Defending champ Colin Wood winner of round 3 at framfield with 85lbs 10oz

On the CLUB site you have most probably seen quite a few posts referring to the Shimano Beastmaster League or Exage as it was known for the first three years. Firstly let me tell you a little about the league and how it all came about. Back in late 2001 I was contemplating about the lack of individual leagues in the Surrey area and so set about organising a league that would create a lot of interest and at the same time give the angler competing a realistic chance of winning the event.

I booked six venues to cater for 24 anglers and after printing all the fishery and league rules started to advertise the league in the angling weeklies and in no time the event was sold out. So I thought about trying to attract a sponsor and to be honest I only contacted one company who I felt I wanted to be associated with and that was Shimano (UK) Ltd. After sending off my letter of league sponsorship the response was quick and came via Jan Porter. To say I was pleased with myself was an under statement and for the first year Shimano sent down some caps, Exage reel line and goody bags.

The league was a great success with Steve Longhurst of South Norwood AC winning the 2002 event by one point with Nick Plum winning the knockout cup. My local tackle shop Biggin Hill Angling Centre also provided some nice tackle prizes and has done so every year including this year as well.

pix of myself with a small carp

In 2003 the league grew to 32 anglers with Shimano again sponsoring the league and upping the prize list, it was at this time that I started to report round by round news on Keith Arthur’s Talksport Fisherman’s Blues show and repeated the reporting for the 2004 series which was very enjoyable and the feedback I received was excellent.

Unfortunately due to be being booked solid with matches this season I have been unable to do the same for this years event but hopefully I can plan it all different for next season. Colin Wood of Edenbridge AS (but now Sport One) won the 2003 and 2004 events and was trying to complete a hat trick for 2005, but could he do it? With four of the six rounds already fished, here is the story so far in this fascinating individual match league.
Two changes came in to effect for this year, one was the renaming of the league, Beastmaster, as Shimano were keen to promote the brand and provide the winners with some excellent prizes from the Beastmaster catalogue and two, the league was extended to 36 anglers.
Now to keep the league close and exciting and to hold everyone’s interest, I always use a sections of four format awarding 4 points to the winner down to 1 point for last, that way no one can roar off in front and make the result a forgone conclusion.

Just just a single point so far has won every league title with Colin Wood dropping a point in the whole of last year success. So with the league running nine sections of four format plus a knockout cup event, everyone is in with a crack of a nice prize. I pay the top 5 each match with section payouts and the top 8 anglers in the final league receiving cash pools, trophies and prizes. Last year in total Colin Wood walked away with over £600 in cash pools, a nice silver trophy and a £140 rod, plus caps and other goodies.  

Mike Jameson, after some consistent results is lying in second place ahead of Paul Kell on superior weight.

Beastmaster First Round, 20 th March 2005 on Brookhouse Lake at Framfield Fishery, East Sussex.

With the weather unsettled the weights were well down with Paul Kell of Sport One winning from peg 29 with 48-0-0 on 10-metre pole and pellet to become the early league leader. Mike Jameson (Sport One) from peg 34 long pole fished his way to second overall with a nice paste and pellet bag of carp for 42-4-0. John Gore of Tonbridge Cardinals was drawn next to the winner to clinch third spot with 38-14-0. So an average start fish wise but a very interesting one as defending champion Colin Wood got off to a poor start with a section last and three dropped points compared to just one point dropped in the whole of last year’s series.


Beastmaster Second Round, 10 th April 2005 on Nicks and Pear Tree Lakes at Hartleylands Farm, Kent.

The frost arrived in time for the second round to put the fish down and I have never known Hartleylands to fish as poor all over as it did on that day. However with the help of noted peg 8 on Nicks Dave Muddell (Holland AS) easily won the match with 38-8-0 of small carp on the feeder and maggot cast over to the island. On Pear Tree Lake league leader Paul Kell (Sport One) was winning his battle with waggler caught carp from peg 2 to land 26-8-0. As the results were coming in it was plain to see that plenty of anglers had dropped their first points and at the weigh in four anglers had managed to hold on to their 100% records. Paul Kell, Dave Muddell, Nick Plum and Ian Wetherell. Amazingly Colin Wood recorded his second consecutive section last to sit in the 34 th place, what a difference a season makes.


