It’s been a year or so since Abbi Kendal fished any of the big events as family life has to come first.
But on Saturday the England international from Benwick was up at Partridge Lakes to fish the Ladies Fish ‘O’ Mania Qualifier and, competing against a small but very impressive field, she showed she’s lost none of her class.
She now heads off to the Grand Final with some huge amounts of cash there for the taking.
I caught up with Abbi a few hours after her success and she explained how she caught a match-winning 97lb 3oz.
“I just kept it really simple,” she said. “It was a very hot day with little breeze to speak of so I knew the fish would be over on the far side looking for cover. So I fished for most of the day on the long pole fishing 4ml soft expander pellet over micro pellets and only switched off this line to start another along the far side as the bites dropped off.
“Rotating these two swims was the key to keep the fish coming and saw me home by a few pounds.”
It was a tremendous achievement and she can look forward to the big day performing in front of TV cameras and thousands of spectators in July.
On the local match-fishing scene Andy Adams took first place in the latest Buttonhole Qualifier last Saturday.
The match attracted a good field and with a healthy restocking through the winter months this fishery seems to be going from strength to strength.
Adams drew peg five and caught 172lb 6oz of carp on the far side fishing pellet and worm. Runner-up with 145lb 13oz was Joe Bourn on peg 23 and third was Andy Kelk on peg two with 139lb 10oz.
The Beastie Lake on the Decoy Lakes complex must be one of the best lakes in the country right now.
In near-perfect conditions the carp went on a feeding frenzy in the weekend open and matchwinner Chris Barley on peg 29 put a gigantic 395lb 6oz to the scales catching on a long pole with pellet up in the water.
Local expert Jon Whincup fished the same tactics for 305lb 4oz and third on the other side of the lake was John Forster with 251lb 12oz.
The Ramsey & District Angling Society anglers had a great day at Decoy on the Horseshoe Pool.
Despite just about every peg taken, the venue hit top form with Andrew Rayment putting 222lb to the scales to take the honours. He drew peg three and caught carp to double figures all taken on a pellet waggler on red maggot.
Coming a close second was Liam Darler, who fished the long pole with pellet fished shallow for 215lb 3oz from peg 20. Third place went to John Paine on 137lb 13oz from peg one followed by Ricky Young on 133lb 2oz.
JVAC fished the Six Island Pool at Decoy Lakes which fished well for those on the pole fishing up in the water on pellet.
Top rod from peg 15 was Guy Dew, who put 154lb 12oz to the scales. Runner-up from peg four was Andy Gausden on 150lb 13oz, followed by Chris Saunders on 120lb 4oz.