Former Fish O' champ leads opening week of County scores

A stunning weekend for Neil Machin sees the Stoke match fishing ace head the first week of scoring in the 2011 Shimano County Championships, the best of over 800 anglers nationwide who have already chalked up points.

Second in the 84-peg Tunnel Barn Winter League on Saturday, the former Fish O’Mania and Parkdean champion then switched his attentions to Cheshire’s Partridge Lakes 24 hours later and walked away with victory in the 78 peg open to give him a personal haul of 45 points and a great start to the new campaign.

Just five points behind, and the second-highest scorer of the opening week, was evergreen Barnsley legend Denis White, who picked up wins in the big Calder League clash and Mirfield open on the River Calder, proof that a bad back is no barrier to picking up brown envelopes!

However, those scores will count for nothing unless anglers register themselves for this year’s event ¬ and it couldn’t be easier to do.

Registration costs nothing and takes only an internet connection and a few minutes of your time.

If you have scored points in the current published County Champs tables, go online to and click the link for County Champs points activation. This will direct you to a page that needs your contact details entering and once you’ve filled that in, click ‘send’ and the details will go direct to the Angling Times offices.

We’ll then have your contact details on record so if you should make the top 20 in your division at the end of July, we can contact you direct to confirm your attendance for the qualifier. If you don’t activate your account then you won’t be eligible to fish.

“It was a bit of a nightmare contacting anglers last year, but with this system we can gather details early and that should make the whole event run more smoothly,” said AT editor Richard Lee.

“ will also offer registered anglers the chance to keep up to date with who’s scoring what as well as keeping tabs on their performance this year compared to last. Each week of scoring will be accessible along with the current overall tallies.

“Once you’ve registered you will then be redirected to the main County Champs page which features last year’s scores plus a running tally of this year’s competition plus current week-by-week scoring broken down and updated every month. This way you can see exactly how the points are being scored and who your closest rival is!”