The National Fishing Month began on Friday and will run until the end of August. As they have done since the start of this event the Leeds club will be fully supporting it with tuition days every Wednesday in this period between the hours of 9-6pm at their Kippax Park fishery.
The event is open to all prospective anglers, regardless of age, and it will not cost them a thing for all fishing tackle and bait will be provided and every hopeful will receive expert tuition from a qualified coach. The tackle, rods, poles, seatboxes and nets were provided by the Maver company last year and one still in good condition.
As I said earlier anyone irrespective of age will be made welcome to try their hand for a few hours fishing and Leeds president Stan Jeffreys has even managed to receive a small grant from the council to help with the expenses.
For added interest a couple of world champions will also be making an appearance to offer any advice and they are Tommy Pickering and his daughter Emma and they will be there with Tommy on July 30 and August 13, Emma on July 23 and 20 and August 27.
I have mentioned before earlier this year the fishing tackle belonging to the late David Winter and with some of the proceeds it has been decided to hold a lucky draw and this is how it will work.
Each contestant under the age of 17 will be given a nomination form which will then be filled in with all of their details and then at the end of the series all of the names will go into a random draw and 20 lucky winners, along with a responsible adult, will be taken by coach to the 2015 Fish O’Mania final at Cudmore fishery with all of the expenses paid from the proceeds of David Winter’s generous gift.
It is hoped that this year’s event at Kippax Park will be as successful as last year’s for then there was as many as 60 people a day waiting to have a go at fishing for the first time.
Although there are no permanent toilets on site a portable one is being hired for the six week tuition period.
I have written many times about the Fish O’Mania contest which is now in its 21st year and last weekend saw the Grand Final at Staffordshire’s Cudmore fishery where the 16 finalists competed for the £30,000 top prize and it was Leeds lad Andrew Geldart who finished top of the pile with a catch of 43lb2oz of mostly carp.
He had a nervous last half hour though when he hooked a big fish which unfortunately shed the hook with only a couple of minutes to go, but he had caught enough earlier.
Second spot went to John Baydon at the next peg with 35lb-12oz which won him £5,000 plus a further £1,000 for the biggest fish in the match, a carp of 11lb-0oz.
Third place went to Andy Power with 32lb-9oz and the ladies prize of £1,000 to Emma Pickering, the third time that she has won this award.
The guy to feel sorry for is Steve Cooke who won the event back in 1999. He sat for the full five hours and was the only competitor not to catch a fish!