The festival season has got off to a flying start after 25 anglers managed to haul out more than 2,200lb of silverfish during an event at Stafford Moor.
Members of the Match Fishing Scene website made their annual journey to the Somerset bagging haven and were left stunned with the bite-a-chuck sport they all experienced on each of the four chilly days of their angling event.
Eventual champion Steve May netted just shy of 170lb of roach, skimmers and tench on his way to three section wins and a second, with anglers taking combined hauls of over 100lb failing to pick up a pay packet for their efforts.
Last Cast-backed Steve’s impressive run started after he netted 59lb 12oz from peg 4 on Tanners for a section second, before taking a zone victory with 32lb in a tight-run affair from Woodpecker peg 10 just 24 hours later.
Day 3 ended with him tipping 43lb 10oz on to the scales, before he completed the memorable run with a good 33lb 8oz bag.
During each match he stuck to the same tried and tested set-up and has now revealed that a number of key tactical decisions played a major part in edging his rivals every day.
“On the first day I plumbed around for the best part of an hour and found a small bar. I then fed a small nugget of groundbait laced with worm and caster and fished maggot over the top. If I didn’t have a bite within two minutes I’d feed again,” explained Steve.
“I also placed two No 9 shot close to the hook so all my bites showed as unmissable lifts on the float. Once this approach worked on Day 1 I stuck with it and it worked exceptionally well.
“We all enjoyed it so much that we have already booked again for next year,” he added.
Venue boss Andy Seery has watched the silverfish sport improve on a yearly basis since he took over the picturesque complex and he is confident that the blistering sport experienced in the festival will mark the start of a prolific period.
“We all expected the lads to have a good week, but this has gone beyond our wildest dreams,” explained Andy.
“The lakes are home to tons of good-quality silvers and I can see plenty of anglers breaking the 100lb barrier if they target them properly in the coming months,” he added.