Feeder Masters Top 20

Got back very late yesterday after competing in the two-day Preston Innovations Feeder Masters Final at the fabulous Upper Tamar Lake on the Devon/Cornwall border.

The venue was trickier this year with it being just 20% capacity, but held up pretty well to the pressure and really close and consistent weights framed each day, with 39lb winning Day 1 and 34lb winning Day 2 and really close back-up weights.

You had to draw well and I got two decent pegs to end up with a 46lb total and sneaked into the top 20 money positions, earning myself £200 for my efforts.

Looking back I definitely could have caught another 4lb to 5lb over the two days, which would have moved me up a few places, but still really happy with the outcome considering I only dabble in this style of fishing a few times a year. In this competition you are right in at the deep end against some of the very best feeder anglers in the world and it’s the little nuances and feeder match experience that sets them apart. I certainly always come away feeling I’m a better angler for the experience.

Well done Zak Williams on the win, Steve Ringer 2nd and Rich Wilson 3rd!

I must say a huge thanks and big respect to the sponsors Preston Innovations, Lee Kerry, Mick Vials, Darren Vials and their dad for the professional way it is run. It’s a proper match where they really do care about the competitors and the pegging and did everything they possibly could to make it such a well organised event, especially with the unprecedented low water levels. I said this last year and I will say it again, they are a credit to the sport and this level of professionalism sets the benchmark for all other comps.

The whole event was great to be part of and there’s a nice warmth and buzz among all the competitors. I must also thank the generosity of people who have helped me out in one way or another, particularly Rob Fuller, Kelvin Tallett and Paul Sheehan.

Gearwise I’ve mostly used my 11ft Ethos XRFs with Horizon reels loaded with 0.10mm and 0.12mm Submerge braid. This year I did away with the platform and got nice and low in the water with my XR36 Seatbox. My 4 Wheel Transporter is vital and somehow still in one piece from the rugged terrain! I also have to mention the Matrix 24 Kit Roost. Such a simple bit of tackle that makes fanning out five or six rods so convenient and I’ve had numerous people commenting how good they are.

Of course, it goes without saying what my groundbait mix was as over 50% of the field must have been using it too: Sonubaits F1 Dark and Thatchers. I could see little point using anything else as it just works and the skimmers love it!

Really happy to be back home with the family now. Time to start thinking about the autumn/winter campaigns, polishing the pole and dusting off the catapults!

(Images courtesy of Feeder Masters and Preston Innovations)

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