THE second Northern get-together of 2003 was a great success. Despite a few drop outs in the 24 hours leading up to the match, 48 of the north’s finest (and worst!) still turned out at the prolific Woodland lakes fishery, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Apologies for the draw being slightly late but a last minute decision to alter the pegging was taken. The draw itself was a sight – over 40 grown men scrambling, fighting and pushing to get their peg from the bag, like a bunch of school kids in a dinner queue! It’s worth mentioning that a couple of maggotdrowners had brought in a few last minute local ringers, but as it was a fun day nobody really minded.

Everyone was soon trundling off to their allocated pegs. Or should that be ‘nearly’ everyone. Walking round taking names, it soon became apparent that not one, but two anglers had set up in a peg that wasn’t on their respective draw tickets!!! No names mentioned here, however with it being a friendly match I let them stay in those pegs as there was only about 5 minutes left to the all in.

There was no surprises on corner peg Skylark 34, where Barry ‘The Beast’ Gannon sat. He spent most of his tackling up hour mixing his customary 5 kilos of groundbait and chopping 3 kilos of worms.

On the next peg was Mick ‘maniac’ Dawes, who quickly dispatched four tins of Coshida into the bottom of his carryall as I approached.

He was soon ready to start, with a brand new Spectron on show, which rested on a bright green helicopter pad behind him. Your eyesight okay Mick?! With Steven ‘Scoobs’ Cooper just two pegs to the left, it certainly wasn’t going to be a ‘quiet’ day (in terms of noise) at this end of Skylark lake…

Elsewhere on this bank, Lester Jones was fishing peg 25. I quickly warned the anglers opposite him, who might not take kindly to a 4oz grip lead and half mackerel being cast at their heads. Fortunately they survived (just) after strong recommendations to wear helmets.

Gary ‘Microwave’ Hancock was on the other bank of Skylark next to Mark O’ Neill (Mpo38) in the corner, who had just returned from his latest role in ‘Doctor Who and the Darleks’. Poor Mark would probably have to wear earplugs for the remainder of the day, As ‘Hancocks Hour’ was repeated 5 times. Just glad I wasn’t on Skylark lake!

Young guns Mikey Thompson and Joe Carass were also further along this bank. Mikey needed a stepladder to climb onto his box, whilst Carass was quietly confident that his paste approach would pay off again.

On Partridge lake, Ian Mackie (Merlin) was on his own in the top corner -just as well really! (only joking Ian). Adam Richards was a couple to his right on 3, relieved that he didn’t have a flier to muck up for once…

The infamous Zinky Chris Royle was scratching his grey hairs and forming a plan for the day, involving the big carp in the margins.

Further down, the match organiser himself on peg 15 was sandwiched between talkangling’s Neil Mack and Mike Sterland of the Cumbrian nutta’s club, that had turned out in force for the day. Unfortunately the three musketeers Mike, Mike Shaw and Mike Pattinson were missing their 4th comrade Mick Relph who apparently had lost his tackle box.

Pete Weatherly of maggotdrowning on P18 looked a major threat, as he was on a corner with the wind blowing into it. He was also flashing his new Daiwa Tournament Pro, that put the likes of tackle tarts Maniac Mick Dawes and Spectron Sneaky Kev Hartley to shame.

The match got underway at 11.15am. John Hancock on P23 was putting in a good display of shallow fishing- just a shame his fish were 3oz ide!

Then conditions took a turn for the worse, as the rain started coming down, adding to the cold temperature of the day. The fishing would be testing to say the least. Odd fish were coming out here and there and action did start to increase. However not in P15 I hasten to add!

The day’s ‘ringers’ all seemed to be catching well, as did Pete Weatherly in the corner. Mick Dawes was getting ‘beastied’ on S33, whilst Maggotdrowning’s Mal Connop caught well shallow on S19. Apart from an 8lb+ lump, the highlight of the 3rd hour for myself was watching Gary Hancock virtually fall of his box as he scrambled to save some unforeseen object from escaping into the depths of Skylark lake!

Chris Royle’s marginal baked bean under the bamboo cane wasn’t accounting for much. But Kev Hartley on the other side of the lake was putting a few together after messing about with paste for the first hour or so. Neil Mack also had a few in P14. Oh by the way, did I tell you about the crocodile problem in P15?

On the Skylark lake Lester Jones hadn’t managed any conger eels yet. He had a few ‘nuisance’ carp, which had been knocked out by the lead on the cast, then foulhooked and dragged protestingly to the net. Mikey J and Joe Carass had abandoned their pastes, and set to work on meat and pellet, and started to catch well.

