The South West will be well represented in this year’s Angling Times Team Championships following the weekend’s semi final on the Kennet & Avon Canal, local teams Daiwa Gordon League and Garbolino Blackmore Vale joining Drennan Oxford/GOT Baits and Kamasan Starlets on the River Nene in September.
It was far from easy on the canal around Bathampton though, as a night of vicious frosts called a halt to the normally prolific sport, some sections tipped to be potential match winners finishing with little to show, while those thought to be no-hopers came good with consistent fishing.
Gordon League won it by a two-point margin from a three-way tie that showed just how tough the canal was to sort out, no one team really stamping their authority over the five hours. In fact, runners-up Drennan Oxford included a blank in their scorecard but still had enough to squeak through.
“This is a canal we know very well,” said captain Mark Treasure. “We went for a little more positivity than a lot of teams because we know the potential of the place and the fish that are there to catch. The same goes for the big fish that we thankfully had our share of when we needed them.
“We even had to replace one of our team at 7am on the morning of the match because he had an allergic reaction to joker! It’s not been easy, but our experience has gone a long way towards winning.”
The winners may have known a lot about the Kennet & Avon, but for second team Drennan Oxford, all they needed to know was that bloodworm and not breadpunch would be the bait to do the main damage.
“Practice didn’t tell us a lot about the canal, except that breadpunch was losing its effectiveness,” said Drennan captain Martin Phipps. “We’re a decent team when it comes to bloodworm fishing on canals and were really up for this one as we felt we had a good chance of making the final. We went for a small-fish approach and it’s got us through.”
For info on the Monk Lakes match, click HERE.
For info on the Kennet and Avon Canal match, click HERE.