Match organizer Jonny Watt with a quality FBF Carp.

The concept behind the matches.

The winter match fishing season at Furnace Brook is in full swing and the decision to stage open matches on the venue through the colder months has proved very successful with attendances exceeding expectations.

The fishing on the whole has been very consistent with good bags of silverfish along with plenty of Carp being landed. The whole experiment was to see if there would be the interest from local anglers to participate in regular matches held on the water. Also to gauge how the venue would respond. As there not been organized competitions on the water for many years the answer to these questions was always going to be interesting.

So how does the day unfold!

We have breakfast at the venue in the lakeside anglers lodge whilst the competitors are booked in against their reservations and pay their entry and pools monies. The talk is always of where the best area on any given may be to fish from.
The draw for pegs (fishing position for the day) takes place at 08:30 and then the competitors are on their way and have around 90 minutes to set-up their kit for the day ahead. Most matches run for 5 hours but as the daylight slowly lengthen’s into Spring we will look to add an extra 30 minutes on. So when the whistle blows at 15:30 for the ‘all-out’ the scales then make their way around to all the competitors.
All the information is collated back at the lodge so that the results from the day can be read out and the winning anglers rewarded financially – It’s all good fun with plenty of friendly banter and everyone is made to feel welcome.
With our next open fast approaching on the 22nd February below is a report from the previous match on a very cold 25th of January.
Please note that on match days, the venue is closed from dusk on the preceding Saturday until dusk on the day of the event.


A very cold yet beautiful scene greeted the competitors for the January open at FBF.

20 anglers were booked in for the first event of the year at Furnace Brook ‘our’ January silverfish open. As the venue was only 25% ice-free running times were set back an hour or so to accommodate ‘ice breaking’ and ‘swim preparations’. There had been plenty of rain preceding the event so conditions looked tough enough and under the thin layer of ice the water was a chocolaty brown colour.
From the whistle it quickly became clear that this would be a slog, the usually dependable Roach were very conspicuous by their absence and most if not all the competitors struggled to get a bite for the first hour or more. Then slowly but surely, a few Hybrids were staring to feed. Graham Bridger on peg 19 in a favored area for these fish was seen netting a few on the pole, opposite him on peg 4 (not such a favored spot) Simon Watford was also starting to line a few up. Trevor Hoad, who had been it great form on the venue before Christmas had drawn down what was considered the wrong end near the island on peg 12, could be seen walking the bank early doors perhaps underlining the belief that he had not drawn so well. The banter bouncing around the lake was of lost fish and missed bites as the ice slowly but surely cleared most of the anglers pegs.
Jody Miller was now catching relatively well in the very deep water found in front of peg 22 and it was fair to say that the row of anglers from 22 to 17 were all finding fish were as Simon Watford apart -things were very slow on the opposite bank. Well that is except for peg 7 were Jonny Watt had drawn. This is a noted area for Carp, particularly so on the feeder, along with good numbers of Bream and F1’s and those were to count in todays silver only event. So when the ice cleared he fished the feeder to the far bank features and caught Carp after Carp after Carp. Not really the desired scenario in a silverfish match but, at least he had a days fishing!


JW and his peg full of Carp!

With the last hour of the contest well under way the bankside drums suggested that true to form, Trevor Hoad had found fish and was catching well and all the ingredients were there now for a thrilling climax. As the scales made their way around the lake no one really knew who had taken the victory but it was a going to be close thing.

Graham Bridger who has just returned to the sport of his youth had just done enough to take the spoils with a hard earned 23lb of quality Hybrids and Skimmers and hard on his heals in 2nd was Simon Watford with 21lb easily besting his side of the lake in doing so. In 3rd and winning his section by default from peg 20 was Dave Boyd who had quietly gone about his business placing a fine 20lb on the scales. The other section winners! Trevor Hoad with a fine 17lb 4oz from peg 12 and Peter Gabitas again by default with 7lb 6oz from peg 1 (mainly caught in the last hour) considered one of the better draws before the off…….

  1. Graham Bridger 23lb.00.
  2. 2nd Simon Watford 21lb.00.
  3. 3rd Dave Boyd 20lb.00.
  4. 4th Russell Shipton 19lb 11oz.
  5. 5th Trevor Hoad 17lb 4oz.
  6. 6th Jody Miller 16lb 12oz.

Simon Watford with his 21lb bag of quality Hybrids good enough for 2nd on the day.

The fun continues on the;

22nd February
15th March
29th March
12th April
26th April (season finale’)

For bookings and further information;

Jonny Watt

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