Angling: Fluctuating river levels no obstacle at Festival

Cleveland Angling Centre's Richard Bezemer showing two of his 10-bream catch that was the best of a good festival week.
Cleveland Angling Centre's Richard Bezemer showing two of his 10-bream catch that was the best of a good festival week.
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The big three-day Yorkshire Ouse Festival, cancelled in November due to flooding, eventually took place last week with a sell-out entry of 63 anglers lining the banks of Hunters Lodge and Linton-on-Ouse.

The format fished to overall points decided on individual weights – though three 21-peg sections was always going to take some winning – with most of the river’s best anglers ‘stealing’ time off work to take part!

Day one, and fishing for the Bobco Trophy, the river started carrying 18 inches of extra water then fell slowly during the match and fished reasonably well for small roach and dace.

The winner on the day was Steve Lowther of Daiwa Team Dons, who fished a whip on peg 294 at Linton bottom for 9lbs 4oz of bleak.

A very close second was Steve Newns of KL Tackle, just one ounce behind with 9lbs 3oz of all bleak from peg 220 on the Bungalows.

Day two, for the Garbolino Trophy, and the river had dropped a few inches overnight but started to rise in the last hour of the match from the overnight rain.

The winner was Martin Highe of Mirfield, who had 6lbs 14oz of bleak from peg 294 which was the same peg as the day-one winner.

Second was Dave Armitage of Cleckheaton. Drawn peg 187 just below the Willow Garth, he had 6lbs 6oz of roach, bleak and chublets on pole, whip and feeder respectively.

Day three, for the Maver Trophy, and the river came up nine inches overnight and this added a nice tinge of extra colour that certainly did the trick for Richard Bezemer, of Cleveland Angling Centre, who drew peg 224 on the Bungalows – a stand where the odd bream had been caught on both previous days.

Taking advantage of the extra water and warmer temperatures, the north-east angler finished the day with the week’s best catch of 10 bream for 37lb, all taken on the chopped worm feeder with fish-meal-based groundbait cast to the far-boat channel.

Chapel Allerton’s Andy Hampson, who’s weight on the day of 11-10 would have won both previous days’ matches, took runners-up spot from flier peg 249 at middle Linton.

Harrogate’s Ian Bowman, fishing under the Barnsley Blacks banner, was crowned the festival’s overall champion.

His brilliant 58 points showed just five penalty points dropped over the course of three days under changing conditions proved him to be the river’s star man and deserving of the £800 top prize.

Cleckheaton’s Dave Armitage tied on 57 points with Middlesbrough’s John Smiles, but took second place on superior weight difference.

And just 11 points separated the top 10 anglers over three days.

With this kind of result, a sell-out next season is almost guaranteed.

The start of the coarse-fish closed season on rivers is just hours away (midnight March 14), so may I remind anglers that will be dusting off their fly tackle – or just hitting the stillwater commercials – that a new rod licence is required from April 1.

The standard two-rod adult is now £30, the new three-rod licence, aimed at specialist anglers, is priced at £45, and juniors under 17 are free.

The Environment Agency will prosecute any angler caught fishing without one; at 58p a week it’s not worth taking the risk.


Leeds DASA Bobco Trophy River Ouse: 1, S Lowther 9-04; 2, S Newns 9-03; 3, D Walker 7-14; 4, I Bowman 6-11; 5, C Turbitt 6-00.

Leeds DASA Garbolino Trophy River Ouse: 1, M Highe 6-14; 2, D Armitage 6-06; 3, I Bowman 6-01; 4, G Brown 4-08; 5, S Raper 4-06.

Leeds DASA Maver Trophy River Ouse: 1, R Bezemer 37-00; 2, A Hampson 11-10; 3, S Lowther 9-15; 4, C Turbitt 7-02; 5, S Whitfield 6-06.

Leeds DASA 3-Day festival Overall Result: ,1 I Bowman 58pts; ,2 D Armitage 57pts; 3, J Smiles 57pts; 4, M Highe 53pts; 5, S Lowther 52pts; 6, P Clark 52pts.

York DAA Winter Series Fulford: 1, T Harrison 28-00; 2, R Darling 15-08; 3, R Morris 13-13; 4, S Haigh 12-09. League Winners 1st Tackle Traders.

Woodlands Skylark & Partridge: 1, D Webster 74-02; 2, D Foster 67-02; 3, C Pickard 64-10.

Turner Open KP Lapwing: 1, B Brown 31-08; 2, J Smithson 28-08; 3, T Gallifant 24-08.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, A Broomhead 50-08; 2, J Wake 49-03; 3, A Rymer 46-11.

Moor Monkton Rover: 1, J Roper 60-09; 2, D Wright 37-08; 3, E Boldison 37-05; 4, M Gallagher 34-11.

JT Rodgers Moor Monkton Pools: 1, E Boldison 70-14; 2, M Gallagher 67-10; 3, T Bainbridge 65-13; 4, C Coombs 51-07.

Winter League Final Decoy & Fen Drains: 1, A Geldart, Drennan Barnsley Blacks 87-200kg; 2, C Barley, Quorn AS 65-550kg; 3, A Rumble, Dynamite Baits Maver Midlands 57-600kg. Teams 1, Drennan Barnsley Blacks 41pts; 2, Kamasan Starlets 43pts 3, Drennan Oxford 54pts; 4, Devizes MG 67 pts.

Poppleton Lakes, Horseshoe, Saturday Open: 1, Gavin Peake 69-00; 2, Andy Hattee 59-08; 3, Mark Brown 57-00.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, Dave Pearson 92-03; 2, Ray Laing 70-03; 3, Chris Pine 62-12.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, R Scott 71-05; 2, R Green 45-09; 3, D Sawyer 44-02.

Morley Nelson (Viking Deer): 1, G Ashcroft 43-03; 2, I Ingle 41-00; 3, R Padgett 30-12.

Fryston Winter League (Viking Hawk): 1, D Lumb 69-04; 2, R Scott 63-11; 3, S Birch 54-08.

Match Diary


Anglers World Saturday Series: Hunters/Linton, January 7 to season end, contact Stan Haigh 07542700743.

Kippax Park: Winter League starts November 5 to March, £10 entry, £20 pools, 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 £15.00, 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.


Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, Winter League, November 13 to March, £10 entry, pools £20, contact 07967000746.

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.