Anglian Water Champion 2017 – Steve Cowley

Steve Cowley reports on his recent victory in the Anglian Water Fishing Championship on the River Yare in Norfolk…

This year for our annual Anglian Water match, we were on the mighty River Yare. The match is a team of six event , where the lowest point scoring take the title with also an individual match ran alongside. The two days previous had seen a good drop of rain, which I hoped wouldn’t cause too many issues, but only the tide influx would tell.

The team draw had me on E1, which was permanent peg 97 and not an area I was too upset with, being as my mate had been on 98 the weekend previous. Conditions were not ideal to say the very least, with a strong head wind which would make casting accuracy difficult, so simplicity was my order of the day. I set up one rod, which I was going to fish on one line all match and catch what ever was there. My set up was a Frenzee 12ft power plus feeder rod, 3oz tip, 6lb mainline, 0.14 hooklength with a size 14 hook. This may seem heavy, but being a tidal river, the flow can push a little as the river rises and heavy feeders can be the order of the day.

My groundbait was a 50/50 mix of Pro Natural Bream and Pro Natural, with the addition of half a bottle of Liquid Brasem which was added during the mixing process the night before. Hook baits were simply fluoro maggot or worm, with chopped worm and caster going through the feeder. With the feeder clipped up at 40m, this was just past the middle, I was ready and raring to go. At the all in, I started on treble fluro and had a small roach first cast. This was followed by a 2oz skimmer, before the tip dropped back and bream number one in the net.

Over the next hour I had another bream and two decent skimmers, hour two produced three more bream, a few skimmers and roach, before the bites ceased. As the pace started to pick up, the river rose and all I could get was the odd indication from small eels or the odd roach for the remainder of the match. Chris on the next peg was getting the odd decent skimmer and also had a bream, so was going to be a tight section.

At the all out I knew I’d got close to 20lb, but how much actually I wasn’t sure. The scales duly arrived and I was more than happy to see them go round past my guess, and settle on 21lb 14oz, Chris put on 19lb 8oz and I was chuffed to get the all important section points. At the presentation our team was middle of the road with the lads from Ipswich taking the title for the second year running. On the individual front, my weight was top on the day, Ed second with 21lb 2oz and Chris came in third, so a close run thing with only one bream in it all round.

To say I’m a tad chuffed to win this event would be an understatement, I had become disillusioned with match fishing and nearly kicked it all into touch. So to actually win this event has given me a massive buzz to say the least!

Tight Lines

Steve Cowley

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