Angling: Big events braced for changes in year ahead

Daz Ratcliffe of Forum AC with a winter barbel that fell to summer tactics from Hammertons Horseshoe Bend on the Nidd.

2018 is looking like it’s going to be the year for major changes in some of the most prestigious events in coarse fishing’s match calendar.

Matchroom Sports manager, Barry Hearn, and Sky Sports announced that the 25th anniversary Fish O Mania final will be staged at Doncaster’s superb Hayfield Lakes on Saturday, July 14.

Barry Hearn.

The £50,000 showpiece has come in for criticism over the last few years while hosted at the prolific, though peggy, circled doughnut lake at Cudmore Fisheries, and the complaints by some of the country’s best anglers have certainly been listened to.

The change will be welcomed by most, and I have to say Hayfields Island Lake ticks all the boxes for what’s needed to stage a final with massive catches and huge audience potential.

Surprisingly, following the trend Dave Harrell’s two-day Riverfest Final will move from Hereford’s River Wye to the County and Showground sections of the river Severn at Shrewsbury.

The competition, in my eyes the best for all-round running-water anglers, will be staged over 24 qualifying rounds on some of the best rivers around the country, giving every one of the 1,440 entrants a chance at the £40,000 prize pot.

Hayfield Lakes.

Yorkshire anglers might have to travel a few miles if they make the final, but they haven’t been forgotten when it comes to qualifying on your doorstep, with the River Calder around Mirfield holding the competition’s opener on the first day of the new season followed the next Saturday at Morton on the chub-dominated River Swale.

The Ouse around Linton and Hunters will again provide the ‘last chance saloon’ with a qualifier at the end of October just a week before the final that will be held over the weekend of the November 3 and 4.

The strangest change of the year leaves me scratching my head, and, as usual, it seems Europe is at the front of destroying something that our anglers have excelled at.

The World Feeder Championships – a competition in which England have twice struck gold, will be changed to allow ledgering with bombs.

To me, it seems as daft as playing international football with a rugby ball, but if they’ve done it thinking it will give other country’s a better chance, I would still bet my money on an English medal coming home from Italy this coming July.

The opening round of the Anglers World Saturday Ouse/Ure Series was a grim reminder of what winter floodwater fishing was all about as competitors were greeted to 5ft of extra snow-water raging through their pegs.

Winner on the day, Middlesbrough’s John Smiles, needed just 1-13 of tiny bleak from Thorpe Underwood peg 10 to give him the perfect start in the league.

As overnight temperatures dropped as fast as the river levels, the following day’s Bob Co Winter League produced a surprise sub-zero barble of 7-09 taking top spot for Shaun Tate from his peg just above Aldwark Bridge. Not to be all doom and gloom, those prepared to wait for breaks in the weather can be rewarded with good catches of chub and winter barbel from the Bradford and Leeds waters of the Nidd.


Anglers World Saturday Series Hunters/Linton: 1, J Smiles 1-13; 2, S Newns 1-08; 3, M Highe 1-06; 4, J Carter 1-05; 5, D Grace 1-04.

Bob Co Yorkshire Winter League Hunters/Linton: 1, S Tate 7-09; 2, A Hampson 5-10; 3, D Pilgrim 3-00; 4, J Cyrowski 2-10; 5, T Earnshaw 2-04.

Bradford No1 Cowthorpe Nidd: 1, H Foster 14-01; 2, J Layland 12-00; 3, A Lewis 9-08; 4, D Robson 7-02.

Mark Turner Open KP Lapwing: 1, J Brogden 31-05; 2, D Cockerhill 20-14; 3, N Rymer 19-12; 4, T Gallifant 8-14.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, J Wake 70-09; 2, J Gee 66-11; 3, J Humphries 44-15; 4, D Newman 41-09.

KP Midweek Lapwing: 1, N Rymer 44-06; 2, A Rymer 32-11; 3, S Barraclough 31-11.

Moor Monkton Pools: 1, D Wright 11-14; 2, S Mazza 10-15; 3, M Hare 6-04; 4, S Cooper 5-06.

Moor Monkton Pools Winter League: 1, S Mazza 33-09; 2, M Dodsworth 28-11; 3, A Middleton 25-14.

Oaks at Sessay Ash/Beach/Sycamore: 1, D Smith 39-12; 2, P Burton 38-08; 3, R Bennet 37-08; 4, C Hall 27-02.

Oaks Silverfish Only: 1, M Calvert 24-12; 2, D Smiddy 23-01; 3, D Cunningham 19-14; 4, C Hall 17-12; 5, M Arrowsmith 13-12.

Mirfield AC Aire & Calder Canal: 1, M Wood 9-08; 2, P Barron 7-09; 3, S Haigh 7-07; 4, I Bowman/ D White 6-08.

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, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

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

Anglers 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-50, 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: 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: draw car park 5pm, pools £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.

More from Sport