10:56am Monday 30th April 2012
By Phil Hatton
THE third annual Help for Heroes event at Lymm Vale was a wonderful success, with the format of a light-hearted tench fishing competition held over 24 hours continuing to prove popular for our kind-hearted members.
Fourteen anglers volunteered to take part, each donating a minimum of £20 to the worthy cause.
Unlike previous years the weather was less than friendly, and it was a cold and damp Saturday morning when the 14 contestants gathered for a mug of tea and a bacon sandwich ahead of the event.
Once the refreshments were over, each angler drew from the hat for his choice of swim and soon all of them were settling in to the fishing.
Perhaps as a result of the conditions the fish were not very obliging and by the time the fishing was halted for a barbecue very few tench had been caught.
Undeterred, the anglers resumed and as the day wore on the odd fish began to show, with nearly half the field managing to catch something by nightfall.
Sunday morning started wet and windy, but fortunately it improved, as did the fishing.
By the time the contest ended at noon, some good fish had graced the nets of the luckier rods.
There were three prizes on offer this year; one for the best aggregate weight, one for the biggest male fish and one for the biggest female fish.
On this occasion the top weight was caught by Malcolm Hough, who recorded five fish for a total of 21lbs 5oz.
‘Huffy’s’ prize was a complimentary 24-hour day ticket for the top class carp venue Blakemere Leisure Fishery near Whitchurch.
The lucky angler who caught the biggest female was committee member Bill Last, with a fish of 8lbs 7oz.
Not only was this a prize-winner on the day but it was Bill’s new personal best for the species.
His reward came in the form of a new float rod donated by club member Dave Steen.
Three-time contestant Barry Brooks finally broke his run of blanks in the event with a nice male fish of 6lbs 4oz, which equalled his previous best.
His achievement earned him a pair of reels supplied by Trafford Angling Supplies, a long-standing sponsor of the event.
Throughout the weekend family, friends and Lymm AC members stopped by to lend their support and make a donation and in doing so helped boost the total amount raised for the charity to just under £1400, a new record for the event.
Occasions like this always take plenty of organising and behind-the-scenes support, and this one was no exception.
Club veterans John Stubbs and Terry Finnegan lent invaluable help, providing a seemingly endless supply of tea, stew and sandwiches.
No Lymm fish-in is ever complete without a substantial ‘Bill Last Barbecue’ and this one was no exception as 14 well-fed anglers can testify.
Overall the event was a great success and hopefully we can do it again next year.
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