Angling: First river weights hint at a ‘red-hot’ summer

Ian Dawson
Ian Dawson
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After the first couple of days of the new river season ended with very few reports of good pleasure catches, the first river matches at least gave some signs that we could be in for a good summer.

The ever-improving River Calder around Mirfield held the first of the year’s Riverfest events, with 60 of the country’s best river anglers all hoping for qualification to the final and a shot at the £12,000 winner’s purse.

Tri Cast- Calder’s Ian Dawson didn’t need to drive far to repeat an amazing double, winning the match for the second year running; proving local knowledge and a good peg are hard to beat.

Drawn on Batley Beck in C section of Sands Lane, his stick float and red maggot caught seven chub, and a sprinkling of good dace gave him a 25lb total – and first name on the list for the big final to be held on the River Wye at Hereford later this year.

Waggler or the stick and maggot accounted for all the top weights with chub, bream, dace and the odd big rogue spotty being the predominant species, though roach will play a bigger part as the season progresses.

The venue now has to be regarded as the best in the north for anyone wanting to bring out the bait apron. Fill it with bronze or reds and waft a float rod.

The Ouse above York produced similar winning weights to the Calder, though to completely different methods.

York’s Mick Potter, drawn on Poppleton’s famous pipe hole, made no mistakes. Fishing a groundbait and caster feeder with worm on the hook, he put five good bream on the scales for 21-08, for a season’s first match win.

Leeds’ Jim Jordan followed his previous day’s Wharfe win with second place from the Broken Bridge above the rough field using the same tactics, but falling one bream short with 18-07.

Talking point of the day was the short section above Killingbeck which threw up over 100lb of bream to the eight anglers drawn there. Obviously a massive shoal and known to be particularly spooky under match conditions, anyone willing to do the long walk from Red House and sit without angler competition could be in for a once-in-a-lifetime catch.

The opening of the summer league events took place on the River Aire at Beal Bridge with anglers finding bites hard to come by. Selby’s John Cyrowzki needed only a 6lb slab and a few skimmers to win with just under 15lb, all taken on the choppy feeder.

Though the river in this area was in a dour mood, stretches nearer to Leeds are throwing up some amazing catches.

Barbel on float-fished meat from the city centre would have been thought impossible just a decade ago, but I now receive reports weekly of town anglers catching these oxygen-loving fish – a true reflection of a healthy river system – and anglers willing to explore.

Below Leeds, huge bream hauls are becoming commonplace with weights to over 70lb from the shallow waters in the Rothwell area.

Brilliant as these catches are, the news of a UK river record beating 50lb carp from the south of Leeds will take the angling world by storm as details emerge over the next few days.

All I can say is congratulations Steve Catterall – what a fish! I hope to add a bit more next week.


Riverfest, Mirfield, River Calder: 1, Ian Dawson 25-13; 2, Ian Ward 21-07; 3, Pete Allott 19-10; 4, Mark Holdsworth 16-00; 5, Phil Davies 12-15; Qualifiers: A Zone, Pete Allott 19-10; B Zone, Tony Watling 11-08; C Zone, Ian Dawson 25-13.

Summer League, River Aire, Beale Bridge: 1, John Cyrowski 14-14; 2, Dave Armitage 6-14; 3, Mick Wood 5-12; 4, Bob Foster 3-10.

Poppleton Lakes, 3-hour Evening: 1, Rob Harrer 123-08; 2, Jim Thirkhill 75-08; 3, Tom Bainbridge 64-02; 4, Gavin Peake 58-00.

Park Piscatorials, Birkwood Farm: 1, J Brogden 54-06; 2, A Roze 48-04; 3, D Grunby 46-00.

JT Rodgers Summer League, Langwith Emma’s: 1, A Jackson 36-10; 2, A Smith 32-02; 3, D Watson 25-10.

Leeds Liverpool Canal, Redcote Lane: 1, Darren Woods 1-12; 2, Richard Thorne 1-08; ,3 George Colbran 1-07; 4, Paddy Woods 1-06.

Kippax Park, Osprey: 1, Andy Hampson 139-08; 2, Andy Rymer 76-06; 3, Bob Rymer 65-04.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, Dave Pollitt 93-06; 2, Steve Cromie 83-10; 3, Andy Hampson 73-12.

Moor Monkton Open, Front Lake: 1, Dave Pollitt 66-07; 2, Stan Jefferys 63-13; 3, Alex Warren 61-15.

Colton Sports AC, Swanlands: 1, K Gale 128-12; 2, D Stainthorpe 77-08; 3, A Senior 73-04; 4 K Foster 72-09.

XGates AC, Swanlands: 1, M Johnson 83-00; 2, S Kay 78-12; 3, D Watson.

Aireborough, Sunrise Fishery: 1, Jason Whitehead 20-12; 2, Steven Smith 16-07; 3, Chris Robinson 14-10; 4, Bob Peters 13-06.

Birkwood Farm, Oscars Open: 1, M Jukes 52-00; 2, B Rymer 48-07; 3, T Davies 40-03.

Colton Sports AC, Forest Lane – Square: 1, I Asquith 47-08; 2, K Gale 45-00; 3, A Senior 37-11; 4, D Stainthorpe 33-07.

Rodley Barge, Roan Fishery: 1, J Squires 58-04; 2, S Dodsworth 50-10; 3, P Sawyer 48-05; 4, D Lawson 34-12.

Rodley Nomads (Viking Hawk): 1, B Lockwood 57-11; 2, G Hudson 50-08; 3, P Mills 49-06.

Roadline AC (Viking Deer): 1, M Brotherton Sr 41-10; 2, K Harrison 36-12; 3, J Harrison 31-10.

Meanwood AC (Viking Fox): 1, M Brotherton Jr 60-12; 2, R Harrison 43-10; 3, W Scales 40-13.

Acorn AC (Viking Hawk): 1, D North 41-10; 2, G Wainwright 38-00; 3, J Sykes 32-02.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, Jimmy Naylor 89-00; 2, Ray Laing 64-15; 3, Chris Pine 55-04.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes: 1, Chris Pine 67-00; 2, R Emery 48-12; 3, George Corner 48-08.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, John Foster 80-12; 2, Norman Laing 49-13; 3, George Atkins 43-09.

Match Diary


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

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

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 860764.

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


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.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

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 10 am, 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: three-hour evening opens, contact Roger 07425 146677.

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