After another sellout year for the Fish North qualifiers, it was down to the final to see who would be crowned the next Fish North Champion and the sum of £12,000.

With 2020 being a write-off due to coronavirus, it was fantastic to see so many people back match fishing. The draw took place the night before at our finalist get-together at Tollerton Ponds. All 15 finalists and some family and friends attended and the favoured area amongst the crowd was the high numbers on the lake as this seemed to be the most dominant area in the recent practice matches, but with the Arena Lake you just never know where the winner will come from.

Andy drew peg 15, and he was not as optimistic as some of the others on the high numbers, but Andy has a fantastic record in match fishing, and he is definitely one person you never write off no matter what peg he draws.

On the day of the final, the weather was once again on our side, with light winds in a southern direction and sun and cloud but no rain throughout the day and temperatures up to around the high teens.

The early runners during the match were Rob Swan on peg 25 who got off to a flying start, this was followed by Lee Hellawell, who as it turned out was the only angler to fish the feeder for the entire match. Matty Dawes on peg 23 also had a nice early run of fish and the paste master, Phil Sellars, over on peg 27 was putting a few of the bigger stamp paste fish together. Andy as it happened, got off to a very slow start not really catching a great deal. On the other side of the lake, it was apparent it was fishing harder, with fish being caught but not as quick as the high numbers.

Moving into the next few hours, Andy had found his rhythm, catching up and down on his long pole line. Phil was still catching as well as Matty and Rob and Lee was still putting a few together on the feeder. The backup weights had Ash Clements on peg 5 catching a few short whilst the rest of the field all started to fall behind and it would be a big task to catch the leading pack.

As the last hour approached it was so hard to call the winner, we still had Matty Dawes, Rob Swan, Phil Sellars, Lee Hellawell and Andy Bennett neck and neck.

The weigh-in became as tense as the first year, with Lee weighing first off peg 1 putting 95lb 9oz on the scales, Ash Clements was next best on 5 with 85lb 8oz and then it was Andy who took the lead with 109lb 14oz. We then got to Matty on peg 23 who had 96lb dead, followed next by Rob Swan who moved into the 2nd spot with 104lb 9oz which left Phil the only man who could beat him as Anth Stock on 27 admitted to a much lower weight. Phil put 100lb 3oz on the scales, which meant Andy was crowned the winner.

Andy had put a masterclass together from what everyone said was on the recent form the poorer area of the lake.

The presentation followed and we then grabbed a quick interview with the champ which you can find on the Fish North Final video on our YouTube Channel.