Anglers Delight at Cofton Fishing Competition

After a highly successful inaugural Cofton Cup Fishing Festival, cup fever returned to Cofton again this September for the second instalment of the sought after Cofton Cup!

Contested over 3 days, 22 anglers competed for the Cofton Cup and their share of the £1000 prize pot. There were 2 qualifiers, with 11 anglers in each competing for the 12 final berths.

Eventual Cofton Cup champion Andy Everill in action during the final

Qualifier 1, held on Tuesday, was contested under difficult conditions. Gale force winds howled down the lakes, making fishing the pole difficult to say the least with many anglers choosing to fish the margin spots or using the rod and line to cope with the winds.

Paul Bland led the field early on, and ended amassing a record-breaking net of 121.03 lbs. Paul’s net of mainly Carp, came from Peg 25, is the first 100lb + net in competitive angling here at Cofton. 

Second place went to Mike Flory who netted 35.02 lbs from Peg 10, nudging Kevin Wells into third with 34.12 lbs. Scott Preece (26.15lbs), John Davies (26.12 lbs), and Phil Denslow (20.07 lbs) all earnt themselves a spot in the final.

Cofton Cup fishing competition biggest fish winner
Paul Bland picking up his prize for biggest fish during the Cofton Cup (11.05 lbs)

Qualifier 2 was held on the Wednesday, with no let up in the weather, all anglers had to deal with relentless conditions. Bob Rand came out on top from Peg 15 with 54.03 lbs. Andy Everill (29.14 lbs) finished 2nd from Peg 7. Phil Strickland, in his first ever competitive match, placed in third with 22.14 lbs from Peg 12. Also qualifying for the final were Ken Carter (22.01), Steve Bond (15.06) and Martin White (15.05).

Bob Rand looks on in anguish during his final weigh-in

The final took place on Thursday, and an interesting draw put in-form Paul Bland on the unfancied Peg 5 and qualifier 2 winner Bob Rand drew Peg 22 – a peg he knows well since he drew that in the inaugural Cofton Cup competition!

Kevin Wells picked out his self-proclaimed favourite Peg 10, and Andy Everill drew Peg 25 which had produced a big weight during qualifying. Both John Davies and Mike Flory drew the pegs that they had qualified from (15 and 12 respectively). Phil Denslow was happy with unlucky-for-some Peg 13, having drawn Peg 5 on 3 consecutive Cofton Cup draws this year! Scott Preece drew Peg 17, the first time it had made an appearance in the draw. Phil Strickland (Peg 19), Ken Carter (Peg 7), Steve Bond (Peg 8) and Martin White (Peg 21) completed the draw.

From the off it was a close fought contest, with most competitors getting off the mark early on. It was a tough match to call from the side of the banks, going into the weigh-in we were all unsure as to who would come out on top!

With 5 anglers weighing in nets of over 40 lbs, the competition for the money places was a close-caught thing! Coming in at 4th place, Bob Rand with 42.04 lbs, nudging Paul Bland out of the money despite his 40 lbs haul from the tricky Peg 5. 3rd place went to John Davies who extracted 46.10 lbs worth of Carp and Bream. Phil Denslow earnt 2nd place, with 54.02 lbs but this wasn’t enough to take top spot from our new Cofton Cup champion, Andy Everill. He weighed in with 62.06 lbs to take the trophy and the £500 prize money.

The ‘Fab Four’, L – R: Phil Denslow, Andy Everill, Bob Rand, John Davies celebrate in The Swan Inn

Do you think you have what it takes to etch your name into Cofton folklore? The Cofton Cup returns twice in 2019; Monday 13th – Friday 17th May 2019 and Monday 16th – Friday 20th September 2019. You can enter now by calling reception on 01626 890111.

By booking in advance you could save money across our accommodation. Take a look at our offers page for more.

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