Nick Clewlow reports from the annual Christmas competition, which brought outstanding results, despite some very grim weather.
We were greeted with some extreme weather for the annual Sportfish Fur and Feather Christmas competition and our brave anglers started the day off with coffee and bacon rolls before venturing out into the rain and ice! Nothing would stop these good fisher folk from getting stuck into some quality trout and almost as soon as the starting gun fired we could see rods bending all around the lake and very quickly they were racking up the points!
After a short while we ventured out armed with coffee, tea, mince pies and, of course, a little sloe gin to keep everyone festively warm and make sure everyone could all feel their fingers while battling our ferocious trout!
The rain kept falling as the day progressed but our anglers kept tightening up on fish and bringing them to the net! They may have been soaked and almost suffering from hypothermia but still they kept their smiles and battled on!
With an hour left of light we fired the final gun and pulled everyone in and out of the rain. To a person they were drenched to the bone and in desperate need of a warm or strong drink! While they dried out and warmed up we set about getting the fish weighed in and totted up to find out who would be crowned our 2018 champion! It seemed that everyone had landed fish on a cold and windy day and spirits were high and festive – but who would the winners be?
After tallying up the points we were delighted to award our prizes as follows:
Biggest fish – Steve Atkins with a whopping great 11lb rainbow trout!
3rd place went to Karen Woolley with a total bag of 17lb 12oz.
2nd place went to Charles Tonkinson with his 19lb 8oz bag, which included our famous green tag fish worth a very cool £250 in cash!
1st place and 2018 champion was Ron Howard with a bag of23lb 4oz – not bad for an extremely wet and Arctic-like day! Good effort all round!
Finally, we would like to extend a huge thank you and well done to all our anglers for sticking it out and braving the weather. Great angling and we hope to see you all again next year!
Have a merry Christmas and a great New Year from all of us here at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre.