his feet he was just dropping his method feeder in front of him and was getting carp instantly. At 15:30hrs “Time” was called, that was the end of the first match, the weather stayed warm sunny but a little breezy, some anglers explained they took the advice from the tackle shop and went through 9 pints of maggots, at nearly £3:00 a pint that was an expensive match. To keep safe and follow the covid 19 rules, only one person walked the scales around and another aglerfollowed with the result sheet, but keeping the distance, first year other anglers were not allowed to follow the scales and see the results.
1st Robert Smith (Westwood Lake) 139lb 06oz
2nd Roy McClean (Durham) 127lb 15oz,
3rd Vince King (Northumbria) 122lb 06oz
4th Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 113lb 09oz
Skylark Lake, 9th September
All anglers know this lake well as this lake has been fished every year. The draw was made the night before so anglers drifted to their allocated pegs first thing in the morning and started setting up the tackle. Again some people decided to stick with the method feeder, most set up the pole. The weather again was forecast sunny with a light breeze blowing up the lake.
“All in” was sounded at 10:30hrs, within seconds’ people was seen fighting fish and dropping their catch in the keepnets. As the day went on the fish started to move into the margins, but these fish are wise, if you don’t have the right bait they will knock your line out of the way and gill feed the free bait that’s been put in. it becomes frustrating when big double figure carp are seen in the edge but will not take the bait offered.
“Time” was called at 15:30hrs and the same chat was heard up and down the bank, how many fish had been lost. Same rules applied one person weighing and one recording.
1st Kenny Kitchen (Durham) 96lb 13oz
2nd Graham Colclough (Durham) 82lb 10oz
3rd Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 79lb 13oz
4thVince King (Northumbria) 75lb 1oz
Well done to Kenny and Graham both fished the method feeder all day
Hawk Lake, 10th September
This was the final match of the festival, and the points and weights were very close, the draw again was made the previous night, anglers started to arrive at their allocated pegs just after 8am, this gave plenty of time to get the bait to be used mixed and sorted to perfection and all rigs and rods ready. The weather again was perfect sunshine and very light breeze, looking around the bank at some anglers it was clear to see there had been some sunburnt heads and arms the day before.
This is a favourite lake for some people, it has a good stock of carp and barbel. The two flier pegs had gone to Kenny Kitchen (peg 1), Gordon Parking (Northumbria) drew peg 20. So the pressure was on with the points being so close.
10:30hrs “all in” was sounded, it was a slightly slower start due to the night before being very cold, after short while with bait trickling in the fish soon started to be caught. Due to the success Kenny and Graham had on Skylark, they stuck with the method feeder, most other people went onto the short pole down the edge or 8mtres to the middle of the deeper track.
15:30hrs “Time” was shouted, that was it, no more matches and the weight from this match would give the overall results. Weighing in and recording was done again by the same two as previous matches.
1st Paul Hutchinson 135lb 10oz
2nd Vice King 131lb 06oz
3rd Roy McClean 127lb 04oz
4th Robert Smith 118lb 13oz
The sheets were then taken back to the lodge and calculated to find out who was the overall winner. Due to Covid 19 and the rulings there was no presentation night.
Final results to end the 2020 festival:
1st Paul Hutchinson with 8 points and a total weight of 329lb
2nd Vince King with 9 points 328lb 13oz
3rd Robert Smith 10 points 322lb 14oz
4th Roy McClean 13 points 309lb 4oz
Northumbria again win first and second place, Paul Hutchinson retains his championship from last year, but congratulations to Vince, fished superb on all three matches and was only ounces from taking top spot.
Durham Invitation, Brafferton Fishery, North Yorkshire.
On Thursday 24th September 2020 this was the last match of the season, it was held on the F1 Lake at Brafferton. The weather the day before was torrential rain and same was forecast for the Thursday.
However this did not put the many brave anglers off, yet another good turn out and even a new face, Retired Northumbria D/Sgt Ian Nicholson. Due to covid 19 and the rulings, all social distance was adhered to and the draw was taken place by one angler with social distance kept at all times.
The draw was made at 08:30hrs, the weather at this time was dry but very thick cloud. As people unpacked their vehicles, the owner of the complex arrived and stated it had been fishing very hard, the last match was won with only 11lb. so we thought we were in for a difficult day.
10:30hrs the “All in “was sounded and at the same time the rain also started coming down. Within seconds of the line hitting the water, Roy McClean (Durham) fishing his method feeder rod, hit into a nice double figure carp. Other people around the lake struggled. Approx 11:30hrs the rain had stopped and the sun came out, this helped the fishing and fish were now being caught by all anglers. Roy changed to the pole and found the carp were just in front of him, he spent most of his time fishing shallow and landing carp up to 3lb every put in.
16:00hrs “Time” was called and that was the end of the last match, Ian Nicholson had just started fishing and was telling other anglers he caught his carp on hot dog sausages, it worked for him and he caught some nice fish. Again due to the covid ruling, only one person went round with the scales and one to write the results down
1st Roy McClean (Durham) 110lb 14oz
2nd Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 62lb 13oz
3rd Ian Nicholson (Northumbria) 39lb 12 oz
4th Boyd Weddle (Northumbria) 30lb9oz
Well done to Roy for the outstanding weight, the most fish caught would have gone to Boyd, as he had hundreds of small roach which kept him busy throughout the match.