Conditions for the annual Silver Fish Festival could only be described as horrendous.
Despite the conditions made up with a horrific easterly wind directly from Siberia, the beast from the east prevented the lakes from freezing for the first 2 days of the festival.
Most of the field opted to fish the tip with a cage feeder attack targeting the resident skimmers and bream and true to form, the skimmers and bream fed well on both the Match and Specimen Lakes.
Those that persisted with the long pole were rewarded with some fine catches of roach and skimmers.
Winner of the Match Lake on day 1 was Andy Bennett (Guru) who fished 16m with maggot and caster landing a superb 43-12-00.
2nd in the section was Paul Holland (Guru) with an impressive 20-11-00 again to the pole fished long.
The Specimen Lake also fished well on day 1 with Grant Albutt (Drennan) landing 39-05-00 from peg 54 from D section. His catch was all bream, Grant fished the cage feeder at 30m with dead reds.
2nd in the section was Sophie Hill who drew peg 52 landing 24-11-00 of bream to worm hook bait and the cage feeder fished at 25m.
The opposite bank also fished well with Phil Briscoe (Larford) landing an all bream catch of 30-09-00 to win the section from peg 4.
Phil caught on the cage feeder fished at 25m with dead reds.
Second in the section was Garry Skerritt (Stoke) with 18-01-00 of bream & roach to the cage feeder from peg 14.
The Arena was also pegged as a section and became the most difficult section to master.
Winner on day 1 was Ian Morrison who weighed 12-07-00 to the pole & tip.
Ian's catch was made up with small skimmers and roach.
2nd in the section was Geoff Valance with 8-09-00 from peg 26.
Day 2 conditions got even worse with a freezing wind and driving snow all day.
Winner of 'A' section (Arena) was Andy Power (Preston) who drew peg 24.
Andy fished the waggler with caster at half depth landing roach all day to finish the day with 13-13-00
2nd in the section was Matt Benwell with 4-02-00 from peg 8.
Day 2 on the Match Lake stll fished well with a win from Steve Reid who weighed 15-09-00 from peg 48, Steve fished the pole with live & dead reds.
The other section framer was Geoff Valance with 10-10-00 from peg 58.
'C' section (Speci Burr) was won by selwyn Owen who foul hooked a pike, estimated to be around 13lbs. He added some skimmers, all caught on the cage feeder to the end of the day with 20-01-00 from peg 16
The other section winner was Wayne Hughes from peg 12 with 18-15-00 of bream and skimmers all caught on the feeder with dead reds.
Section winner and best weight on the bank was Fabian Arpad who drew peg 56 weiging in 29-01-00
Fabion fished a cage feeder with dead reds landing an all bream catch comfortably winning the bank.
The other section winner was Spud Murphy who drew peg 72, landing bream, roach & skimmers for a section winning weight of 12-15-00
Conditions now had gone from unpleasant to dangerous with gale force winds, driving snow and temperatures dropping to -6C
Most of the anglers had to break the ice with only a few pegs on the whole of the complex free from ice.
Arena Lake- Section 'A'
Winner of the Arena overall and securing another section win was Fabion Arpad who drew peg 22.
Fabion only out a small channel in the ice fishing no further than 6m with pole and pinkies.
Tiny roach stacked up on the edge of the ice and he finished the day with maybe 100 small roach to weigh 4-07-00.
The other section winner was Spud Murphy with 1-09-00 from peg 8
Match Lake Section 'B'
Winner of the section was Grant Albutt (Drennan) who drew peg 46 landing 14-09-00 of skimmers and roach to pole.
The other section winner was Sophie Hill with 6-02-00 from peg 52.
Sophie braved the pole with pinkies to secure her section win.
Specimen Burr Section 'C'
The section was won by Mark Turner with a superb 16-02-00 of bream and skimmers from peg 18. A fine weight of the day, Mark caught on the cage feeder and dead reds.
The other section winner was Dave Pickering (Stoke) who drew peg 8 weighing 12-09-00 of bream on the cage feeder with dead reds.
Winner was Paul Bucknall with 9-02-00 from peg 54.
Paul fished the cage with dead reds landing a few bream.
The other section winner was Steve Seabourne who drew peg 64 landing 8-13-00 of bream and roach to cage feeder and dead reds.
At the end of day 3, anglers were suggesting that the festival should end due to the conditions and safety.
A meeting was called at the fishery lodge and the anglers were asked to take a vote as to whether we should continue or cancel the last day.
From a field of 42 anglers participating, 2 anglers voted to continue and 40 voted to finish the festival.
The overall result was then decided from the points scored over the fishable 3 days.
Therefor the results was scored as follows-
1st overall with a points total of 6 points - Mark Turner.
Mark collected £1000 + his section wins and super pools.
2nd overall with a points total of 7 points was Fabian Arpad.
Fabian collected £750 + his section wins and super pools.
3rd overall with a points total of 8 points (weight) was Grant Albutt
Grant collected £500 + his section wins and super pools.
4th overall with a points total of 8 points was Paul Holland
Paul collected £300 + his section wins and super pools.
5th overall with a points total of 10 points was Andy Bennett
Andy collected £250 + his section wins and super pools.
The section payouts for day 4 were drawn and paid out.
The correct decission to end the festival a day early was made by the participating field. The correct decission as safety was now the most important factor.