Daniel Webb from Sensas Team Image fought off the locals to win the NFA’s Individual National Championship which took place on Saturday 30th September on the Aire & Calder Canal in Yorkshire.

Once the early morning autumn mist had cleared, Saturday turned out to be a typical late summer day with intermittent sunshine and a light westerly breeze. Under these conditions, the Canal lived up to its reputation as one of the fairest match venues in the Country. With no shoals of big bream to provide an upset in the last hour, this was always going to be an event for those who had done their homework.


The winner of this’ Champion of Champions’ event was Daniel Webb of Sensas Team Image who drew peg 315 at Beevers Bridge. At the whistle, Daniel fed several balls of groundbait laced with hemp and casters, hoping to build a good weight of Roach. However, although he caught some Roach they were often beaten to his coloured maggot hookbait by Perch. Therefore, after half an hour, he switched to chopped worm in his feed with worm on the hook. Although he continued to catch the odd Roach, the majority of fish in his 6.650kg weight was made up of Perch. When asked about his victory he stated,


“Everything went well on the day although it was a bit disjointed having to change tactics as the swim was nothing like I was expecting. The locals said that I had a good peg but that it was not strong enough to win so I was amazed when I saw the final weight of the catch. I just hope that I can qualify again next year as it’s a great competition.”


Second, from peg 596 at Great Heck, was Wakefield local Carl Rowley (Daiwa Goldthorpe AC) who recorded a weight of 5.650kg. Like Daniel, Carl also set his stall out to catch Roach, but his use of more hemp in his groundbait meant that he had a higher Roach to Perch ratio than the winner.


Taking the final place on the podium was another local angler Bob Rymer also from Wakefield with a weight of 5.300kg. Like Daniel and Carl, Bob’s aim was to catch Roach over groundbait. However, during the early stages of the match, any Roach he did catch were well away from his groundbait. Therefore, abandoning his first choice of tactics, Bob began to loose feed hemp. Eventually, that brought some quality Roach into his swim, which he tempted with bronze maggot.


Although some anglers had come expecting to fish a ‘typical northern canal’ with loose-fed squat fished across the far side, most came knowing that the Aire & Calder Canal was a commercial waterway that is used by barges carrying up to 500 tons of cargo. Everyone left with the knowledge that the Aire & Calder Canal is a venue that gives everyone a chance of a good days angling.