Twenty six anglers lined the banks of both Woodside and Island pools for the sixth annual Spring Open event. Conditions for this year's event were not as kind as in previous years with frequent heavy showers making things on the day feel cold for the time of year. Rain had been a feature leading up to the event with torrential downpours colouring and cooling the water - a trend that was set to continue on match day despite a bright sunny start. The weather soon took a turn for the worse just an hour into the match with heavy showers then persisting for the remainder of the day.
In the days leading up to the event, it was Island pool that had produced the best of the weights with a number of anglers taking the time to practice before Saturday's match. However, it was anyone's guess on the day which of the two pools was going to offer the better sport.
It was a slow start to the day for most with a large proportion of the field turning to their margins just one hour in to the match. The heavy showers brought an abrupt end to the early sport being enjoyed by a select few, with only odd fish gracing nets before the final ninety minutes.
Woodside Pool Result:
Overall winner on Woodside pool was Hasbury AC / Halesowen Cricket Club's Eddie Rhodes. Eddie drew peg 8 round the back of the island beneath the oak trees and opted to fish pellet shallow at 13m tight to the marginal growth on the far side. Eddie got off to a flying start catching small carp almost immediately. However, once the rain started, his bites began to drop off calling for a change of tactics. Midway through the match, Eddie decided to attack his margins offering meat at distance down his left hand side to the next peg. Again, Eddie was into fish quickly and managed to maintain a steady catch rate until the 'all out' was signalled offering a superb 137lbs to the scales to claim a comfortable victory and his second Spring Open win - the first angler to do so since the competition started.
Eddie was quick to get into his stride and left the field for dead
Taking second place on Woodside pool was fellow Hasbury AC / Halesowen Cricket Club rod, Martin Dunn. Martin drew peg 2 and, as he so often does, attacked his margins early on to catch an impressive net of big fish. Offering meat down his right hand side, Martin took quality carp to 12lbs for the duration of the match to end proceedings with 95-06-00.
Martin Dunn, once again, showed his class down the edge
Taking third place on Woodside pool was John Browning. John drew corner peg six and enjoyed a busy five hours. For the first half of his match, John enjoyed some excellent silverfish sport catching quality roach and skimmer bream over to the island with the odd small carp making a welcome appearance. Later, John switched to his margins and found some late bonus edge fish to around 7lbs, boosting his final weight to 70lbs exactly.
John Browning enjoyed a strong finish to the match to secure third place
Young Ash Fisher (Phil's Tackle) secured fourth place from peg 14 on the dam wall. Alternating between both the pellet waggler long over to the island, and pole and pellet fished on the long pole, Ash enjoyed an all carp catch with fish to 6lbs to end the day with 57-02-00 and a comfortable section win.
Rounding off the top five on Woodside pool was John Morgan (Hasbury AC). John drew peg 4 in the channel close to the island and caught the majority of his fish down the edge late on to weigh in 34-12-00 to sneak a section win.
Woodside Pool top 3 finish (left to right): John Browning (3rd), Eddie Rhodes (1st) & Martin Dunn (2nd)
POS ANGLER PEG WEIGHT
1st Eddie Rhodes 8 137-00-00
2nd Martin Dunn 2 95-06-00
3rd John Browning 6 70-00-00
4th Ash Fisher 14 57-02-00 SECTION
5th John Morgan 4 34-12-00 SECTION
Island Pool Result:
Unfortunately, for those anglers that drew Island pool, the going proved a lot tougher than on Woodside.
It was a match of two halves for Maver's Dan Bache
Topping the fourteen-man field was local rod, Dan Bache (Maver / Bag 'Em Baits). Dan found himself on peg 14 (permanent peg 20) which many who fish Woodside on a regular basis will tell you, is very much a feast or famine area with not much water to go out given its close proximity to the island. Dan endured a relatively slow start to the match and was forced to have a look down his edge much sooner than he would have normally in a bid to get off the mark. Fishing dead maggot over groundbait long down his right hand edge, Dan found a number of small carp willing to feed. However, as the day wore on, his bites began to dry up giving him a final weight of 51lbs, which was enough for a narrow lake win.
Lee Payne in action on his way to a second place finish overall
Finishing close behind in second place was Lee Payne, who drew peg 6 (permanent peg 13). Lee started his match fishing pole and pellet long up in the water to find odd cruising fish before switching to his margins late on, again with pellet, to end the day with 48-14-00.
Mark Pincher (Sensas Strike) secured third place from off the dam wall on peg 9 (permanent peg 6). Conditions on the day meant that anglers pegged on the dam wall saw very little of the early and late sunshine making for a very cold match. Despite this, Mark was able to put together a late run of fish down his edge on 6mm banded pellet finding carp to 3lbs for a final 47-02-00.
Paul Postin secured a section win from peg 12 (permanent peg 27). Fishing pellet short, Paul found carp to 6lbs to offer 31lbs to the scales to finish narrowly ahead of Scott Rhodes on neighbouring peg 13 (permanent peg 25).
Scott Rhodes wasn't able to find the fish shallow on this occasion
Scott, like many, struggled to get into any sort of rhythm taking odd fish to pellet up in the water during the first half of the match before netting a few bonus fish from down his left hand edge late on to weigh in 22-08-00.
Island Pool top 3 finish (left to right): Lee Payne (2nd), Mark Pincher (3rd) & Dan Bache (1st)
POS ANGLER PEG WEIGHT
1st Dan Bache 14 51-00-00
2nd Lee Payne 6 48-14-00
3rd Mark Pincher 9 47-02-00
4th Paul Postin 12 31-00-00 SECTION
5th Scott Rhodes 13 22-08-00
We would like to say a big thank you to all the anglers that took part in this year's Spring Open event. Despite the weather not being very kind and the fishing hard for some, the banter was, as always, superb! See you all again next year!