Jamie Cartwright has been crowned the Drennan Cup champion in a season that proved one of the most challenging in the history of the most prestigious competition in big-fish angling.
The Northamptonshire specialist realised a childhood dream when the votes of some of the UK’s best specimen anglers finally separated him from good friend and last year’s Cup champion Gareth Goldson.
At the end of the 2013/2014 campaign both anglers were tied with a total of four weekly awards apiece, but it was Jamie’s hard work and determination during what proved a tough end to the season owing to winter floods, that ultimately saw him lift the title.
“It seems like I’m in a dream because I remember flicking through the pages of Angling Times when I was a boy and looking at the pictures of huge tench caught by anglers such as Alan Wilson and thinking I want to catch fish like that and win the Drennan Cup,” a stunned Jamie told Angling Times.
“I’ve been left in a state of sheer disbelief that my name will now be etched on the trophy alongside some of my fishing idols.
His campaign kicked off last October when he opened his account with the capture of an impressive 15lb 6oz bream during a stint at a Midlands stillwater.
The Northamptonshire Specimen Group member then demonstrated the skills needed to be a true all-rounder when he switched his attentions to running water by netting a 15lb 5oz River Nene barbel.
He then visited the Great River Ouse and two consecutive casts produced a brace of chub that topped the scales at 7lb 4oz and 7lb 1oz.
It was the capture of a 4lb 1oz perch from the River Ouse that earned him his fourth and final award putting him on level pegging with runner-up Gareth Goldson.
But it was the votes of his peers made up of past champions and weekly award winners that finally saw him emerge as a popular and worthy winner finishing with a total of 94 points compared to Gareth’s 86.
“I would have been over the moon to have come within the top four because there are so many other great anglers in the running and I was convinced Gareth had done it again because he’s also had a fantastic season despite some really tough conditions,” Jamie continued.
“You don’t win this competition by luck and I feel very humble, privileged and so very grateful to everyone who’s voted for me.”
Gareth Goldson’s campaign saw him travel thousands of miles to bank specimen roach, chub, zander and what he called ‘the highlight of his angling career’ when he landed a huge 3lb 3oz rudd from a fenland river.
“Jamie is a great guy and a very accomplished angler, so there couldn’t be a more worthy winner of this great competition,” said Gareth.
The remainder of the podium places in this year competition were filled by two well-respected specialists with Paul Garner securing third place with a total of 61 points and Steve Russell came in fourth position just behind with 58.
Cup sponsors Drennan International were delighted by the news which concludes another hugely successful year for big fish angling’s premier competition.
“Congratulations to Jamie on a richly deserved win, and also to those excellent anglers that made up the rest of the podium places,” said Drennan’s Stuart Moss.
“Jamie is a worthy winner as he has been catching specimen fish of various species for many years and he’s achieved all he has during this campaign while continually juggling venues and targets due to flooding aswell as holding down full-time employment.
“A really exceptional season was needed to beat Gareth, who could have easily retained the trophy.”
The top four:
1 Jamie Cartwright, £2,000
2 Gareth Goldson, £1,000
3 Paul Garner, £500
4 Steve Russell, £250
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