Newton-le-Willows Anglers Association, Annual Canal Polemasters Open Tournament 2020.

Sponsored By Burt Baits, The fishing bait innovators.

A great turn out with just a few “did not show”. Most turned up early for the start of the rolling draw. The officials today were Mark Brown, Match Secretary and Ian Alexander (Burt Baits) Match Deputy Secretary. I was assigned to do the media, as per last year, and generally keep everyone amused and informed on the running order. All in 10:00 and the anticipation was broken by the splashes of potted bait balls and the swish of whip rigs making their ripples on the calm, mill pond water surface. First few in the net by Ian Wilson after missing a few bites, adjusting his shot he was now putting fish in the net, Tony Smith was pulling one a chuck on his 4m whip line, all small stamp and a few perch. The match started off steady with small weights of ‘bits’ no one was storming off with an outright lead.

Hour 1 wasn’t a crucial time, no one showing as making a huge mark in the weights. There were a few, Tony Smith, Graham Sixsmith, Johnny Wardley who were looking at making some sort of headway and seemed to be pulling away from the field.

Hour 2 and Graham Sixsmith was pulling one a chuck and was looking to be the man to beat, still others not far behind and 3 hours of fishing left.

Hour 3/4, no bonus fish for anyone until late in hour 4 when Graham Sixsmith landed a nice ~5lb Ide on his light elastic, he scooped it up before it knew what had happened! and popped it in his net. This put Graham as the clear front runner, for now.

Hour 5 and the hard fishing was taking it’s toll with half a dozen anglers calling it a day and having an early dart. With 20 mins to go John Carroll pulled in a welcome brace of Bream to narrow the gap. Only the final weigh in will give the result of 1st and 2nd.

15:00 All Out! 2 in the frame for 1 and 2 positions, going to be close for 3,4 and section winners. During the weigh in, Tony Smith realised he still had 2 perch in his keepnet! it was too late, he had been weighed and his weigh net emptied. This was going to cost Tony 4th place. Gutted for you Tony and a mistake I hope you don’t make again, so close mate.

Results are in and:

1. Graham Sixsmith (St Helens), peg 9, 9-14-0, ide, roach and perch on pole and maggot/worm.
2. John Carroll (Skelmersdale), peg 43, 8-15-0, bream on pole and worm.
3. Rob Pennington (St Helens), peg 25, 7-4-0, skimmers, roach and perch on pole and maggot.
4. Mick Rogers (Haydock), peg 8, 5-11-0, roach and perch on pole and maggot.

Section winners:
Section 1: Lee Brownrigg, peg 5, 1-11-0
Section 2: Paul Mollis, peg 21, 4-8-0
Section 3: Mark Brown, peg 31, 4-15-0
Section 4: Tony Smith, peg 35, 5-10-0
Section 5: Ian Wilson, peg 46, 5-9-0
Section 6: Chris Grehan, peg 58, 5-8-0

Thank you Burt Baits for once again sponsoring this event and for the prizes of groundbait, to all who participated, to Mark and Ian for running the show and to the fellow committee members who showed up at the weigh in to assist.
Congratulations Graham Sixsmith on your win and well done all the framers.
Another great turn out to this annual event that gives an opportunity to all anglers to fish a section of the historic Sankey Canal normally only available to members of Newton-le-willows Anglers Association.