A DAY after winning the opening Golden Rod qualifier at Larford Lakes, former Match This and Golden Reel champion Andy Power travelled to Barston Lakes to fish the last leg of this year’s UK Angling Championships – and won that too!
The Preston Innovations star now joins Jon Arthur and Tommy Pickering in lifting the famous claret jug three times, and he did it with a perfect four point, four section-winning score across the series.
After victories at Hallcroft Fishery, Decoy Lakes and The Glebe, Andy lined up with 79 others at Barston, where the Somerset man focused on winning his 10-peg section to seal the deal. His 25-798 net did just that, earning him the £4,000 top prize and putting him four points clear of runner-up and outgoing UK Champ Ben Bell.
“Winning for the third time is a great feeling and it’s all about having that trophy in your hands, not the money,” said Andy.
“I’d like to think I’ve got plenty of years left to try and make it four wins!”
Here he takes up the story...
AT THE PEG
“I was given peg 81, in the top left-hand corner of the lake. I planned to try for a carp early on the bomb and feeder, then change to the short pole for skimmers. It felt like a safe option. The pellet waggler had been catching carp, and with the wind off my back, conditions for this were ideal.
“I started on the bomb with a PVA bag of pellets at 60m for a carp but had no signs. Changing to the Method feeder and wafters at 40m caught me a few skimmers, but no carp! After 45 minutes, it was time to go on the pole and get stuck into the skimmers.”
“Barston skimmers weigh around 3oz. I wanted to catch them in close so I put my pole line in at 6m. My hookbait was a 4mm SonuBaits Pro expander, and feed was a small nugget of SonuBaits Supercrush Expander, Thatcher’s and Banoffee mix with expanders mixed in, thrown by hand.
“Using a 4x14 Des Shipp Maggot float and a size 14 SFL-B hook, I had a great three-and-a-bit hours, but I forgot to count and had no idea of how many skimmers I’d got.
“After three hours I knew others in my section had caught some carp, so it seemed like the time to have a look on the waggler to nick one. I’d been feeding 8mm pellets here and when the chap next to me netted his third fish on the float, that made my mind up. In 30 minutes I lost a carp and caught an F1 – not enough, so I went back on the pole.
“A carp was needed to boost the skimmers I’d caught. In the last 15 minutes I kept chucking the pellet waggler and with five minutes to go, I hooked and landed an 11lb carp on an 8mm pellet fished 3ft deep. That definitely helped!
“My carp and F1 went 15lb so I knew I needed 40lb of skimmers to take the section. I knew I’d got that and sure enough, with four section wins, I couldn’t be beaten.”
THE WINNER ON THE DAY
The race to win the £1,000 cheque for best weight on the day centred around the golf course bank, where peg 123 came good for Maver Milton Keynes man Ian Smith.
His 54-148 bag just got the nod over Stuart Fotheringham next door with 51-511, although he nearly lost a 20lb-plus carp that jumped out of his landing net! A quick scoop rescued the situation. Method feeder and wafters was the winning combo, all his fish coming in the second half of the match.