Angling: Trust final top honour hoovered up by Dyson

It's not long ago that 100lb match catches were just a dream for most, and to achieve the magical festival or final ton would usually involve a ferry crossing to the wild waters of Loch Erne or an even farther trek to Denmark's Skanderborg or Guden system.

Tuesday, 13th March 2018, 4:48 am
Podium placers, first and third overall, Team Dons Steve Lowther and Mirfields Tony Earnshaw. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Just a few miles down the A1 and in arctic conditions, our old dream weights were made at the weekend to look very ordinary. The Angling Trust Winter League final, split between the fish-filled Decoy Lakes and Fenland Drains, is an unusual format for a national final but gives both commercial and silverfish anglers the chance to shine on the same stage.

Maver Midlands star Andy Dyson certainly shone, putting the old pound and ounces ton to shame with a staggering 105-150kg (231lb-08oz) to become this year’s individual champion.

Drawn peg 16 on Decoy’s Elm Lake, his catch of 62 carp (best 15-00) and four barbel was made all the more remarkable as his 14m pole plan changed with the bitterly cold weather, and he decided not to feed. Every fish he caught were to bunches of red maggots, no loose or potted feed was introduced. Top silvers’ weight fell to Preston Thatchers man, Tom Morretti, with a brilliant pinkie-caught 11-970kg of roach from the fancied 20-foot drain.

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Hardy Leeds anglers at their Ouse headquarters. PIC: Steve Fearnley

A new name was engraved on the coveted team trophy as Maver North West put in a terrific man-for-man performance on both venues to total 51 points and 88-530kg, pushing last year’s winners, the star-studded Drennan Barnsley Blacks, into the runners-up spot.

Hoping to benefit from the usually settled end-of-season weather conditions, organisers decided to change dates for the start of this year’s sell-out three-day Ouse Festival knowing the beginning of March would be warm and perfect!

Over 4ft of ice-cold, snow floodwater greeted competitors on Day 1. The stage was set as the Beast from the East made its self known. Anglers World Holidays team man Stan Haigh made no mistake from peg 286 at Linton Bottom, taking eight roach on a pinkie feeder to weigh 2-04 – enough for the first-day win.

Day 2 saw an extra couple of foot of brown, icy floodwater running under Aldwark Bridge and taking the levels up to a dangerous 6ft above normal.

Hardy Leeds anglers at their Ouse headquarters. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Pontefract’s Dean Grace took the honours again from peg 286 with 17 small roach for 2-08, all taken on a tiny mushed worm and maggot feeder.

By the end of the day, river levels were dropping so things could only get better ...

Day 3, Thursday morning at Linton-on-Ouse, Hunters Lodge, and most of Yorkshire ground to a halt owing to severe snow storms that caused the festival to be cancelled. It paid out on the two-day result. Diawa Team Don’s Steve Lowther was crowned festival champion with a 37-point total, just beating Barnsley’s river expert, Dennis White.

Co-festival organisers, Dave Miles and Stan Haigh, run excellent fishing matches but they wouldn’t get a job at weather forecasting!


Angling Trust Winter League Final Individual Decoy: 1, A Dyson 105-120kg; 2, G Welton 64-450kg; 3, D Ashington 64-300kg; 4, T Watson 41-150kg. Individual Fenland Drains: 1, T Moretti 11-970kg; 2, W Freeman 10-260; 3, B Wilkes 9-640kg; 4, R Hewison 8-760kg. Overall Team Result: 1, Maver North West 51pt; 2, Drennan Barnsley Blacks 57pt; 3, Sensas Starlets 73pt; 4, Preston Thatchers 74pt.

3-Day Ouse Festival – Linton & Hunters Lodge – Day 1: 1, S Haigh 2-04; 2, S Lowther 1-13; 3, D White 1-11; 4, J Smiles 1-10. Day 2: 1, D Grace 2-08; 2, S Tate 2-03; 3, D Pollitt 1-09; 4, P Austin 1-08. Overall: 1, Steve Lowther 37pt; 2, Dennis White 37pt; 3, Tony Earnshaw 36pt; 4, D Pollitt 35pt.

Anglers World Yorkshire Ouse Hunters: 1, P Austin 10-01; 2, K Hobson 6-11; 3, I Bowman 6-08; 4, D Armitage 5-02.

JT Rodgers Brafferton F1: 1, R Richardson 84-01; 2, T Biggins 72-14; 3, D Gunby 64-06.

Northallerton AC Morton-on-Swale: 1, I Kirton 48-06; 2, N Smith 31-01; 3, J Herbert 28-15; 4, P Bottomsworth 19-02.

Woodlands Silverfish Only: 1, R Harbour 24-11; 2, D Smiddy 22-14; 3, J Dent 21-05; 4, P Close 16-15.

Moor Monkton, Sunday Winter League, All Pools: 1, Tom Bainbridge 55-09; 2, Andy Hornsby 10-03; 3, Dave Wright 7-15; 4, Mick Green 7-04.

Moor Monkton, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Adrian Bolton 35-09; 2, Mick Green 33-03; 3, Stan Jeffreys 30-10; 4, Geoff Rhodes 26-13.

Kippax Park, Saturday Winter League, Lapwing: 1, Neil Rymer 67-10; 2, Andy Rymer 53-02; 3, Steve Raper 43-00.

Kippax Park, Saturday Winter League, Final Match, Lapwing: 1, Johnny Wake 99-01; 2, Bill Brown 67-15; 3, John Clark 46-14; 4, Andy Barker 45-05; League Result: Neil Rymer 15pts; Andy Rymer 17pts; Steve Raper 18pts; Johnny Wake/Mark Dukes 22pts; Tony Hewson 25pts.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, Adrian Broomhead 46-074; 2, Neil Rymer 46-05; 3, John Brogden 43-09.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, R Padgett 62-12; 2, G Newsholme 57-09; 3, S Gibbins 41-00.

Molson Coors AC (Viking Hawk): 1, A Broomhead 86-05; 2, G Cannon 33-06; 3, C Howie 31-03.

Fryston AC Winter League (Viking Fox): 1, M Salmon 39-14; 2, S Varley 34-13; 3, W Mountain 31-00.

Angel Lakes Open Lookout Sunday: 1, Ray Laing 165-02; 2, John Nelson 65-12; 3, David Pearson 48-00.

Angel Lakes Winter League: winner Ray Laing 23 pts 384-07; runner-up John Foster 23pts 279-14.

Match Diary


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

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

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

Angler World Winter Series: River Ouse/Ure, contact Stan Haigh 07542700743 or Dave Miles 07867680479.


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.


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.


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


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.


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