Competitions must be clear how prize pots are going to be distributed

The top there went for a swim at the end of the three-day festival at Reepham Fishery, from left, ru

The top there went for a swim at the end of the three-day festival at Reepham Fishery, from left, runner-up Rob Walton, third-placed Daniel Brydon and winner Jack Gill. Picture: Roger Harris. - Credit: Archant

The equivalent of a grumbling appendix that has been upsetting match anglers' constitutions because of top events paying out section cash as consolation prizes rather than bona fide winnings has been subjected to verbal surgery by a national angling finance expert.

The Angling Trust's David Kent, who has been organising angling competitions by the hundred since 1985, explained that the 'default system' which some anglers suggest is unfair, was introduced to spread the cash flow further.

This has resulted in leading anglers ruled ineligible to benefit from section pools because they had already received prize money from the main results pot. A significant minority disagrees with this system that 'defaults' genuine winners simply to spread the money further down the ranks of the also rans.

However, Kent adds sensible words of caution to all concerned and stressed: 'It is absolutely crucial that every angler is able to make an informed decision on this important issue.'

He further explained that organisers should make crystal clear the basis on which the pools money is allocated, for example 'all in peg fee including pools' or 'peg fee plus separate optional match and section pools'. And they should produce detailed information, explaining the arithmetic of all pay outs.


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He continued: 'Whatever the system, competitors must be kept informed before fishing commences and anglers who want a different option may choose not to compete at all.'

Kent also recommended that separating main result income from the section pool pot was sensible and necessary. He added: 'Every angler should be satisfied and those who are not should have the right either to not enter a default pool or exercise their principles by withdrawing from the event.'

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There is no doubt the default system has become a very popular feature nowadays and a deciding factor in match angling circles nationwide.

In the Broads, event organisers on the major venues differ. On the River Yare, most sponsored contests of GY&NAA favour the default system, while on the Bure and Thurne the NDAA has never wavered from rewarding the leading names on the weight cards.

Rackham shows fulfilling his potential

What is different about Codgers' member Craig Rackham?

Apart from being the third generation of his family competing among the pensioners he is an unusual 20-year-old UEA student member, budding into bloom among the fully flowered experienced seniors at Barford last week. He defeated them all with a Top Lake catch of 57lb 7oz to chalk up his first victory in the Paul Amos Memorial.

'He has proved his tuition at this club was successful by beating us,' said club secretary Terry Lear.

Elsewhere Harleston's Jess Knights headed a Railway carp fest with 158lb 11oz, Andy Morrow (B/F) won at Bridge Farm with 119lbs, Colin Drane topped the CMG with 118lb 2oz at Match Lake and Kevin Clarke was Mulbarton ace with 125lb 10oz at Mill Farm. N Gibbens was head veteran with 102lb 5oz at Topcroft and another Mill Farm winner was Simon Parker (Daiwa AD) with 106lb 8oz.

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