Tommy Pickering is probably asking why he didn’t quit running this prestigious event earlier after the Yorkshireman added another title to his impressive CV with victory on weight after a nail-biting final round at Barston.
Organiser of the event for eight years, Tommy handed over the reigns to Barston boss Nigel Harrhy this year to allow him to concentrate more on his fishing and it certainly paid off as the Preston Innovations-backed former world champ took the crown from Darren Cox as both men finished the four rounds locked on 36 points, weight deciding the event.
With an aggregate of 187-254 to Darren’s 174-186 it earned him £1,500 plus the new trophy, which according to Tommy is too big for his cabinet, but he admitted that as he waited for the scales to come round to his peg he felt sick to the pit of his stomach.
“I knew that Darren was third in his section and that if I won mine I’d win it on weight, but I also felt three or four anglers in my section had got a similar weight to me and I could so easily miss out,” Tommy said. “I felt sick, but thankfully the scales went my way.”
Drawing end peg 123 on the golf course bank, a fancied peg on the day, Tommy fished for carp on the Method feeder but was pestered by small F1s. However, his 13m pole line finally came good after two hours, giving him 30 plus fish, mainly quality skimmers and big F1s on pellet to see him weigh in 32-100 for a share of fifth overall on the day with Andy Findlay.
“The title is the thing I wanted and this means I’ve won it three times now, the first man to do it,” he continued. “I’ve given up a lot of organisational roles recently such as running this event and the England Ladies so I can concentrate on my fishing and it’s paid off straightaway.
“I felt I couldn’t compete properly and put the time in before and as a competitive person, that really bugged me.
“I’m pleased Nigel took the event over and it’s still running though,” Tommy added. “The field might have been small this year but it was quality. In my section I had Grant Albutt, Andy Findlay, Kieron Rich and last year’s champion Paul Coyle and all of those I would put in the top 10 of commercial anglers today. It’ll be back to full strength next year and I can’t wait!”
Individual winner on the day was Luke Sears who also finished third overall for the second year running, his 50-285 winning the match comfortably for him. The win is just a string of big match wins or frame places that the Daiwa star has enjoyed this summer, Ed Warren filling second with 39-175.
“I had an end peg which is always handy but I’d never fished Barston before so I decided to get my head down and go for the F1s and skimmers,” Luke said. “I caught around 25kg of F1s on 4mm pellet at 13m plus a dozen big skimmers and then mugged four big carp from down the edge on chopped worm and caster.”
Result: 1 L Sears, Daiwa, 50-825; 2 E Warren, Maver Midlands/Sonu Baits, 39-175; 3 M Dagnall, Kamasan Starlets, 37-225; 4 N Harrhy, Barston, 33-875; jt5 A Findlay, Korum/Preston Innovations and T Pickering, Preston Innovations, both 32-100.
League: 1 T Pickering, Preston Innovations, 36pts (187-254); 2 D Cox, Garbolino, 36 (174-186); 3 L Sears, Daiwa, 35; 4 J Arthur, Shakespeare, 33; 5 M Dagnall, Kamasan Starlets, 32 (172-965); 6 A Findlay, Korum/Preston Innovations, 32 (156-472); 7 E Warren, Maver Midlands/Sonu Baits, 31; 8 P Yates, Drennan, 30; 9 P Coyle, Preston Innovations, 27; 10 D Roberts, Woody’s Tackle, 26.