Angling: Versatility the key as Team Ossett claim WInter League title

Cleveland's Maurice Barker with 11-6 of Lower Swale barbel that fell to chilli meat.
Cleveland's Maurice Barker with 11-6 of Lower Swale barbel that fell to chilli meat.
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Coping with ice, snow, floods and hooligan winds has always been just a small part of Winter League team fishing, reaching the national final and competing with those who have gone through the same or are just as crazy as yourself always being the goal.

Past Winter League finals fished mid-summer dressed in shorts and t-shirts, using methods that wouldn’t see the light of day in any December or January match never reflected what it was all about to me.

At last! The first true league final took place in grim and freezing conditions last week, proving good anglers don’t need the sun on their backs to get the best out of venues, particularly those fisheries with a cold-weather pedigree.

A changed format of splitting the final between the silverfish-dominated Fenland drains and the carp-solid Decoy lakes in Cambridgeshire was also used for the first time; 340 anglers representing 34 of the country’s top teams took part. Congratulations to Yorkshire’s Team Ossett, who proved their class and versatility coming out on top at both of the very different waters.

A brilliant 45 point total beat the star studded Dorking by 11 points and into an unfamiliar second place to become the new Angling Trust Winter League Champions (full scores in match results below).

Cold weather is a great scapegoat for poor catches on both commercials and rivers.

Despite freezing conditions, as the days get longer recent big weights show that light values play a much bigger part in triggering fish to feed than most realise.

Local commercials this week exploded into life as if to prove the point.

Moor Monkton Pools provided the top weight of the weekend for BSR-sponsored Sean Rodgers.

Rodgers, in-between drinking two flasks of coffee to keep warm, still netted 40 carp for a brilliant 160lb to win the latest JT Winter series easily.

Kippax Park’s Lapwing Lake also got in on the ton-up action with Dave Cockerill winning the latest Turner Open with 116lb of carp up to 7lb. Both winning weights would be regarded as good even in the warmer summer months.

River specimen anglers have had an unexpected good few days with the lower Swale showing decent late-season form with bigger-than-average chub from the Helperby and Myton lengths, and more than the odd barbel to low doubles, for those being in the right place at the right time.

The best reported was a stunner of 11-6 by Maurice Barker, showing what’s possible even in the coldest weather.

Big chub, once the target species on most Ouse/Ure matches, showed that they are still willing to munch given the right conditions.

Mirfield’s Nigel Hurst took two lumps for 9-10 and second place in the latest Leeds Winter Series opposite Widdington.

His biggest fish weighed just short of the magical 6lb.

Winner Dave Pollitt took the easy route from flier 219 with six dozy perch for 9-14.

Further downstream, York & District’s Ouse fixture was a dire affair.

Only two skimmers – for a total of 3-10 – were all that was needed to win for Leeds’ Steve Raper. Drawn opposite the gardens at Bishopthorpe Palace, he fished worm through a feeder to tempt both in consecutive casts.

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Results

Angling Trust Winter League Final: Fenland Drains and Decoy Lakes. Teams; 1, Team Ossett 45pts; 2, Dorking 56pts; 3, Maver Midland 58pts; 4, Drennan North West 70pts; 5, Drennan Barnsley Blacks 73pts.

Individuals Decoy: 1, J Collins, Preston Innovations Delcac 86-200kgs; 2, N Crooks, Team Ossett 81-700kgs; 3, H Rushden, Maver Midlands 54-85kgs; 4, R Griffiths, Drennan North West 49-65kgs.

Individuals Fen Drains: 1 A Moss, Browning Hot Rods 10-000kgs; 2 S Barnett, Drennan Bordon 7-310kgs; 3 D White, Maver Midlands 6-8000kgs; 4 P Close, Mosella Quaker 6-500kgs.

Moor Monkton Pools: JT Rodgers Winter Series. 1, Sean Rodgers 162-00; 2, Martin Dodsworth 136-10; 3, Paul Gallagher 81-12.

Kippax Park, Turner Open: 1, Dave Cockerill 116-00; 2, Chris Musgrove 68-00; 3, Tony Gallifant 39-00.

Bradford No1 Round 3 Raskelf: 1, Fred Prudham 27-02; 2, Chris Pitman 19-09; 3, Peter Vickerman 14-09; 4, Steve Hodson 12-09; 5, Paul Royston 11-09.

The Oaks at Sessay: 1, D Smith, Bait-Tech 103-13; 2, A Dargue, Mosella 98-04; 3, J Silver, Oaks 54-11; 4, C Hall, Oaks 49-06.

None-Go-By Farm, Silver Fish Series: 1, C Ellis, Tri-Cast 15-08; 2, S Weston, Matrix 14-00; 3, J Sedgewick, Tri-Cast 13-07; 4, S Fotheringham, Leeds 12-05.

Woodlands Silver Fish, Final Round: 1, S Rambo 39-11; 2, P Close 37-04; 3, J Stevenson 33-08 ; 4, J Parkinson 31-07 ; 5, J Maddison 27-04.

Leeds Winter Series, Hunters/Linton: 1, Dave Pollitt 9-14; 2, Nige Hurst 9-10; 3, Bill Collier 5-14; 4, Craig Turbitt 4-14.

Northallerton AC, Swale, Screwton: 1, I Curtain, Teeside 27-00; 2, L Furness, Selby 13-04; 3, G Skirrey, Maver 10-04; 4, J Hardcastle, Colmic 9-05; 5, P Miller, York 8-07.

Toms Pond: 1, Neil Rymer, Kippax 44-08; 2, Simon Wain, Toms 40-13; 3, Allan Copperwaite, Keighley 37-09; 4, John Mills, Forest Lane 36-10; 5, Andy Barker, Kippax 31-14; 6, Geoff Rhodes, Toms 27-03.

BSR Winter League, Saturday, Kippax Park: 1, Tony Evans 16-02; 2, Andy Rymer 10-00; 3, Neil Rymer/Tony Hewson 9-15.

Rodley Barge, Viking – Hawk: 1, E Holmes 99-08; 2, L Hook 64-12; 3, G Marshall 61-08; 4, E Rushworth 46-08.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, M Handforth 58-14; 2, R Scott 40-03; 3 G Watson 37-01; 4 J Harron 34-05.

Fryston Winter League (Viking Deer): 1, S Johnson 16-11; 2 R Evans 14-02; 3, J Holmes 14-01.

Match Diary

Saturday

Feeder Master Qualifier: River Aire, Beal, contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

Leeds & District: Winter Series Ouse/Ure, contact Stan Haigh 07542700743.

Kippax Park: BSR Winter League, details contact Sean 07814454271.

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

Aire & Calder Pollington: £15 all in, contact Kelvin 07779991483.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, 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.

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

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.

Viking: Saturday Open, Deer pond, 24 pegs, £16, 01405 860764.

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

Listerhills AA, Leeds/Liverpool Rodley: £12 all in contact Eddie 07984597328.

Sunday

Leeds & District: Winter Series Ouse/Ure, contact Stan Haigh 07542700743.

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.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

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: 27 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, 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.

Glen AC Ouse Thrash: contact D Miles 01133 910570.

Thursday

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £12, contact 07967000746.

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’