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Leathers wins £25,000 Parkdean Masters 2013 crown by onces!
Andy Leathers is the 2013 Parkdean Masters Champion, and £25,000 richer, after winning one of the closest finals in the event's 14-year history, on the Jenny's Lake at Cornwall's White Acres complex.
Andy hit the front of the highly-competitive, star-studded field, four-hour event with five carp in the first hour on peg 16, and continued to catch steadily throughout, including fish to double figures, fishing long pole and worms, in his 20 carp haul. It was a lead he was to maintain right up to the all-out, but it was a close run thing, after a late challenge from Angling Times' Ben Fisk on peg 8, who found Jenny's F1s feeding shallow on pellets on the long pole.
Middy-backed Fisk was the first of the two to weigh in, and after posting a brilliant 97-15-0 of F1s, there were rumblings that he might just have pipped St Neots-based Leathers for the crown. A big crowd had now gathered with the news of Fisk's haul, and after the first weight was announced, the nerves were jangling. The second weigh confirmed that Leathers has indeed won the match, but by a narrow 5oz margin – 98-4-0 – the closest in the events history.
However, it could have been a different story had Leathers not switched rigs half way through the match. “The heavy ripples caused by the strong wind started to swamp my rig, so I jumped off my box, grabbed another top kit and set up a bigger rig with a more visible bristle,” he explained.
The change ensured he was able to present a big worm on the deck at 14m: over a chopped worms and casters feed, which he fed after every two or three fish. All Leathers fish came on the method, although he did spend a short time looking shallow, but quickly switch back.
Remarkably, Browning Hotrods team member Leathers had only secured his place in the final by the narrowest of margins, clinching the last qualifying place from the Preston Festival by a single point, and better aggregate weight over a number of anglers on the same 31-point total.
The delighted, and soaked champion: having taken the traditional winner's dip in the lake, explained: "I am absolutely over the moon. To win something like this is a feat I thought I would only ever dream of achieving. It still hasn't quite sunk in to be honest. I was the last to draw, and peg sixteen: the favourite peg on Jenny's, was left in the bag for me - I guess it was just my day!
“I have caught fishing a whole worm on the deck over a regular feed of chopped worms and casters, and have managed to keep fish coming steadily throughout of the day. Halfway through the match, I was told that I was in front, so I tried to keep fish coming. I didn't realise that Ben had caught as well as he had, so I was relieved when I found out I had done enough.” “I would also like to say a big thank you to the sponsors, Parkdean, who make the event possible."
Runner up Fisk had an agonising wait to see if he had stolen the crown after an impressive display of shallow fishing on the long pole saw him make up for a slow first hour, which probably cost him first place. His shallow pellets tactics and high catch rate attracted a large crowd, who watched as at one point Fisk was putting 19 fish in the net in 30 minutes.
The weather played a big part in the match, as a stiff breeze pushed the bigger fish up the lake to the high-numbered pegs, where a number of big lumps turned up early doors for Ed Warren, Lee Kerry and Matt Godfrey.
White Acres Fishery manager, Clint Elliott said: “As I walked along the bank this morning, it was obvious that there were a lot of fish moving in between pegs 16 and 23, where the wind has been blowing quite strongly for the last few days. I really fancy the winner to come from this area – though the anglers who drew here still seemed disappointed with their draws this morning!”
But the action on those high-numbered pegs was short lived, as the wind dropped and the bites slowed. It was worse for the angler's, in a field that contained six previous Master's winners, in the low-numbered pegs, as there was little action from big fish until the last hour, when, by then it had become a two-horse race. That last hour did see a big push from England young gun Godfrey, but time ran out for the Daventry-based rod, and he had to be content with a weight of 77-5-0 for a respectable third place in his first ever Parkdean final.
The Parkdean Masters, which is widely regarded as one of angling's most prestigious finals, is contested by the top 24 finishers in White Acres flagship Preston Innovations festival which is help the week prior to the event, and carries a £25,000 winners cheque.
Parkdean's Regional Director, Stephen Griffiths, who presented the winner's cheque and new Master's trophy, congratulated the winner: "A big congratulations to Andy. It has been one of the most exciting matches in the events 14-year history, and the closest finish to date. It really was a riveting match to watch."
Parkdean Master 2013 Results...
| James Dent
| Andy Power
| Neil McKinnon
| Simon Fry
| Nick Speed
| Des Shipp
| Cameron Hughes
| Martin Holmes
| Ben Fisk
| Steve Conway
| Harry Billing
| Tim Rowe
| Richie Hull
| Steve Ringer
| Andy Nelson
| Scott Russell
| Andy Leathers
| Matt Godfrey