Angling: Big catches put venues north of Leeds ‘on the map’

Dave Rushton with a probably-never-been-caught-before barbel.
Dave Rushton with a probably-never-been-caught-before barbel.
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Now a month into the new coarse-fish river season, it’s always interesting to compare the starts of previous years and, hopefully, put old knowledge to new campaigns.

This season started with a new river record falling on the Ouse above York with Steve Edson’s mega bream haul of over 160lb in the five-hour contest.

As good as the new record is, most regulars were not that surprised knowing the river holds vast shoals of now extremely big fish. It was very much a case of right man on the right peg at the right time.

I’ve already witnessed and had reports of bream and barbel catches all through the Ouse system with fish of different year classes from pegs and areas they would not usually come from.

So, was Steve’s huge catch so early in the season an omen or sign of things to come? Can the match men’s catches help to improve the chances of specialist anglers in location and species? I certainly think so. The Wharfe below Tadcaster – once home to near-weekly 250-peg matches and remembered for its hard-to-catch dace shoals and the millions of eels and flatties that run its daily tides – has seen some tough years over the past couple of decades.

This season the river is doing its very best to repay those that never gave up on the venue.

I started my open match fishing at Ulleskelf in the mid-70s and can remember Leeds legend Henry Pollard telling me that you needed to be able to catch 5lb of dace and a few snakes to be able to compete.

In just a few seasons this changed to double-figure eels nets, over 20lb of chub and then 30lb of bream was needed to secure places on the big competitions.

Though this part of the river has always had a natural stock of barbel, early-season signs are that seemingly unexplainable changes are again taking place.

The 50lb-barbel catch taken on a Leeds match at the very start of the season seemed to set the tone, but it was last week’s John Smith’s Trophy that has definitely made a difference to the increased use of the venue by anglers that would once never have visited.

Aireborough’s Nick Smith romped away with the trophy at the weekend with 18 barbel for over 75lb to set, what I think, would be a record catch for the species from this part of the river.

But it was the 11-2 barbel, caught by fourth-placed Lee Furness, and his admission to losing one even bigger that has seen increased competition for parking spaces at Kirby Wharfe. With barbel now at the top of most anglers’ wish lists, its good to see our local rivers providing sport that not that long ago we thought was lost.

The Wharfe is now at its barbling best, the hard work done by enthusiasts of the river Nidd has enabled some fish that have obviously never seen a hook before to fall for the first time, and the number of double-figure fish from the Swale, Ouse and Ure is as good as ever for this time of year.

We might not have the Trent on our doorstep, but north of Leeds is well worth a look.

Results

Colton Sports AC, Poppleton – Horseshoe: 1, J McKenzie 75-02; 2, C Remmer 69-02; 3, A Senior 67-04; 4, D Stainthorpe 64-05.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, J Unsworth 128-08; 2, W Redfern 109-14; 3, N Taylor 107-06; 4, M Handforth 74-12.

Vicker Street AC (Viking Deer): 1, R Green 119-04; 2, B Turner 91-02; 3, D Playforth 78-04; 4, P Green 74-12.

Clayton AC (Viking Hawk): 1, K Armitage 123-00; 2, G Hall 120-12; 3, S Armitage 102-08; 4, C Slinger 89-00.

Molson Coors AC (Viking Deer): 1, A Broomhead 106-09; 2, C Howie 70-08; 3, S Howie 66-02; 4, S Walls 61-02.

Leeds DASA Ulleskelf River Wharfe: 1, Nick Smith 75-11 (18 barble); 2, Keith Lancaster 38-00; 3, Roy Knox 24-03; 4, Lee Furness 23-02 (including 11-02 barble); 5, Alan Millar 22-04.

Bradford No 1 River Aire Beal: 1, R Bonas 25-01; 2, F Prudham 7-02; 3, I Bradley 6-03; 4, B Scott 5-13.

Bradford No 1 Calder League: 1, D Armitage 17-01; 2, J Vickerman 16-00; 3, D Grace 15-14; 4, S Raper 15-10; 5, P Clark 15-04.

Park Piscatorials Birkwood Mollys: 1, G Mallinson 29-11; 2, T Spooner 22-11; 3, D Hicks 21-12.

X Gates AC Swanlands: 1, M Johnson 96-13; 2, S Kay 66-03; 3, A Atkinson 53-09.

West Yorkshire Wagglers Pool Bridge Farm: 1, S Hobson 39-08; 2, R Stark 38-09; 3, J Slater 29-11.

Colton Sports Forest Lane Furlong: 1, J McKenzie 78-15; 2, K Gale 76-08; 3, D Stainthorpe 68-01; 4, M Durkin 67-10.

White Horse Weeton Lake: 1, G Raper 19-01; 2, T Wainwright 13-15; 3, G Greenhall 12-02; 4, S Good 11-08.

X Gates AC Sykehouse: 1, M Johnson/D Utley 6-03; 3, A Atkinson 5-03.

Wetherby AC Poppleton Railway: 1, K Bell 126-03; 2, T Koz 100-05; 3, S Snaith 89-07.

Fulford Gate Poppleton Horseshoe: 1, G Peak 110-08; 2, M Reynolds 100-10; 3, S Brown 88-10; 4, M Brown 86-05. Silverfish Prize R Holmes 62-10.

York Plumbobs Poppleton Railway: 1, C Mountain 90-13; 2, M Millar 63-04; 3, N Pickersgill 62-02; 4, J Barker 52-06.

Leeds Liverpool Canal Rodley: 1, J Mason 4-08; 2, R Thorne 2-13; 3, J Storey 2-11; 4, B Lowthian 2-09.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, S Jeffreys 98-13; 2, J Redmond 94-12; 3, S Pearson 74-03; 4, M Shorter 66-07.

Osprey Lake Kippax Park: 1, A Broomhead 133-04; 2, M Shorter 94-02; 3, T Hewson 63-05.

Moor Monkton Front Pool: 1, A Warren 64-14; 2, A Bull 61-07; 3, D Pollitt 44-02.

Match Lake Moor Monkton: 1, L Smith 114-14; 2, D Wright 98-09; 3, A Bull 97-05; 4, M Hare 78-08.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open: Hawk Pond, 30 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Tollerton Ponds: open match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday open, 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands: over-50s, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday, draw car park 5pm, pools £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.

Belle Isles Jason Passy showing one of the largest Wharfe specimens caught at an impressive weight of 12lb 5ozs.

Yorkshire club are ‘best of the best’

Harry Lodge is congratulated by Jeff Stimpson.

Angling: Deserved honour for stalwart Harry Lodge