Feeder Masters Final 2021

Just spent an enjoyable few days in Devon for the Preston Innovations Feeder Masters Final. By a stroke of fortune I qualified by default after some bloke called Andy Power couldn’t make it!

It was my first ever visit to Upper Tamar Lake and I knew I’d be right up against it with so many of the country’s best feeder anglers involved. These guys have taken feeder fishing to another level and are way above me in terms of knowledge, skill and experience. However, I still gave it my best shot and came away with a decent result for my first visit, coming 25th out of 62 anglers and less than 4lb off the top-20 prizes.

Day 1 I drew peg 22 on the Cornwall bank. Not a great area apparently but I set myself a target of 20lb. Fully expected to be roach fishing but ended up having a nice day on skimmers at 33m, catching 30 for 19lb 5oz.

Day 2 a much nicer peg 50 on the Devon bank. A lot deeper here and still no aerator but fished similar tactics for 42 skimmers and 21lb 10oz. Again small fish, but bites all day to keep me busy. That was surprisingly enough to win the section and beat everyone around me as our bank didn’t fish so clever on the day.

Analysing the results you ideally wanted the opposite rotation on this weight-based event, and I definitely needed one or two of those elusive better skimmers, but hey ho. All in all it was a fantastic experience! I surprised myself how quickly I got to grips with this very technical style of fishing. Adam Firth and Joe Carass were particularly helpful and it was very much appreciated. Anyone kind and bothered enough to help me in any small way gets my respect. I must also thank my wife Mandy for letting me go as I know it’s not easy when I’m away!

I’ve definitely returned home with a greater understanding of skimmer fishing. A week ago I’d never even fished with a window feeder before! It also forced me to source my own muck heap, which has been the holy grail ever since I moved to Oxfordshire. Not sure what I would have caught without those magical redworms!

No surprises at all what groundbait mix I opted for, either, as almost everyone seemed to be on the Sonubaits F1 Dark and Thatchers Original combo! I’d also be totally lost without my Matrix feeder rods, Submerge braid, Duralite Platform and 4 Wheel Transporter Trolley… and my sweaty Fox chest waders!

Of course I have to say a HUGE well done to double champion Lee Kerry, who further cements his authority as one of THE very best all-rounders in the country. To run the event so smoothly and professionally and still compete AND win it takes some doing! His fellow organisers Mick Vials and his brother Darren also did a sterling job and the entire Preston Innovations team get my utmost respect for putting on such a professional event. This really is what I wish all top-flight match fishing events were like!

Congrats to the top 20 and all the other competitors who made me feel welcome. Now I’ve had a taste of Tamar and the Feeder Masters Final I can see what all the fuss is about. Match fishing done properly!

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