Mark Griffiths clinches victory on Guru Makins Winter League…

An incredibly close finish on this weekend’s final round of the Guru Makins Winter League saw Guru’s Mark Griffiths clinch victory, with just a single point separating the top three places!

The pole-only league proved incredibly popular, fished across Lagoon and Lizard Pools on Phase Two, as well as the mighty Lake One on Phase One at Makins Fishery. At the weekend’s final match, there were several anglers in the running,but Mark sealed victory over league organiser, Wayne Sharman, and Lee ‘Mushy’ Farmer by just a single point. Mark had a great run of form on the league, winning two out of the six matches in the series, and finishing second in another.

It was still a nervous finish for Mark, who ended the league on Lake One in testing conditions. After the match, he told us: “I was worried after my draw on the final match, as I was placed at the wrong end of the lake to catch carp if they decided to feed. On Lake One, the carp are very big. Although the section on here is often dominated by silvers, just one or two carp will wipe out silverfish weights. With the mild weather I felt the carp could feed. Normally, they’re at the other end of the section to where I was though!

“With the league in mind, I based my match around targeting silvers to try and get as many points as possible. The wind didn’t make things easy at all, and I could only fish around six metres out where I fed fishmeal groundbait with casters and dead maggots. I also assembled a short pole to fish with corn in case there were some carp kicking around, but silvers and points for the league is what I had in mind!

“After a couple of hours fishing, I noticed Wayne Sharman and a few others at the top end of the section netting carp and big fish. This was worrying as Wayne was fast on my tail on the league front! Despite feeding and trying for some carp, I couldn’t get a bite from one. Sticking to catching silvers, I plugged away trying to put as many roach in the net as possible, and found that loose feeding heavily with casters was the best way of getting fish lined up. A single caster or fluoro maggot on a size 18 Guru Pellet hook to 0.10mm Pure was the best combo, fished a few inches over-depth to try and keep the bait still.

Mark won two matches during the league on the Phase Two lakes.

A 10lb roach bag from Lake One on Phase One at Makins.

“I knew I was nowhere near winning the section at the end, and was praying I’d clawed enough points to keep ahead in the league with my weight of silverfish. As it turned out, my 10lb of roach and perch got me seven points in the 14-peg section, enough to stay ahead in the league overall by just a single point!

“A big thanks must go out to Wayne for running a brilliant series, and Guru for donating some great prizes. I’m sure that my Mrs will find something to do with my £300 league winnings!”

The final match was won by Gary Cook from peg four on Lizard Pool with 82lb 2oz. League organiser, Wayne Sharman, won Mark’s section at the weekend and finished second overall with a weight of 74lb 12oz. He was just a point behind Mark in the league too, but really enjoyed running the series and said: “It’s certainly been a close one, and I had a cracking match on Lake One to finish on. I wasn’t expecting that many carp to feed, but after anglers started catching them around me it was time to put the silverfish gear down and focus on the lumps. All mine fell to double corn fished in six feet of water away from the bank. Just four of them weighted over 50lb!

“I’ve really enjoyed running the league and it’s been great to have Guru on board who have provided some cracking prizes which have been presented by Adam Rooney – thank you guys! A big well done to ‘Griff’ for wininng too, I know he was twitching a bit at the weigh-in earlier! I’m sure next year’s league will be as popular as ever.”

The top three - Winner Mark Griffiths (centre) 2nd Wayne Sharman (right) and 3rd Lee Farmer (left).

A typical bait menu that Mark would have at Makins in winter.