Andy Geldart followed up his success in last year’s Fish O’ Mania final with another major title to add to his belt – that of the Parkdean Masters at White Acres.
Leeds-based Andy demolished a high class field on Jenny’s Lake to lift the trophy and £25,000 cheque with a net of carp and F1s weighing 84lb 2oz. It was more than 34lb clear of the rest and was extra sweet for the Matrix and Dynamite Baits man, who missed out by just 3lb in the same match last year. That close shave came from peg 4, the adjacent swim to that of his draw in Saturday’s showdown, peg 3. This time, however, he made no mistakes to take some decent fish on Method feeder tactics towards the island point and out in open water.
“It’s just an amazing feeling! I really am over the moon to win this after coming so close in 2014, I think it just made me want it more! I can’t believe it only took me a year to put that result right as I thought it would be ages before I got in another final here, never mind get another peg with a chance in one. It’s hard enough just to get into the Parkdean final as there are so many top anglers competing for a place to qualify!” he said.
The 24 finalists had qualified by finishing highest in the 180-angler field from the Preston Innovations festival in the five previous days. On show were anglers the calibre of Steve Ringer, Alan Scotthorne, Lee Kerry, Callum Dicks, Steve Cooke, Andy Power and festival winner Matt Godfrey. It also saw three of the youngest finalists ever in Joe Kent, Tom Edwards and Sam Collett, none of whom were over the age of 17!
Sport was tough for most on a cold and windy Jennys Lake and after a few hours it was anybody’s for the taking. Steve Ringer on the unfancied end peg 23 had netted three decent early carp while competitors at the other end were taking small carassio F1 carp on small pellet and method feeders.
Andy Power was the pre-match favourite after pulling out peg 16 in the wide bay, a peg that has won multiple previous finals. However the big carp in this area were conspicuous by their absence which left Andy, and several nearby anglers, scratching their heads as to what to try next.
Watching crowds soon realised the battle for the big cash prize was quickly turning into a head-to-head between Andy on peg 3 and Callum Dicks next to him on 4, with Paul Holland also chipping-in with odd fish on peg 2.
“In the first few hours I caught 14 carassios and a few skimmers from the open water Method swim, for about 20lb,” said Andy.
“I didn’t actually fancy my peg at the start as I didn’t think I was far enough up the lake and not much was moving in front of me. Then my swim went quiet and I caught a small carp. Another half-hour went by and I got another. By this time Paul and Callum had also caught two or three each so I thought to myself that there must be a few in the area. I decided to change tactics by switching from a 4mm pellet on the hook to an 8mm. I also started casting into the shallow water near the overhanging bush on the island point where I’d be catapulting an occasional pellet,” he said.
That proved the point which changed his match and effectively won him the title as his first six casts resulted in six decent carp being landed, the biggest into double figures. There was no coming back for anyone else, despite Callum also panning a big fish of his own on the pole. Andy took a few more fish before a quiet spell and a late burst of three more in the final 15 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
“I caught best by putting neat micropellets around my small 30g Method and I fished a 4ins hooklength. I started on 0.16mm Matrix Power Micro to a size 18 Carp Rigger hook but once I started hooking a few carp I upped this to 0.20mm and a size 16. I did have a couple of looks on the pole but I didn’t catch anything so I quickly binned it. It’s going to take a long while for this win to sink in, but I got married last year and had my first child this year so I’m sure my Mrs will think of plenty of things to spend the money on!” he laughed.
Result: 1 A Geldart, Matrix/Dynamite Baits, 84-2-0; 2 C Dicks, Maver, 50-1-0; 3 S Ringer, Daiwa/Guru, 42-12-0; 4 R Wootton, Shimano/Dynamite Baits, 39-10-0; 5 P Holland, Guru, 39-6-0; 6 J Whincup, Frenzee/Bait-Tech, 36-10-0; 7 L Thornton, Middy/Bag ‘Em Baits, 34-6-0; 8 M Godfrey, Pole Fishing Magazine, 34-5-0; 9 S Cooke, Garbolino, 33-12-0; 10 A Power, Preston Innovations, 32-13-0; 11 A Hulme, Matrix Stapeley, 32-0-0;
12 J Dent, MAP/Sensas, 28-9-0; 13 T Edwards, Dynamite Baits, 28-6-0; 14 J Kent, Matrix Tameside, 27-14-0; 15 L Kerry, Preston Innovations, 26-1-0; 16 J Harness, Daiwa/Ringer Baits, 25-10-0; 17 S Collett, Dynamite Baits, 24-7-0; 18 S Barraclough, Doncaster, 22-3-0; 19 A Scotthorne, Drennan/Sensas, 22-1-0; 20 P Carnwell, Garbolino/Bait-Tech, 15-2-0; 21 J Arthur, Drennan, 15-0-0; 22 P Burton, Hilton Hotels, 12-7-0; jt23 B Fisk, Middy and A Higginbottom, Matrix Dynamite Baits Trentmen, both DNW.