It’s been a profitable few weeks for Somerset match ace Andy Power. The Preston Innovations star followed up third place the Golden Reel Final with victory in this year’s UK Angling Champs, a performance that saw him retain the title to chalk up a remarkable fourth win in the event.
Lifting the famous silver claret jug and pocketing the £4,000 prize, Andy did it with a perfect four section wins, ending the campaign well ahead of the pack headed by Andy Kinder and Nick Speed on 8pts. Kinder got the nod for second on total weight across the four matches.
Going into the final round at Barston Lakes, Andy was on three section wins but had Ben Hagg just a point behind him. Winning the section was the target, but at Barston there’s a decision to make. Do you go for carp or fish for skimmers? Skimmers are safer, but several hours of hard work can be wiped out by an angler catching a dozen carp in the final 60 minutes to take the section! Andy went for skimmers, and it was a wise move – he not only won his section, but also the match overall with a 38-584 haul that earned him an additional £1,000. Here he explains how he won...
Opting for skimmers
“I’d been drawn peg 81 on the grass bank at the top of the lake, the same peg I had in last year’s final round at Barston, so that helped me in terms of knowing what to do. My plan was to fish for skimmers and then try and nick a carp or two in the last 15 minutes. We’d had heavy rain the day before, and it seemed to have knocked the carp off their stride. I hoped a day on the skimmers would be enough to win the section, but I planned on keeping an eye out for any carp.
“I fished almost identically to how I did last year, putting in a pole line at 6m and feeding SonuBaits Power Scopex groundbait with a few 4mm expander pellets in it, fishing single red maggot on the hook with a 4x14 DS Maggot float to an 0.11mm hooklength and size 14 SFL hook. By getting in the water, I could net every fish – after half-an-hour, they were a bit too big to swing in safely. The first hour gave me around 15lb of skimmers from 6oz to 12oz, so I was on track for 70lb – the high end of my target weight.
“I altered nothing and kept on plugging away, catching a fish most put-ins. What was more important was trying to learn who was doing what elsewhere and whether I’d need any carp. The talk was that it was a bit of a struggle all round.”
A look for a bonus
“I had put in a 13m pole line and fed it with corn for some better fish. One look there for half-an-hour midway through the match gave me a small carp and half-a-dozen bigger skimmers to 2lb, but it wasn’t quick enough, and I didn’t think I’d catch more by staying here than if I went back on the 6m line.
“With 15 minutes to go, I was fairly confident that I’d won the section, so I picked the pellet waggler rod up to try and get a few carp and see if I couldn’t win the match outright. I never had a bite!
“My final 38-584 was a little more than I’d reckoned, but to win the match was still a huge surprise.”