Could Mark Kearns be the best open match angler in the country?

Is Mark Kearns the best open match angler in the country? Currently, out of over 5,000 anglers, Mark is leading the Shimano County Champs with a staggering 218 points  and scoring doesn’t stop until the summer!

The Stapeley Cudmore matchman has racked up points every weekend this year, something only 11 other anglers have managed to do.

Mark has mainly fished Cudmore Fisheries, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, in matches from just 10 pegs to 34 pegs.

“Cudmore is just six miles from my house, and in the winter I don’t tend to travel too far to fish matches so I have concentrated on the opens and the winter league here,” explained Mark.

Most of the matches have been on Suez canal where winning weights have been averaging around 30lb. Mark’s biggest weight came from peg 1 on Suez on February 6 when he landed 66lb 4oz of carp. He polefished maggot and sweetcorn to take carp to 4lb, tench and skimmers.

“Cudmore requires a lot of polefishing as it’s mostly on snake lakes. For the first half of all matches I fish at around 2ft to 3ft on the far shelf.

For the second half I switch to a deeper swim which I feed constantly from the off. This settles the fish and they will feed more confidently. I feed this line more heavily as I don’t touch it until halfway through.

“I’ve caught nearly everything on maggot on a size 18 or 20 Kamasan B911. Corn can work as a change bait, but maggot will catch anything that swims!” Mark added.

“I have been consistent, but also lucky at the draw. I’ll continue to fish Cudmore in the next few months but will also be fishing some Fish O’ qualifiers and Maver Pairs matches at other venues.”