Bennett Remains Undefeated!

Last week, Andy Bennett held-on to his undefeated title in festivals at Westwood Lakes near Boston, when he was crowned the 2017 Daiwa Autumn Classic Champion! Two section wins and a section second left Andy tied with four other anglers on four points, but a stand-out weight of 394lb in just three days fishing gave him an 80lb lead on runner-up Joe Cartwright. Here’s a short diary from the master himself about his three-day festival!

Day One – Osprey Peg 15

This was a nice peg to start the festival on, but with the freezing weather I didn’t expect the 189lb that I ended with for a match win on the first day! It really was a wicked days fishing, and quite a simple one in terms of tactics. I fished in the margins with pellets, using softened fishery micros, with a 4mm expander on the hook. All the time, I was loose feeding maggots on another swim, which came alive later in the match with fish competing and coming shallow, where I could really clatter them! In terms of tackle, things were kept super simple, using 0.15mm N-Gauge mainline, to 0.11mm hooklengths of the same, and size 16 or 18 Guru F1 Pellet hooks matched to Orange Hydro.

Orange Hydro and a Pole Elastic Connector Bead - perfect!

The hook that did the damage for Andy at Westwood.

Day Two – Skylark Peg 39

When I plumbed-up on this peg I really did fear the worst, as it was just 14-inches deep everywhere, and hadn’t thrown-up much the day before. However, it turned out to be one of the most interesting days fishing I’ve ever had! I decided to fish accurately and set small traps of feed in several different areas of the swim, feeding small Pole Pots of micro pellets and fishing expanders on the hook. Starting around three quarters of the way across to the island, I couldn’t believe it when I was into a carp first chuck, which I saw tail-up for the pellets I’d fed in such shallow water! I was fully expecting my best swim to be tight to the island opposite, but this wasn’t the case at all. For some reason, the fish felt a lot safer and were much more settled in the central track. I could see odd swirls and odd fish moving all day, any by feeding tiny amounts of bait and moving around the swim in different areas, I kept enough fish coming to end with 101lb for a respectable second in the section.

Day Three – Falcon Peg 45

A steady day on this lake was in order, where I ended with 78 fish for a 103lb total and section win. Fishing with pellets was the order of the day, which had been the best bait standing out on the lakes around the complex all week. I spent nearly all day fishing across on the long pole on this final day, again feeding micro pellets and using an expander on the hook. The fish didn’t settle in a set depth of water for too long here, and I alternated between 24-inches and 16-inches of water to keep them coming. The rig doing to the damage was my trusty 0.4g Rich Wilson Muddie, on 0.15mm N-Gauge mainline to an 0.11mm hooklength and size 16 Guru F1 Pellet hook.

Final Result

1st Andy Bennett – 4 points – 394lb 6oz
2nd Joe Cartwright – 4 points – 312lb 14oz
3rd Luke Sears – 4 points – 264lb 10oz
4th Daz Shaw – 4 points – 263lb 6oz
5th Jon Jowett – 4 points – 241lb 2oz

Big-cupping bait only really comes into play late-on in the margins.

Small or Medium Pole Pots were used to feed pellets and set small traps.