A FANTASTIC individual sponsorship is up for grabs for the big fish angler who wins the 2006 Midland Specialist of the Year competition.

Sponsors Wychwood are raising the event to a new level by putting up the prize, involving a £2000 budget to spend on the tackle of their choice, and a full set of Extremis clothing.

And to add something really special, the winner will also become involved in tackle development and testing of big fish equipment with the Redditch based firm.

Fresh from attending this year’s final at Great Linford Fishery Wychwood’s Paul Garner said: “The Midlands has caught up the south in terms of the number of big fish anglers out there, and has already overtaken it in terms of the numbers of specimen fish taken.

“The dedication of these anglers deserves some recognition, and by being able to judge things on a regional and an individual venue basis rather than on a national level, this competition will reward hard work and skill on many different venues.

“When anglers in the Midlands catch a quality fish, from either rivers, canals or stillwaters, we want them to think about Midland Angler and the Wychwood Midlands Specialist of the Year competition.”

The drive also sees Wychwood upping the monthly prizes available from one to three, starting in January 2006.

The monthly winner will be able to choose either a pair of Extremis Barbel rods, worth £99.99 each, or a pair of 2.75lb Rapier Carp rods, worth £125 each. Two runners-up will also receive RD40 freespin reels and all three monthly winners will be invited to the final.

The high-spec, multi-tip Extremis barbel rod is already fast gaining a strong following amongst the region’s river anglers, as it covers every carp, chub and barbel fishing eventuality you will come across in the area.

The slim, fast-action Rapier is brand new. Paul, who has cast over 160 yards with it, describes it as ‘the best carp rod in its price bracket’.

“We’ll have a team of people deciding the winners on a monthly basis. We now have a fantastic venue to go to in the shape of Great Linford Lakes, which any specialist would aspire to fish.

“And now the anglers have the potential prize of not only some great tackle and a wonderful trophy, but individual backing from us and a very rare chance to get involved in tackle development and testing before gear hits the market. That is something I know many, many big fish anglers aspire to.

“We are doing our bit. All anglers have to do now is spread the word and get their big fish captures and pictures sent in to Midland Angler.”