Having your tackle stolen is every angler’s worst nightmare and that misfortune befell Steve Rothery a fortnight ago as his rod bag was swiped from his van leaving him without a pole or even a rod, but the Birstall man bounced back to win this midweeker with 108-11-0 ¬ using a borrowed rod.
After kicking off on the bomb with only a few fish to show for his efforts, Steve went on the pole with similar results. Only when he swapped to the waggler to the island at peg 68 did he pick up a few more fish. An exploratory cast into the gap between his island and the one next door at peg 69 produced a fish and he never looked back.
“The bomb wasn’t right because the fish didn’t want a still bait and the pole was hard work to fish at 18m but I got more bites to the right-hand side nearest peg 69.
I had a bite first drop in chucking between the islands and a decent carp on the following 14 casts!” Steve said.
“They were proper fish up to 5lb and when everyone around you is catching small F1s, it doesn’t take long to get 50lb in the net and build a lead that’s difficult to catch. The pole wasn’t quite right because I think the fish weren’t keen on having the pole waved over their heads. Just like any winter fishing it was a case of finding the fish and there were so many next door I hardly had to feed a thing.”
Using a banded 6mm hard pellet between 18ins and 4ft deep, Steve continued to catch in the closing stages to break 100lb and finish with plenty in hand of runner-up Paul Cross at peg 25 who was left ruing the loss of two big foul hooked carp as he weighed in 89-14-0.