From short walks and comfortable towpaths to marathon hikes and mud ...

editorial image

After the strains of long walks and largely fruitless matches on Yorkshire’s rivers, I treated myself on Sunday joining the competition on Saltaire’s lengths of the Leeds Liverpool canal at Shipley, writes Tim Worsnop.

I didn’t fish the perfect match by any stretch of the imagination - two good perch inexplicably slipped the hooked which would have given me third - but I did feel at home, and I did cover my costs for the day, jointly winning my section with TriCast Calder’s John Sedgwick.

My Matrix Halifax team mate Paul Booth enjoyed a large slice of luck, foul hooking a 4lbs 8oz bream at the side of me which with a little under 3lbs of bits and pieces gave him a winning 7lbs 6oz. That was just too much for Sedgwick’s squadmate Steve Allinson who had 7lbs on the canopy peg. Kyle Ackroyd (Mosella Selby) was third with 3lbs 4oz; Richard Jackson (Maver NW) fourth with 3lbs and me and John tied with 2lbs 10oz.

So from a walk that amounted to 20 paces from car to peg, on a comfortable concrete towpath, Sunday takes me back to the Yorkshire Ouse with soggy car parks, a flood bank churned up by herds of cattle and the potential of a walk up to three quarters of a mile. At least the river will be at a normal level which might not suit some, but it certainly suits me.

There may not be the numbers of fish on as many pegs as previous weeks but the Mirfield Canal is still holding up with Gary Watson (see picture) winning Wednesday’s match with 12lbs 5oz of roach, skimmer bream and perch taken on caster at 12 metres from a peg near the basin.

It was a tight run affair with Maver NW’s Richard Jackson taking second with 11lbs 9oz from the opposite end of the match length including a perch of 1lbs 8oz on a similar method.

Others: Neil Pickett (Thornhill AC) 8lbs 12oz followed by a posse of TriCast Calder men, Keith Marshall, Pete Wilson and Steve Webster with 7lbs 8oz, 7lbs 5oz and 6lbs 15oz respectively.

The going was tough on the canal arm in Dewsbury on Saturday when Paul McMillan (Matrix Halifax) needed only 4lbs 2oz of roach and perch to win from peg 2. Mick Sharpe (Thornhill) drew favoured peg 1 but could only manage second place with 3lbs 10oz. Others: 3. Nigel Storr (Matrix Halifax) 2lbs 12oz; 4. Keith Marshall (TriCast Calder) 2lbs 6oz; 5. Terry Schofield (Matrix Halifax) 2lbs 2oz.

Croft fishery held up well despite heavy frost when Todmorden AS staged its final trophy match of the season on Sunday. Steve Hall took a respectable 40lb 5oz of carp on ledgered bread to the scales to win. Others: 2. Dale Mallinson 28lb 5oz; 3. Pete Mottram, 20lb 3oz; 4. Paul Wilkinson, 20lb 1oz; Richard Billing, 16lb 8oz.