John Horsey, one of England’s most capped anglers, was crowned National Champion at a recent event held on Rutland Water, where 120 of the country’s top anglers were competing for places in the England Lock-Style teams for 2015. Having come close on four previous attempts: Horsey reached his bag limit on both days of the competition – including a time bonus on the first day to finish ahead for the field with five points – a first on day one and a fourth on day two, which placed him well clear of second-placed Rob Barden (18 points) and third-placed Martin Burgess (25 points).
John was one of 37 anglers to catch their limit on day one, where he won the day with an eight-fish limit for just under 23lb fishing Manton Bay on dries, plus the valuable time bonus. A switch of location on day two – the top of the South Arm, away from the bulk of the field, saw John again catch his limit in plenty of time, and again on dries, with a weight that ensured the coveted first place.
The format of the two-day event rewards consistency, which was reflected at the weigh-in on day two with some anglers who faired well on the first day, failing to capitalise on their good start.
The top 28 anglers over the two days are selected to represent their country either for the Spring International at Rutland Water in May 2015, or at the Lake of Menteith for the Autumn International in September 2015.
One angler to make the grade for Angling Trust Team England for 2015 was Total FlyFisher’s Steve Cullen.
The full list of anglers who make up the squad are: John Horsey, Rob Barden, Martin Burgess, Mark Withyman, Gary Haskins, Mike Heritage, Tony Baldwin, Frank Sumnall, Pete Kempton, Richard Wood, Craig Smith, James Atkinson, Chris Bobby, Joel Beeney, Gary Morris, Carl Malpass, Brad Gifford. Paul Davison, Lee Bartlett, Kim Green, Lloyd Pallet, Steve Cullen, Ian Colclough, Mark Glass, John Hardy, Richard Slater, Paul Golding and Mark Stevens.