Three cold nights prior to this event and a bitterly cold north easterly wind on the day never put a damper on the spirits of the 35 anglers who had qualified for this, the final of the British Waterways Stillwater Championships held on Saturday 22nd September 2012 at Earlswood – Engine Lake, Solihull.
No one was expecting a big weight for the winner, certainly not the weights that this water has produced in the past, with most people predicting 8 to 10 fish being the target to win. During the first two hours of the match, it looked very much as if this prediction would not come to fruition as most anglers had only one or two fish to show for their labours, and the fish were certainly not being very co-operative.Eventual winner Carl Barnfield, drawn on peg 60, on the end of one of the floating islands and a regular to Earlswood who had won many of the opens in recent weeks, was no exception. Having caught only one fish in the first hour, he sat biteless for the next hour and a half until he had his second fish.
Fishing the method feeder and punched bread tight to the side of the island, he continued to persevere and during the final two hours of the match he added a further 10 carp, the biggest going 15 lbs and one skimmer bream to run out a comfortable winner with 50.320 kg to collect the winners cheque for £2,169.Finishing in second place from peg 58, next to the winner was Chris Hill, another Earlswood regular who had three fish in the first one and a half hours and then also remained biteless for the next hour before he, like Carl, started to catch again. Fishing the method feeder at distance, 80 yards out into open water, he caught a further five carp and four skimmer bream to finish with a weight of 38.620 kg collecting a cheque for £1,301.In third place was James Hipkiss, drawn on peg 78, who had to wait a couple of hours for his first fish, which he had on the method feeder and then switched to the pellet waggler for his five other fish to finish with a weight of 31.480 kg collecting a cheque for £867.
The Angling Trust and British Waterways would like to thank everyone who supported the Angling Trust and British Waterways Stillwater Championship qualifiers this year.