The 2016 Preston Innovations backed Feeder Masters Final was fought out by 60 top feeder anglers from as far afield as Germany – all battling it out for a spectacular trophy and a fabulous £12,000 first prize… and a £26,000 overall prize pot, making it one of the biggest money matches in the calendar.

The calibre of angler at the 2016 Feeder Masters final was high to say the least. There were over 10 World Feeder Internationals and included some of the world’s leading feeder anglers. Tommy Pickering, Steve Ringer, Mick Vials, Rob Wooton, Michael Buchwalder, Cathal Hughes and Simon Willsmore to name just a few, had all managed to make this highly contested final.

Roach, skimmers and the famous Bough Beech bream were the main target species. There were two distances that the anglers attacked the reservoir with, one short line at 20m for smaller silvers like roach, skimmers, perch. Then, a longer line at 40-60m where the bigger stamp fish such as skimmers, bream and bigger roach seemed to feed.

Day One

The weather on the first day was absolutely spot on, slightly overcast with a steady breeze, providing the ideal feeder conditions.

The match got off to a steady start but it soon became apparent that the bigger shoals of skimmers and bream that had been showing in practise weren’t in every peg. This meant that anglers had to adapt their approaches and target the smaller fish on their short feeder line in the shallower water to keep themselves in the race.

It was obvious that the deeper pegs held the larger shoals of bream and the reservoir differed in depth quite randomly, which certainly played a part of the two days. Anglers that had drawn on the shallower pegs struggled to find any number of bream that would be needed to make the frame, the bream just didn’t want to feed in the shallower water.

John O’Driscoll on peg 19 was the standout weight for the first day, he managed a very impressive 35lb 9oz first day total.

This put John 6lb clear of second place Eddie Bridon. Drawn on peg 40 the North East and England Feeder ace caught some massive fish for his 29lb effort, including this cracking 6lb bream. Eddie just fell short of John’s first day tally, but still had an incredible chance of walking away £12,000 richer.

Third place on the day went to local expert Brian Nesbitt. Brian put in a cracking display of feeder fishing, snaring bream and the odd bigger skimmer to finish with 23lb’s, putting him right in the mix.

There were around 30 anglers that had caught between 10 and 15lb’s so realistically any of these could still win the event given half a chance. John’s 35lb weight of bream on the first day definitely motivated a lot of the anglers that had a difficult first day. The venue choice was perfect in our opinion; any angler could win the event in one day. Local anglers catch regular 60lb plus bags of bream, so it was still wide open…
Day Two

There was a real buzz around the draw, all of the anglers taking part knew that winning the event wasn’t impossible, all they had to do was draw on some feeding fish and it was game on! That’s the beauty of running the event on weight, no one is ever completely out of the final.
Yesterday’s overnight leader John O’Driscoll drew the fancied ‘one tree point’, a noted bream area. Most had written off first place given John’s favourable draw, but we all know that fishing doesn’t work like that. There are no guarantees in fishing, but that’s what makes it so exciting!

The weather conditions couldn’t have been better, a strong North Westerly wind and overcast cloud cover, ideal bream conditions!
The day followed a similar path to the day before, most anglers knew within the first hour of the match whether they had drawn on some fish. Gareth Lambert and Jamie Harrison had seemingly drawn the fliers; both were admitting to 10lb’s after an hour so they had a great chance of climbing up the leader board.
Other than Jamie and Gareth there wasn’t too much to report in the early stages of the match. If anything the fishing was very difficult for the majority of the field, including the first day leader John O’Driscoll who was admitting to just 1lb after a couple of hours. Not the start he needed.

Reports quickly spread that Gareth, Jamie and Barnsley Black Captain Glenn Lawrence were all catching bream. Not the news John wanted to hear!
The match drew to a close and you really couldn’t call it, it was going to go down to the wire… Gareth had a great match and everyone knew it would be close. He plonked a cracking 34lb’s on to the scales, which smashed the overall match and put him on a total weight of 43lb 2oz.

Unluckily for Gareth, John had managed to pull himself together, putting an impressive 9lb weight of small roach and skimmers, pipping Gareth by a couple of pounds.

Meaning that the first ever Feeder Master was North West ace John O’Driscoll. Things just seemed to fall into place for John, he showed his class and adaptability in adverse conditions. A worthy winner indeed, congratulations John.
Gareth Lambert fished exceptional and claimed second place, followed closely by Eddie Bridon. What a great final!

The sport over the weekend at Bough Beech was difficult for some, but it turned out to be an incredibly exciting final that could have been won by anyone!

Overall Results (Below)

1 John O’Driscoll, 45-5-0
2 Gareth Lambert, 43-2-0
3 Eddie Brindon, 42-1-0
4 Brian Nesbit, 38-13-0
5 Jamie, Harrison, 35-3-0
6 Mark Ellement, 32-13-0