The decision of a national angling publication to revamp its county championship points scoring system is a victory for common sense and for the majority of anglers who only venture out to one big match a weekend.
The championship, which has a big money prize at the end of it in a national fish-off between teams made up of the most successful anglers in each county, proved successful in its inaugural year.
It awards points in a descending order to those who do well in matches.
But there were understandable grumbles from anglers with work and home commitments or financial limitations that the competition favoured those able to take part in matches on both Saturday and Sunday.
Now the playing field has been levelled and if an angler frames twice, only his best points score will count.
Last season a number of local anglers finished in the West Yorkshire’s top 20 including Trabucco Roc Halifax’s Stu Campbell, Saints star Daz Taylor and Maver North West pair Roger Priestley and Steve Ashworth.
“It is an important yardstick that shows who is doing well,” said Halifax’s Martin Hellewell. “But in its old format those who are able to dedicate unlimited time to the sport had an unfair advantage. The odds are still stacked in their favour but it will be easy for a once-a-week matchman to do well also.”
Anglers should note that registration for this event which has already started is by postal forms which can be found inside Angling Times.
Avoiding dry nets was the key to teams doing well in the second of Todmorden AS teams of three league currently running on the Lorry Park and Gordon Rigg sections of the Rochdale canal.
And predictably it was the all conquering Maver North West Red who came out of it the best to hold a slender lead over Tri Cast Rochdale after round two.
Individually, Dave Brierley of Fisherman’s Way found a few small bream at peg seven on the caster to win with 3lbs 2oz, nudging Dave Bradley (Maver Red) into second with 2lbs 13oz and Dave Colbran (Caster Boys) into third with two ounces less. Neil Smith (Tri-Cast Rochdale) 2lbs 8oz; Stu Campbell (Trabucco Roc Halifax Red) 2lbs 4oz and Eric Green (Trabucco Roc Halifax Blue) 2lbs 3oz made up the minor places.
Tri Cast Calder’s Craig Ellis found decent roach up to half a pound for 5lbs 7oz in the 90s on the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Thornhill to win the first of the pairs series which started on Saturday.
Craig’s pairing with Keith Marshall, who finished sixth with 1lbs 15oz, earned them second spot on points from their squad mates Pete Thurlow and Ian Sutcliffe, but it was Trabucco Roc Halifax pairing Eric Green and Paul McMillan who won the day after finishing second and third individually.
Eric was four pegs from the winner with 3lbs 8oz with Paul weighing 2lbs 11oz. Their squad mate Stu Campbell was fourth with 2lbs 2oz edging John Holdsworth (Maver North West) 2lbs 1oz into fifth.
Bradford No1 report good nets of chub from Cowthorpe on the River Nidd on float tactics. The club’s stretches of the River Swale are also worth a visit this weekend for chub up to 5lbs. Raskelf Lake and Milby Cut Canal will be on form now they have defrosted.
HOT PEG: A large shoal of good roach is currently camped out near Aspley boat yard at the head of the Huddersfield Broad canal with anglers taking up to double figures on caster and punch in a session. You’ll require a Mirfield book to fish.
TIP OF THE WEEK: A great time to do some roving pike fishing. A ruck sack for tackle, a net and a rod set up with a plug of some sort will get you strikes if you keep moving. Even better it means you stay warm!