Angling: It’s double Calder delight for Scollick and Highe

YEP Angling writer Steve Fearnleywith a pristine River Ure barbel.
YEP Angling writer Steve Fearnleywith a pristine River Ure barbel.
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The ever improving River Calder has thrown up a couple of unusual coincidences over the past two weeks, crowning two of the countries best known float anglers as champions of the same river, in the same year!

Bradford’s ever young 70-something Geoff Scollick last week took the Mirfield AC Middle Calder Championship with a brilliant catch of stick float caught dace from the Healey Mills stretch for a winning 23lb, proving himself to be a man of habit as he won the same match last year with the same weight.

Over 20 double figure weights were recorded on the day with the lowest winning section weight being over 11lb, remarkable results for a length of river thought only a few years ago to be a polluted write off.

This week – though not matching Scollick’s back to back wins – Mirfield’s Martin Highe won Bradford No1s much older Calder Championships fished around Brighouse for the second time, though not quite back to back – he was only 25 years out, winning it previously in 1990.

His win this year worth a cool £600 came from an unfancied peg at the bottom of river street where he waggler fished maggot across to put together 15-14 of roach and perch.

Backing weights though not as high as the middle champs were remarkable in their own way with third-placed angler Matt Foster weighing 20 grayling for his 12-08 from a peg in sight of the M62 motorway.

As the cooler nights of autumn start to bite so it seems do the roach around Chapel Haddlesey, the midweek open match pegged above the pipe bridge saw some big catches of redfins falling to the long rod and big float combos that have become the norm on this part of the deeper Aire.

Pontefract’s Arthur Benstead went fish for fish at the next peg with Tadcaster’s Chris Burton to just steal the win with both anglers recording ounces over 18lb and all the other prize winners having weights of roach in the high teens.

A few days later the bigger Norman Marsh memorial run by Leeds & District was a much harder affair though only a couple of miles away at Beal Bridge the shallower water beneath the weir seemed the place to be, Bradford’s Bob Foster taking the honours with 13-06 comprising of early float caught roach and half a dozen big perch snared late on the choppy feeder. Foster gave Arthur Benstead a taste of his own medicine beating his 12-14 into second place from the next peg.

Last week I promised to keep you up to date on my recent run of Barbel from some of the old match pegs on the Ure and Ouse, with the highlight being able to help old pal Paul McBrinn catch his first Ure double pictured last week, and then proving that it was no fluke on our later sessions. Accepting that when barbeling it can always be done that bit better and knowing that by getting breamed out or linered to death I have made mistakes feeding!

The results have been better than I expected with catches of two and three good fish in short evening sessions falling to a very intentional blinkered pellet only approach.

For those with the chance of a quick session, the shallower pegs on the Ure below Boroughbridge are a good place to start.