Forty two teams (420 competitors) fished the River Trent on various sections of the river from the non-tidal section downstream of Nottingham to the tidal section upstream of Torksey in the Angling Trust Division 1 National Championship on Saturday 9th August 2014.
Weather conditions were far from ideal, with bright sunshine and blustery winds generally blowing downstream with the current. Recent rains had put just a tinge of colour in the water, but on the tidal stretches the river ran out from the top of the tide soon after the start whistle.
In a dramatic race for the team title, Barnsley & District just pipped Shakespeare Superteam by a single point with 336 points. Daiwa Dorking were third with 316 points, and Kamasan Starlets in fourth place with 276 points. Barnsley also finished with top weight aggregate of 52.31 kilos.
Winning Team Captain Glenn Lawrence was ecstatic that his team had made a return to the top spot after a disappointing result last year. After exhaustive practice, the team realised that the high numbers of small fish in the Trent right now swung their tactics towards the float – waggler, stick, bolo or pole as the peg demanded, with the feeder only used where necessary. These tactics worked a dream with consistent scores through most sections and even the tough draws returning valuable points.
Runners-up Shakespeare Superteam fished a dual attack on float and feeder, and confessed to be gutted not to have repeated their win of last year, but took heart that they had lost by the narrowest of margins.
The individual winner of the National Championship was Phil Wintle of Maver Milton Keynes AA, who took 18 kilos from peg 33 at Besthorpe on the tidal. Phil started on the groundbait feeder with maggot and worm on the hook and had two decent bream in the first half hour to settle the nerves. He persevered with this approach, catching fish at intervals to finish with 9 bream to 6lb, a couple of smaller skimmers and odd roach, losing just one bream. Phil was delighted to win again as top individual in a national, having won in the 1988 Division 3 National Championship event.
Runner-up Andy Anderson (Clay Lane Tubertini) also fished groundbait feeder at peg 18 at East Bridgford, netting decent skimmers, a chub and some small fish to weigh 15.840 kilos. Andy was delighted with his result, but was still left rueing over what might have been after losing several fish in his snaggy peg.
Third place was taken by Ian Paulley (Preston Innovations Thatchers) with 15.130 kilos of mainly skimmers on groundbait feeder from peg 39 at Holme Marsh. He started with worm, but switched to caster later to keep the bites coming.
Given the conditions, the match was a great success with the competitors averaging over 3kg a man and, believed to be the first time ever, no dry nets were recorded.
Next year’s Angling Trust Division 1 National Championship will be held on the Gloucester Canal on Saturday 8th August 2015.
The full results are available on the Angling Trust website at www.anglingtrust.net .