Beastmaster Third Round, 17 th April 2005 on Brookhouse Lake at Framfield Fishery, East Sussex.

Again a frost greeted us in the morning but with an 11am to 4pm match the Sun would have enough time to warm the lake and provide some fantastic sport. After a couple of hammerings Colin Wood (Sport One) hit back and made no mistake from peg 2 with a very nice 85-10-0 of carp and silvers on the pole and jelly pellet. Paul Lamb was on peg 9 and secured second on the day with 60-12-0 on a variety of methods whilst Lee Perry (Sport One) took third with 58-6-0 from peg 36. League leader Paul Kell was heading to a section last in a tight section but near the end landed a 6lbs carp to snatch a section second and three points, dropping his first point of the event. In another tight section Nick Plum just got the better of Jim McDowell (Sport One) to win the section and take over the leader board with the only 100% record. By now the league table had started to take shape and three points covered the top 11 anglers.

The draw’s at the Beastmaster rounds are always interesting and after drawing pegs nearly all the competitors are glued to the section sheet to see who has drawn whom instead of heading straight off to their pegs; it’s almost as exciting as the fishing itself.


Mike Ewin with his 48lbs catch that clinched his section in the 4th round at Hartleylands.

Beastmaster Fourth Round, 24 th April 2005 on Nicks and Pear Tree Lakes at Hartleylands Farm, Kent.

A much better match this time at Hartleylands where the fishing was good provided you had the wind in your favour. Paul Kell (Sport One) certainly did and won Nicks with a superb 50lbs from peg 21 catching mostly on the waggler at distance. On Pear Tree Lake I was enjoying myself on the waggler and won the lake with 33-14-0 including a bonus 4lbs carp on corn.

Back on Nicks Lake it was all happening with Mike Ewin (Sport One) catching well on peg 8 with 46-12-0 whilst league leader Nick Plum had to overcome a dodgy draw peg 29 in the corner. However Nick composed himself after rolling his eyes at the draw to put together a nice 33-2-0 to win his section and maintain his position at the top.

So with two more rounds to go the top 11 anglers in with a chance of success are as follows:

Beastmaster League 2005 after Round Four Top 11 out of 36
Position Name Weight Points
01 Nick Plum 113-14-0 16
02 Mike Jameson, Sport One 150-2-0 15
03 Paul Kell, Sport One 149-12-0 15
04 Dave Walker, Sport One 131-7-0 14
05 Russ Evans, Sport One 80-5-0 14
06 Ian Wetherell, Surbition Ang 78-14-0 13
07 Lee Perry, Sport One 125-15-0 12
08 Kevin Pack, Cardinals 116-8-0 12
09 John Gore, Cardinals 95-2-0 12
10 Dave Muddell, Holland AS 94-7-0 12
11 Barry Cope, Sport One 89-0-0 12

Sport One Match Team

Paul Kell and winning catch in last round at Hartleylands with 50lbs of small carp.

Full league table and reports can be viewed Here

The knockout final will be contested over two legs by the following four anglers, Martin Twine (30 th ), Mike Jameson (2 nd ), Dave Walker (4 th ) and Nick Plum (1 st ). Note the league positions in brackets, everybody has a chance of glory and Martin Twine’s 30 th place league position as not stopped him from progressing into the final.

The league resumes on Sunday 8 th May but this time on a new lake for the event, Spring at Framfield Fishery where some massive weights will be recorded I am sure. The final round and presentations will take place back at Hartleylands on Sunday 22 nd May.

I’ll let you know how it all pans out in the end.

Russ Evans 28 th April 2005 Sport One Match Team