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The British Pike Squad, who triumphed in the 20th annual contest against Ireland's best competitive anglers.

THE weekend of October 8/9 saw the British Pike Squad go into battle against the cream of the Emerald Isle’s pike elite . And Angler’s Mail, your No.1 major magazine for predator coverage this autumn and winter, covers the event.

Fishing on the Sibsey Trader in Boston, Lincolnshire and then on the 20 ft fen in Cambridgeshire, Britain’s tactics were simple; stretch the team out over as much water as possible.

And after a very busy weekend, the 20th of this annual pike fishing clash, Britain’s tactics paid handsomely.

With amazing symmetry, the British team took just over 150 lb to the stewards’ scales on each day, to finish with 300 lb 13 oz. Ireland fared better on day two but could not pull back, losing both days and the event with their 238 lb 10 oz total.

The biggest fish, an 18-pounder, fell to British Pike Squad main man Andy Waller, who was chuffed that his ten-man side had avenged previous defeats in this long-running annual fixture.

Andy told Angler’s Mail: ‘Well done to all the lads in the team. This win was well deserved – let this be the start of a winning streak!

‘My special thanks to all of the stewards British and Irish alike,’ added Andy.

DAY ONE REPORT

Paul Danby fished five mile up the west fen on a small side drain and instantly hooked into fish of 4-5 lb, this was a turn up, the team had only expected fish of 2 lb. Andy Waller was also on a side drain and was picking up fish but of only 1-1.5 lb. Reports were coming in of the Irish lads hooking and losing good double-figure fish on the main drain.

Jakub Potykus was on the Sibsey and was amassing a reasonable weight but was also losing a lot of fish; they were very spooky in the gin clear water.

Mark Groom and John Currie had walked the four miles up the Sibsey looking for the double-figure fish they had encountered on the qualifier, but it was not to be. Overcast and drizzle – perfect pike fishing weather… but no one had told the pike!

Britain's Derek Lowe notched up ten pike over the weekend. 'It was a fantastic result and a big thank you to all the irish lads that came over,' said Derek.

Gary Edwards had steadily worked his way up the West fen and was picking up fish on a regular basis.

The Irish had bought over their own secret weapon in the guise of Andrej Duran, he started off nervously but soon overcame his nerves and was in overdrive. News hit the British lads that he had had seven fish only halfway through the match, weights of 30-40 lb were being talked about.

Wayne Lees and Mark Lloyd were working the lower West fen where there were a large head of pike, but would they switch on?

Adam Holmes had opted for the south bank of the West fen which meant he would have to fish and walk some six miles before he could switch banks. It was a risky move but one that was paying off, and Adam had caught a superb 22 fish by the end of the match.

Derek Lowe had caught pike from the off, not big fish but plenty of them. And the Irish secret weapon Andrej had caught 17 fish.

Day 1 result: Great Britain 150 lb 11 oz (63 fish); Ireland 97 lb 3 oz (53 fish).

DAY TWO REPORT

With a 53 lb lead, Britain’s plan was to spread the team out over the five miles in pairs. Jakub and Derek were to do the car park areas; Jakub tried the fly, would that work?

Derek was almost immediately into a fish, a good start. Paul had banked four fish in the first hour.

Adam and Midge (Mark Groom) were to walk to the opposite end of the water and work backwards; it is noted for large pike.

Paul had banked four fish in the first hour – very consistent. Mark Lloyd was soon into fish in the middle sections but Andrej was at it again with TEN fish banked in three hours. The Irish were eating away at Britain’s lead!

Andy Waller with the biggest fish of the match, scaling 18 lb 2 oz.

Brooky, a British steward, heard one of the Irish lads cheering, and looked up 20ft to see an angler with his rod bent double. Around him were a gillie and a steward. The Brits only had stewards, no gillies…. so he had to be Irish.

Brooky and Jodie ran up to see it was not an Irish angler at all but Andy banking a good double-figure fish (pictured right), a specimen which would even the day out a bit.

Midge had hit a pocket of fish, not big, but enough to help keep the British lead. John was working tirelessly and started to reap the rewards, with hit after hit from the far bank. Gary and Wayne were busy working away but the fish were only in certain areas, luck was playing a major part.

The Irish anglers were again losing good quality fish, while the British were happily netting small jacks and adding to their overnight lead, doubling their overnight weight for a comfortable overall victory.

Day 2 result: Great Britain 150 lb 2 oz (56 fish), Ireland 141 lb 6 oz (56 fish).

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