RoTAS Spring Festival, 27th & 28th May 2017 – Westwood Lakes

Hawk Pool   (Day One)

  1. Bernard Robinson       114lb  4oz
  2. Dave Burton                   67lb  9oz
  3. Mick McLoughlan           64lb  1oz

With such a great weekend last year at our first Westwood Lakes Festival, expectations were high for this year’s visit, and we were not disappointed with weather set for a warm, sunny weekend.

Upon arrival on Friday fish seemed to be spawning, so we were hoping Saturday would be back to normal.

Saturday started well with a warm easterly wind blowing down to pegs 10 and 11, so these looked to be the favoured pegs today. Vince was placed on peg 1 to give ease of access for his wife and daughter to be able to assist with his day’s fishing.

As expected, from the start the anglers drawn on the mid to high numbers were catching steadily. Just as last year (when he won the second match from the same peg) Bernard had drawn peg 17. When he went on his short line the fish were there again, and he continued to catch well for the rest of the match to win with an impressive 114lb 4oz.

Dave was next door on peg 18. He started on his short line but the fish were not feeding with any vigour. So he went on his track line and caught steady for a couple of hours on worm and expander, before going long and catching barbel shallow for second place. Later in the match the wind switched round and started gusting, making everyone’s fishing difficult.

Mick had drawn peg 14 and he also fished down the track before going over shallow later on after the barbel. In the end he just missed out on second and had to settle for a respectable third.

There was also a creditable performance from Vince, landing 15lb 9oz and beating three anglers to place him 15th.

After a great day fishing, most ended up in the pub for half a shandy and a bit of hip shaking. Pete Marston was showing the young ’uns how to groove, after which a select few were invited back to Mark and Charlotte’s hot tub!!

Hawk Pool   (Day Two)

  1. Bernard Robinson       96lb 15oz
  2. Dave Burton                 91lb  2oz
  3. Mark Baker                   66lb 11oz

With the wind switching round to a warm westerly, and in slightly overcast conditions, the other end of the lake looked most favourable on pegs 1 and 20.

With the draw done, peg 1 was left in the bag for match secretary, Dave who was quietly please with this! There were three fewer fishing today so more space was available on the less favoured side of the lake.

Bernard Robinson on peg 3 hit the ground running and was catching from the off. He caught steady all day down the track on dead reds and worm head, catching carp and good ide before switching to down the edge late on for another excellent match winning weight.

Dave on peg 1 struggled for an hour and a half, trying to get the carp going on shallow caster – but failed! So, out came plan ‘B’ with the tip, and he then caught well for the rest of the match on this method. Despite putting the odd lump in the net from down the margin in the last half hour, Dave wasn’t quite able to catch Bernard.

Mark Baker had decided only to fish top 4 today as he broke his No.5 section in the wind the day before. So, to catch 66lb 11oz from unfancied peg 12 was quite an achievement, helping him to complete the frame on the day.

With Bernard Robinson winning on both days it meant that he won the 2017 ROTAS Spring festival with ease. Also, with Dave coming second on both days this tied up the top two positions! For third place overall, both Nic Wort and Mark Baker were on 8 points, so it all came down to weight. With Nic totalling 122lb 7oz and Mark 121lb 13oz, the decision went to Nic by just 10oz!

With the individual title wrapped up it now came down to the pairs, which was very close as just six points covered the top 5 pairs. But Dave Burton & Charlotte Baker just sneaked it from Bernard Robinson & John Burton by just 3 points, with some excellent pin-point tip work from Charlotte helping to make up those precious points needed to take herself and Dave over the line for the win.

Finally, a big thanks to Mark Baker and Charlotte Baker for organising this year’s festival. Everyone who attended this year’s Festival is already looking forward to next year’s weekend away with RoTAS.

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