The Maver Larford Lakes Silverfish Festival title for 2015 is heading to South Yorkshire after Jamie Harrison turned in a perfect four section wins from a cold week of action at the Stourport complex to lift the silverware with ease.
Becoming the first angler to win the crown with that perfect score, Guru/Bait-Tech man Jamie ended up three points clear of runner-up Dave Smiddy, winning close on £1,000. He put his success down to the use of braid, regular casting and feeding next to no freebies in his groundbait.
Adopting a two-pronged feeder approach on the Specimen Lake aimed squarely at skimmers, Jamie had put in some groundwork, fishing the opens with his mate Richard Vaughn in the run-up to the week and taking note of how Tommy Pickering won the event a few years previously on the feeder – and it all came good for the Sheffield man.
“Looking at the weather forecast and how the lake was fishing, we knew it was going to be a tough week with no big weights likely so there was no point in setting any sort of target per day,” Jamie said.
“I’ve been fishing the feeder on most of my matches for the last 18 months with an eye on getting into the England feeder team and, having seen how Tommy won in 2013, I made my mind up to fish braid, cut out the bait going into the feeder but also, if the peg needed it, cast very regularly to keep the hookbait falling through the water.”
Day 1 saw Jamie on the burr bank where he fished two lines at 15m and 30m with a cage feeder holding his groundbait mix of Bait-Tech Envy and Salmon Fry Crumb. A single maggot on a size 18 hook to an 0.11m hooklength gave him 12 skimmers for the joint section win with Matt Pillay on 10-6-0. The next day of action was on the same bank where 18 skimmers for 18-0-0 showed Jamie that he’d got the method spot-on as he won the section easily.
The third day saw him on the chalet bank and next to his mate Richard, Jamie taking the section with 17 fish for 17-0-0. It was a milder day that demanded regular casting as he sensed that the skimmers were feeding off bottom. By casting every 90 seconds, the bait was always dropping through the swim.
If there was a day when the wheels could fall off then Day 4 was it, as Jamie was on the Arena Pool end of the lake where anglers had struggled all week. With the wind in his face, he regularly changed feeder size and shape to maintain accuracy and it paid off with 10 skimmers for 10-0-0 and the section win, although three lost fish did cause a few tense moments at the weigh in.
Result: 1 J Harrison, Bait-Tech/Guru, 4pts; 2 D Smiddy, Maver Newman Scott, 7; 3 R Vaughn, Daiwa Dons, 8 (67-7-0); 4 C Bradney, Maver, 8 (51-11-0); 5 M Jones, Tredegar AC, 9.