An elated new Midlands Champion of Champions Stu Bagnall shows off his trophy.

 

THERE’S a new name on the Midland Angler Champion of Champions trophy after a shoot out at a tough Woodland View Fishery. But new champion Stu Bagnall nearly missed the biggest day of his match fishing career due to illness.

Walsall based Stu had been seriously ill with a virus and only decided to attend the day before the big match at Woodland View.

“I missed the match last year due to a car crash and it looked like I was not going to make it this time until the last minute, due to a virus in my lungs which laid me low for a fortnight.

“I really can’t believe I’ve gone and won it. It’s not yet sunk in. This is without a shadow of a doubt my biggest ever match win.”

On a tough day at the normally productive Hadley, Worcestershire complex, the 43-year-old’s victory was testimony to the event’s system of having two three-hour matches on the same day and deciding the result on combined section points first. There were some much bigger combined weights than Stu’s, but no one else managed a perfect two-point score.

Anyone who knows the complex will be stunned by the fact that Stu totalled only 25-8-8 over the two matches. Incredibly, he won his morning match on Barley Lake, where you normally need to catch at least 20lb per hour to compete, with only 7-7-0.

A five-hour match fished on the lake the day before 113 club champions from the region went head to head for the silver Champion of Champions trophy, had produced two weights over 125lb, but on the day the fish simply switched off.

Stu was representing S Jones AC after winning four of his club matches last season, including setting a new record on Farley Lake at The Riddings with the water’s first ton-up bag.

Stu drew Front Deans peg 10 in the afternoon match, where he did just enough to take a vital second section win with 18-1-0.

None of the other 11 anglers who had won their morning sections made the frame and it was left to two anglers who had got a second in section in the first match to take second and third.

Paul Webley of Midland Bears came through almost unnoticed as he nicked his section on Deans in the afternoon by 6oz with 15-4-0. His three-point score and 30-12-0 total saw him take a bundle of Preston Innovations prizes and a glass trophy to keep for third overall.

Brierley Hill rod Tim Guise, 20AC, also finished second in section in the morning, this time on Arles, with 18lb.

Tim, who hails from Pensnett at Brierley Hill in Birmingham and works at the city’s Fisherman’s Friend tackle shop, fishes Woodland View virtually every week and has been a regular at the water for some 20 years, so few anglers know it better.

In the afternoon he drew Barley, where he worked hard to prise out 15lb from peg 5 for a section win. That gave him three points and a better overall weight than Paul by just over 2lb.

“I can’t believe I’ve won,” beamed Stu after the presentation. “To do well in this event has been one of my main angling ambitions since the event was first staged four years ago. I’m elated.”

For the full picture report see the next issue of Midland Angler.

 

(panel)

Champion of Champions 2005 Top 10

1 Stu Bagnall, S Jones AC, 2pts, 25-8-0; 2 Tim Guise, 20AC, 3pts, 33-0-0; 3 Paul Webley, Midland Bears, 3pts, 30-12-0; 4 Chris Haile, Sheldon Hall AC, 4pts, 59-14-0; 5 Dean Weston, Greyhound AC, 4pts, 57-6-0; 6 Carl Astbury, 4pts, 48-15-0; 7 Andy Sailsbury, Perkins AC, 4pts, 43-2-0; 8 Dave Smith, Telford AS, 4pts, 41-5-0; 9 Darren Morgan, Fisherman’s Knockout AC, 4pts (no section wins), 43-5-0; 10 Peter May, Telfish AC, 4pts (no section wins) 43-0-0.

 

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