Originally we had the Basingstoke canal booked for the final leg but after our “ice experience” in the last match we moved it back to the deeper waters of the Gloucester canal to guarantee fishing.
Over 40 anglers turned up with people traveling from all over, Norfolk, Yorkshire and Cornwall. Some of you are no doubt aware one lucky individual who travelled down from Yorkshire managed to catch a rather larger Zander but more of that in a minute.
The day itself was dark and dank and although the canal had been fishing well a few weeks earlier it was now the colour of chocolate and the concencious was that it would be hard going. The fishing was to take place between The Pilot and Hempsted Bridge.
By 8.30am everybody was booked in and all anglers were released by 8.45, with many jumping into their cars and heading for the Gloucester end of the stretch which is a known Zander hot spot.
Within the first hour Team No Name took an early lead with a couple of Perch taken from around some boats fishing an AJI Ringer Shad on a drop shot. For the majority though fishing was slow. By lunch time about a third of the teams had registered fish but no monsters. That was with the exception of Golfers WWA who had 2 pike and a Zander for 182cm. Close on their heals was the ever constant Perch Gang of Danny Hill and Matt Barnsley who had 4 Zander for 174cm.
At around this time there was a commotion at Hempsted bridge, something large had come out to Tom Watts, fortunately we were there to witness it and get a couple of pictures. It was a monster Zander of 15lbs 12 oz and measuring 90cm caught on a Z-Man TRD in Bubblegum fished Ned Rig. This was truly a fish of a life time and there wont be many larger Zeds caught on a lure anywhere in the UK this year!!
As the afternoon drew on the fishing got harder and harder and for many the warmth of The Pilot Inn was to much of a draw, but a hardy few persisted until the end.
Final match results can be found here
Final League results can be found here
A big thank you to all the anglers that took part, over the 6 matches we averaged over 45 anglers per match and I’d like to think everybody enjoyed themselves even if they didn’t win! All this would not have been possible without the sponsors; Seapower for the numerous pairs of Costa del Mar glasses, Major craft for the rods, Predator Tackle for the street handles and tapes, Z-Man and Black Flagg for lures and Lure Lounge for the Trophy, lures and uses of their blog, thank you one and all.
That’s it for now but keep your eye out for our next competition the “30 Hour Challenge” in June and the start of the next series in September. Thanks all again and see you soon.