The Angling Trust British Pike Championship final was once again held on the drains in the Fens around Whittlesea, with 232 competitors battling for the title of Angling Trust British Pike Champion of 2014 on sections of the 20 Foot River and Glassmore Bank on Saturday 22nd November.
A combination of a very mild and wet autumn and locally heavy overnight rain, meant anglers were met by extremely soggy conditions in some areas.
The Glassmore Bank had been producing good returns in local matches and pleasure anglers had also been taking some better specimens also.
Leon Sibilski from Waddington in Lincolnshire drew peg 91 close to Chapel Bridge and was into pike early in the match. A combination of regular helpings of liquidised bread throughout the match to attract bait fish, with roach and dace baits soaked overnight in brine, proved successful. Leon took a total of four fish (16lb, 12lb 6oz, 9lb 6oz, and 9lb 4oz) to give him a winning total of 47 lb. Leon, who has won the coveted title on two previous occasions in the mid-nineties and 2000, took home the trophy for the third time together with pools and prize money.
Runners-up spot went to Corby based British Pike Squad member Mark Groom with a two fish total of 24lb-14oz from peg 225 on the 20 Foot River. This included the best fish landed in the competition, a superb 18-14-0 pike which fell to a wobbled smelt.
Also on the 20 Foot was the Top Lady on the day, Rita Clarke from Peterborough. Rita has been fishing for 7 years and retained the title she claimed in 2013 with a 16lb-12oz fish from peg 117. First cast in the match with a Lamprey bait to the far bank fooled the well-conditioned predator.
One of the biggest cheers of the day went to 10 year old Jack Taylor from Newcastle under- Lyme, who lifted the Top Junior prize with a brace of pike totalling 5-12-0. Jack’s best fish weighed in at 3lb-12oz and fell to a wobbled roach from peg 87 on Glassmore.
Jack was closely followed by his arch rival Lucy McCourt who was stationed at end peg 359 on the 20 Foot. Lucy banked one fish of 4lb-6oz, which gave her third spot in the section a truly creditable result from the 13 year-old Sussex based piker.
The numbers of anglers entering the competition are increasing slightly each year and the hope is that in 2015 we see even more qualifying for this unique competition.
The Angling Trust would like to thank Ann and Ted Rowe for all their help this year and also on the day of the final, and to David White and everyone at Whittlesea AA for all their hard work.
For more information on The Angling Trust, please visit this website www.anglingtrust.net