Too soon the match was over: It had fished hard but some good weights were on the cards in the conditions. The rain had just about subsided for the majority of the weigh in. However it didn’t take long to find our winner. From Partridge 7, Graham Twohey (Team Ringers) managed 74-13-0 on corn @ 9m. Please make sure you get the right peg next time Graham! 😉

Second place went to Pete Weatherly (Maggotdrowning) from Partridge 18, with 71-8-0. Pete was the hard luck story of the match, as when he was pulling his net out to weigh in he found a great big hole under the top ring. We don’t know how many fish he lost, if any. Neil Mack (Talkangling) came 3rd with 64-12-0 from Partridge 14. Best weight from Skylark was the 4th placed 58-14-0 of S Wood (Team Ringers). Kev Hartley (Total-Fishing) ‘Sneaked’ out 58-3-0 at Partridge 31 for 5th position.

Section winners (By Default):

1-9: S Richards, 41-4-0 (P9)

Partridge 11-18: M Phillips, 27-9-0 (P12)

Partridge 19-26: A Whittle, 53-7-0 (19)

Partridge 27-35: J Fellows, 44-10-0 (P35)

Skylark 1-8: G Lowery, 54-9-0 (S7)

Skylark 10-17: M Thompson, 49-12-0 (S10)

Skylark 18-26: M Connop,49-10-0

Skylark 27-34: B Gannon, 55-14-0

Full result:

P1- I Mackie (AF) 20-2-0

P3- A Richards (AF) 23-3-0

P5- M Kilkenny 36-1-0

P7- G Twohey (R) 74-13-0

P8- D Carass 12-14-0 (Forget your hook Dave?)

P9- S Richards 41-4-0

P11- C Royle (AF) 12-6-0

P12- M Phillips 27-9-0

P14- N Mack (TA) 64-12-0

P15- B Fisk (AF) (We appear to have lost this result. Catch estimate 80-100lb 😉

P17- M Sterland (AF) 20-11-0

P18- P Weatherly (MD) 71-8-0

P19- A Whittle (TA) 53-7-0

P20- I Mascall (MD) DNW

P22- N Hamilton (MD) 44-2-0

P23- J Hancock (TF) 20-14-0

P25- K Haliwell 34-6-0

P26- N Hancock (TA) 11-6-0

P28- M Shaw (AF) 38-5-0

P29- F Munaser 17-8-0

P31- K Hartley (TF) 58-3-0

P32- P Scatt (TA) 28-6-0

P34- C Wilby (TF) 30-4-0

P35- J Fellows 44-10-0


S1- B Zimmerman (MD) 12-5-0

S2- C Griffin 28-2-0

S4- S Wood (R) 58-14-0

S5- M Pattinson (AF) 28-10-0

S7- G Lowery (R) 54-9-0

S8- J Carass (AF) 30-10-0

S10- M Thompson (TA) 49-12-0

S11- G Beals DNW

S13- D Jackson (TA) 17-10-0

S14- A Malman (MD) 10-6-0

S16- Gary Hancock (TF) 34-12-0

S17- M O’Neill (TA) 24-8-0 (Ears still recovering Mark?)

S18- D Watson (MD) 41-4-0

S19- M Connop (MD) 49-10-0

S21- M Wilkinson 26-2-0

S22- M Grant 33-0-0

S25- L Jones (TA) 32-0-0 (Heaviest ever weight Lester?)

S26- P Webster 40-6-0

S27- P Robinson (TF) 11-3-0

S28- C Bashford (MD) 34-3-0 (This was Craig’s first ever match- well done!)

S30- G Malman (MD) 48-3-0

S31- S Cooper (TF) 16-11-0

S33- M Dawes (TF) 46-12-0

S34- B Gannon (TA) 55-14-0


Team winners on the day were with a 10 man total of 377-9-0

 Overall I felt the event was a huge success. For as long as I have access to the internet I intend to make the TF North get-together a permanent fixture on your calendar. Thanks for the day go to everyone who participated, but especially Mick Dawes and Mark O’Neill for their help in the pegging, Chris Royle for sorting the team competition, Alan Gregory for the weigh in, and Gary Hancock for keeping ‘relatively’ quiet! I would have liked to have spoken to everybody, particularly those I regularly talk to on msn and email, but as it turned out I didn’t have time and I apologise. One of the qualms of organising a near 50 peg match on your own I suppose!

I am looking at the possibility of organising another match in the October half term holiday. But no ringers this time please Maggotdrowners! However at the end of the day it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts, isn’t it?


Ben Fisk