Angling: Early Opens spring into life after slow start

Reece Lyle shows off just a part of his 176lb-winning catch in the latest Bradford No1 carp contest at Knotford.
Reece Lyle shows off just a part of his 176lb-winning catch in the latest Bradford No1 carp contest at Knotford.
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After a week of ‘below-par’ festival catches on Fermanagh’s River Erne system, another hard match was the last thing on most of the returning anglers’ minds as they made the long trip home from the ferry port at Stranrae.

After just a couple of hours’ sleep, Leeds star Steve Raper was back on the bank of the Aire and Calder Navigation hoping to get his season back on track.

His decision to set the alarm clock for ‘early’ was well justified as he more than equalled his previous week’s best catch by winning the latest Spring League match held around Pollington.

And, better still, just a 30-minute trip from his front door.

Arriving at his peg to rolling bream, his decision to start carefully paid dividends, with his first fish after 10 minutes and another ten at intervals to give him a winning weight of 32lb.

All of his bream came from just past the boat channel to scaled-down cage-feeder tactics with very little particle bait in a dry groundbait mix. Best hookbait was left-over Irish redworms.

The same canal, though on a different arm of the Fleet Lane sections above Leamondroyd Lock, burst into life after a difficult start to the springtime opens.

Different areas of the canal are now capable of producing bumper catches and shoals are thriving – over 110lb of bream were weighed by the top three.

Gerry Bligh took top spot with 16 slabs for 41-08.

There was a real tight battle for second and third with Mick Hammond’s 36-05 just ouncing Paul Revis, who brought 36-04 to the scales.

With water temperatures rising dramatically, the area’s carp have at last woken up and spawning has taken place at most local specimen waters.

Bradford No1’s latest overnight carp match showed they are now really ‘on the feed’ after their calorie-burning breeding exploits.

Local star, Reece Lyle, made the most of the conditions by banking five good fish in the first three hours – all before any other angler had got off the mark.

He followed up with a further four fish to give him an easy win with a total catch of 176-12. Backing up his credentials, Lyle also took the best fish award by banking ‘sunken eyes’ at 27-07.

The match also raised £130 to be donated to the Marie Curie cancer charity.

After another day of setting nets and secret plans, Topcliff’s now-famous Common Seal looks to have its hopeful captors well and truly beaten.

Scratching heads and rubbing of chins is now a common site on the River Swale as the blubbery specimen has an answer to everything the experts can throw at it.

The latest episode saw a good near miss with the seal hitting the nets at ‘warp speed’, almost taking two full-grown men off their feet.

The good news is that one only suffered a broken rib and the seal returned to the weir pool for a well-earned sleep.

It’s now used this stretch of river for over two months now and rumour has it the authorities of Thirsk are looking to charge it council tax and water rates!

Results

Mirfield Open, Aire & Calder Canal, Heck: 1, Ian Melton, Selby Mosella 8-14; 2, Chris Burton, Anglers World/Phil Austin, Mirfield Wily Worms 6-15.

AJ Tackle/Rowland Road, Messingham Sands, Tripp: 1, Damien Beggs 141-15; 2, Nev Brown 107-14; 3, Steve Curtis 99-11.

Moor Monkton Pools, Cyprio: 1, Matt Gallagher 90-10; 2, Steve Mazza 78-10; 3, Lee Myers 78-03; 4, Martin Dodsworth 74-0.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Dave Pollitt 135-05; 2, Matt Gallagher 100-11; 3, Mick Hare 95-06; 4, John Mills 54-13.

Moor Monkton Pools, Sunday, Cyprio: 1, Tom Bainbridge 84-04; 2, Martin Dodsworth 81-14; 3, Matt Gallagher 81-07; 4, Dave Wright 78-09.

Moor Monkton Pools, Bank Holiday Match, Pairs, Cyprio: 1, Steve Mazza 93-08; 2, Adrian Bolton 70-13; 3, Lee Myers 66-04; 4, Gary Watson 63-04. Winning Pair: Adrian Bolton/Lee Myers 137-01.

Moor Monkton Pools, Harrogate Nomads, Front Lake: 1, Martin Dodsworth 121-05; 2, Alex Warren 83-11; 3, John Herron 54-06; 4, Steve Power 36-10.

Kippax Park, Tuesday Open: 1, Paul Carter 90-14; 2, Bob Rymer 79-04; 3, Jamie Cowling 76-11; 4, Adrian Broomhead 76-07.

