One of the best silverfish festivals ever in the UK has seen a staggering 4,453lb 8oz of roach, skimmers and perch landed by 33 anglers over a four-day event.
The 82-acre Upper Tamar Lake on the Devon/Cornwall border was home for the festival and despite its size the results were incredibly fair – with each angler averaging 134lb 10oz over the four days.
Remarkably, each of the top three anglers had over 200lb, but it was Daiwa Dorking’s Gary Pook who topped a strong field with a remarkable total of 211lb 2oz. That included a 73lb 2oz net of skimmers to clinch the overall win on the last day.
Nick Howell finished in second with 210lb 8oz, and Simon Willsmore claimed the third place with 200lb 14oz.
“I’m over the moon to have won, especially against such a strong field of anglers,” Gary said. “Tamar is a brilliant venue, and wherever you draw you know you’ll catch.”
The 73lb bag Gary had on the last day was the best catch of small silverfish he’s ever had, and fishing at close range was key to amassing such a bag.
He added: “I was on the Cornish Bank on the last day, and this was where some of the really big weights had been coming from.
“I started by fishing with a 3m whip, however as I was landing a good stamp of fish I switched to the pole fishing a top kit and one.
“I got through lots of bait, and fed around 5kg of Daiwa’s Green Bream Groundbait mixed with Sensas Magic, and three pints of both hemp and caster. While I occasionally used maggot on the hook, caster was the best option because they singled out the better fish.”
Gary was quick to praise festival organiser Simon Poynter on running a brilliant event, and Simon was no slouch during the event, finishing fourth with a remarkable 190lb 4oz.
“It’s been an incredible festival,” Simon said, “and it’s unbelievable how fair it’s been.
“Section A and section G are 60 acres apart, however everybody on and in-between them have caught really well.
“This fairness means that the results are a real reflection of the angler’s ability, which makes it a great event and a test for some of the top anglers.”
Simon knows Tamar better than most, and has a few explanations on why its fishing so well:
“At the moment there are loads of roach in Upper Tamar as it’s not long since they finished spawning, and as a result this forces the other fish in the lake feed because there’s more competition for food.
“The water quality is high as it’s a reservoir for drinking water. There’s £8,000,000 of aeration at the bottom of the lake, which contributes to the quality of the fishing. I’ll be running the event again next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what that will bring.”