Staffs & Worcester, Shropshire Union & Trent &
This was a match we where all looking forward too the chance to become National champions on our own patch. It’s a venue we all know fairly well due to fishing various summer and winter leagues on the venues over the last few years. A number of large opens had been organised and we all fished the last four matches as a squad to try to glean as much up to date information as possible.
A meeting was held mid week prior to the national to discuss each section and
basically devise a rough team plan that would guarantee good points from all the
sections with the emphasis on catching fish from the hard areas, as this is where
Nationals are won and lost. We decided to use small homemade kinder pots cupping in a few squatts and loose groundbait in the tough areas , after we felt that our pegs where slowing down and too stop loose feeding with catapults as the fish would back off. This had worked well for a few of our anglers in the last practise match with Jon Arthur , Darren Massey and Paul Ross all winning there sections fishing using pots.
Come the big day Team Captain Mick Hatchard got to the draw early whilst we all met at the Cross Keys Pub car park at Penkridge. We discussed each anglers peg in detail and with Mick on an end peg at Shugborogh and Darren Massey being told he was opposite a marina we only had about three bad pegs Michael Buckwelder was opposite the concrete at Little Onn , Rob Middleton was in a poor area at Penkridge and myself being told I was opposite some tins at Weston.
We all left to go to our pegs in a confident frame of mind however I received a phone call from Darren Massey he was not very happy as he had arrived at his peg and was nowhere near the
On the whistle I fed my squatt line with Groundbait and a line at the back of the boat for Chub then into the boatyard with groundbait , chopworm and caster.
I had a slow start looking for a chub with no success so it was a case of getting my head down and catching a few squatt fish. I kept trying for a skimmer every now and again and in the 3rd hour I had my first one on worm at 16 Metres then I caught three others later in the match too add to my squatt fish giving my a weight of 4 Kilo 100g. I was over the moon and raced back to my car and switched on my mobile phone 10 missed calls this could be good news. A quick call to Mick revealed we had got eight anglers with top 10 results and two average results,
We all waited with anticipation back at the Headquarters as rumours started flying
around that we may be 3rd overall as there where two other teams with better results that ourselves.
The results where then read out in reverse order with Diawa Doncaster on 522 pts in 3rd place then Collins Green 2nd on 549 pts then in 1st place with 607 pts Shakespeare
During the drive home that night I kept looking at the gold medal and smiling to my
self. We where the Division One National champions a lifetime achievement had been
Paul Bick – Shakespeare Superteam