British Open win - Connor Barlow

On Saturday, myself and Andy Bennett travelled up to Woodlands View in Droitwich for the Angler’s Mail British Open final. This is a match where the top 50 anglers from the Angler’s Mail Matchman of the Year points system are invited to fish a final where the winner will take away £1,000.

Not knowing too much about the venue, we tried to get as much information as we could and, from what we gathered, end pegs would be a massive advantage. Luckily, on the day, I drew peg 17 on Hay Pool, which was an end peg with the wind blowing into it!

On arrival to my peg, it was roughly about 20 meters wide with no cover whatsoever so I didn't really know what to make of it. But, being on an end peg, I knew that my best chance of winning the match was to catch down the edge in the later part of the match, so I took five pints of dead maggots for the edge, then some micros and 4mm pellets for short and on the feeder, and a handful of 6mm for the hook.

I started the match on a pellet feeder across and after 25 minutes I only had two small carp, so I decided to concentrate on my short pole line at 6m. Here I caught odd F1s and small mirrors over the next two hours to put roughly 50lb in the net halfway through the match. I knew I was well out of contention of winning at this point so I put my first big pot of maggots in down the edge and waited to see any signs of fish coming into the peg.

With roughly two hours to go there was some movement in the edge, so I dropped in and started catching some better fish instantly. I managed around 40lb in this hour and then 60lb in the last hour, which was a great end to the match. The rig I used for the edge was a 0.4g mud float on 0.17mm N-Gauge main line to a 0.15mm N-Gauge hook length and a size 14 LWG.

On the weigh-in I didn't have a clue what weight I had but I surprisingly weighed 150lb 10oz, which was enough to win the match with 141lb being second. I was absolutely delighted to take the title with it being such a prestigious event and overall it was a fantastic day.

I'd just like to say a massive thanks to my new sponsors Guru and Daiwa as well, they've helped me massively by welcoming me into the team over the last few weeks.