Kippax Park, Saturday, Lapwing: 1, Tony Evans 47-11; 2, Steve Pearson 45-14; 3, Andy Barker 43-09; 4, Paul Carter 41-15.

Hawkswood Conservative Club: 1, Mark Smith 27-12; 2, David Sutcliffe 22-12; 3, Robbie Mensah 18-05.

Hawkswood Conservative Club, Raker Lakes: 1, Harold Lansdale 65-07; 2, Richard Lees 47-02; 3, Willie Hall 41-0.

Allerton Bywater, Aire & Calder Canal, Fleet Lane: 1, Gerry Bligh 41-08; 2, Mick Hammond 36-05; 3, Paul Revis 36-04.

Poppleton Lakes, Harehills Labour Club, Railway: 1, D Ring 76-10; 2, J Long 53-00; 3, D Walsh 48-0.

Poppleton Lakes, Paxton AC, Horseshoe: 1, B Pallister 109-02; 2, G Milne 103-04; 3, G Chalk 98-08; 4, J Dodds.

Poppleton Lakes, Mitre AC, House Lake: 1, Tom Leak 84-12; 2, Tony Taps 79-02; 3, T Carlton 65-10.

Poppleton Lakes, Tuesday, Westlands Angling, Horseshoe: 1, Brian Pallister 112-08; 2, Alan Creaser 97-00; 3, Colin McNeal 65-10.

Poppleton Lakes, Wetherby AC, Horseshoe: 1, K Bell 101-00; 2, C Kavel 86-10; 3, T Coss 77-08.

Jorvik AC, Poppleton Lakes, Railway: 1, P Child 79-14; 2, G Pearson 60-08; 3, R Gregson 56-12.

Poppleton Lakes, Fulford Gate, Horseshoe: 1, Stu Brown 98-11; 2, Craig Coombs 96-12; 3, Gavin Peake 89-06; 4, Tom Carling 82-09.

Poppleton Lakes, Thursday Evening, Horseshoe: 1, Tom Bainbridge 58-00; 2, Jim Thirkill 52-06; 3, Gavin Peake 52-04.

Poppleton Lakes, Colton Sports AC, Railway: 1, Kenny Gale 107-00; 2, Justin Mirri 61-10; 3, Mick Durkin 60-00; 4, Pete Chase 59-10.

Poppleton Lakes, Starbeck AC, Horseshoe: 1, Gerry Ford 73-12; 2, Tony Coss 65-08; 3, Kevin Bell 63-02; 4, Steve Lupton 60-0.

Poppleton Lakes, White Horse AC, House Lake: 1, T Wainwright 31-12; 2, P Robinson 28-00; 3, J Jones 18-02; 4, H Good 18-0.

JT Rodgers Summer League, Raker Highbank: 1, D Shaw 52-04; 2, D Gunby 44-12; 3, D Jackson 38-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Sunday: 1, John Dryden 130-00; 2, Jackie Nelson 73-05; 3, Brian Hall 69-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Friday: 1, Ethan Bradley 136-05; 2, Glen Appleby 132-15; 3, Dave Hudson 101-05.

Dragon AC at Torne Bank: 1, Robby Robbins 64-07; 2, Dale Evans 60-07; 3, Kevin Legg 59-05.

Armley AC at Kippax Osprey: 1, R Varty 99-03; 2, C Greenwood 69-03; 3, B Trigg 50-10; 4, P Howard 31-08.

Yorkshire Ambulance at Brafferton F1 Lake Saturday: 1, R Varty 80-04; 3, C Greenwood 75-12; 3, D Hill 59-08.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, S Conlan 95-15; 2, R Scott 95-07; 3, R Padgett 77-09; 4, K Worth 75-15.

East Leeds AC (Viking Fox): 1, K Bullock 69-06; 2, K Stone 65-06; 3, G Edward 50-13.

Leeds Electric AC (Viking Deer): 1, J Clay 70-01; 2, N McCormack 63-01; 3, J Butler 45-12.

Merlin AC (Viking Hawk): 1, A Jackson 131-08; 2, D Coote 119-00; 3, C Baldwin 92-10; 4, J Scaife 63-00.

Match Diary

Saturday

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.

Viking: Saturday Open, Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

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.

Results and fixtures can be emailed to: stevefearnley1@btinternet.com