How Stuart Fotheringham won his second Golden Reel title

Leeds matchman nets £50,000 win

How Stuart Fotheringham won his second Golden Reel title

by Angling Times |

If Jamie Hughes has made Fish O’Mania his own with a string of wins, Stuart Fotheringham can now say the same of the Golden Reel event after winning his second title in the space of five years.

The Leeds man turned in a fine display of feeder fishing to take the £50,000 top prize after battling it out with 25 other qualifiers on the Match Lake at Larford Lakes.

Stuart amassed 174-9-0 of carp to finish well clear of second-placed Andy Bennett on 136-15-0 and Andy Power in third on 122-5-0. Stuart’s peg 9 draw on the burr bank gave him the point of the island to target, which he exploited fully.

Leading from the start, Stuart never let up, adding late big fish in the edge to cruise home – yet a fortnight before the final he hadn’t qualified. He left it late, winning the semi-final for anglers who’d finished second and third in qualifiers on the same venue.

Even with little time for practice, though, he made short work of the field, emerging a worthy champion – for the second time!

Here, Stuart explains how he achieved it...

Stuart was ahead from the start, landing  a string of fish for a winning 174-9-0
Stuart was ahead from the start, landing a string of fish for a winning 174-9-0

At the peg

“Alan Scotthorne had won the midweek open off the peg, so it had form and was ideal for the Method feeder. It really suited me, and I couldn’t wait to get cracking. Even so, I still fancied peg 13 that Kev Wadge was on, because that peg is bang in form.

“Casting straight in front of me with a 30g Preston Innovations flatbed Method feeder, I was into fish pretty quickly, and they kept coming. Putting micro pellets around the feeder, I fished a pellet-coloured 7mm Dynamite Baits wafter on the hook. Pinging a few 8mm pellets over the top got some carp swirling – the peg seemed full of fish.”

Stuart amassed 174-9-0 of carp
Stuart amassed 174-9-0 of carp

Following the fish

“As the day went on, the fish moved around to the point of the island so I followed them. There’s a gravel bar there, but it’s very shallow. It meant that I could see the fish and when I hooked one, five or six others would bow wave off.

“My only problem was that the island had lots of branches and sticks in the water so I had to stand up and get the rod high to pull hooked fish away quickly.

“With an hour and a bit to go I was still catching, but started to hear that Andy Power and Andy Bennett were catching big carp in the edge, and I knew that you didn’t need many of those for 100lb, plus those lads knew how to catch them. I started to get a bit twitchy, hoping my lead was enough to keep them at arm’s length.”

“As the day went on, the fish moved around to the point of the island so I followed them"
“As the day went on, the fish moved around to the point of the island so I followed them"

The final fling

“With about 15 minutes to go I got broken on the feeder. At that point, though, the margin line was solid with fish, so I decided to spend the last few minutes here. It was well worth it, and I caught three carp, one of them weighing about 15lb! Dead maggots and groundbait was the approach.

“I was confident that I’d won, as I’d clicked around 170lb. When you keep hearing your name mentioned on the tannoy, it helps to keep you on track! My main threats were the Andys, Kev Wadge and Jordan Holloway on the island pegs but they all fell by the wayside, so it was done and dusted.

“Qualifying so late meant that I couldn’t get down and practise, but once I’d drawn a peg on the island, it was straightforward, and no amount of practice would have taught me much more than what I already knew.”

It’s the second time that Stuart has lifted the trophy
It’s the second time that Stuart has lifted the trophy
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