Reel Elite Masters Final 2023 Round-up

This event brought to everyone in association with Reel Elite Apparel and Match Products and with unrivalled sponsorship from The Platt Partnership.

What a weekend! Back from Bonny Scotland and Loch Ken which did not disappoint. We have been questioned all year about the venue for this years final and I can honestly say it was absolutely the right decision.

The weekend started with an Open match pegged on the West bank of the Loch, Twin Bridges, Robins, Birches and Shale Bank all in the drawbag. Our own Cagsy taking the match out with 14.14 of mainly pole-caught Dace and Roach, Lee Hilton runner up with Skimmers for 14.8. Sections taken by Richie on Twin’s, Richie O Connor, and Andy Amos sharing the Robins spoils, Darren Frost with over 10Lbs on Birches, and finally Shaun Bilsbury on Shale Bank. The post-match result as so often with these events rolled on into the evening and night and before we knew it, it was 8am again and time for the Masters day 1 draw. As the first day kicked off so did the wind and gales which blew down the Loch to over 50mph, testing conditions that saw some tackle trashed and some wind-swept faces during the post-match debrief!

Zone winners on day 1 were Martin Greene who showed his class not only on day one but across the whole weekend, and Carr-Mill legend Ronnie Ranson, with section frames from, Mark Goodwin, Andy Amos, Marc Ellement, Ben Roberts, Garry Webster, Darren Frost, Cagsy Parry and Graham Lewis who lost two top fours and a clutch of terminal gear as the wind hit the West bank!

So after the first day there were some clear front runners but with the sections being tight it was all to play for, heading into day 2. Andy Amos, Ian Leach, Darren Frost and Mark Goodwin, Martin Greene and Gaz Lambert all in pole position on 3 points, and with only one ounce separating the top two. I’m not sure of any other event that has been that tight, and again all to fish for on the Saturday. So onto the final day, and anglers rotating to the opposite bank and a chance to dry all the tackle from the previous two days.

Conditions were better and again there was a real buzz around the draw with all the usual banter and fun. It was apparent after the first day that decent draws were required but also coupled with the right tactics for the section as Skimmers were sparse everywhere and small fish were better across certain sections. Decision-making was key and really became evident after the second day where once the weights and points were tallied and checked we were in a position to crown two new Reel Elite Masters. I’ve known Andy Amos and Ian Leach for years. So I’m not surprised that they caused this upset in way of rocking up to a virtually unknown wild venue having only one or two visits under their belt and blitzing the competition not only a field of ultra-competitive competent match anglers but also for the most part, with a wealth of experience on Ken. So onto the final result and again an enormous congratulations to Andy and Ian taking the top spot in such fine fashion. Andy who fished for many years with Mike Lewis was overwhelmed and I know the outcome meant a lot to him on a personal note. Mike would have been so proud mate well fished to both of you class act as they say.

And so we also need to congratulate the runners-up and framers who all angled an amazing couple of days on a truly testing Loch. Darren Hogg and Garry Webster, Martin Greene and Gaz Lambert, Darren Frost and Mark Goodwin, Richard Yates and Marc Ellement,Lewis Breeze and Darren Mulheir, and Ben Roberts and Richie O Connor. We paid out to the top seven and made sure everyone’s efforts during the weekend were rewarded. One last time well done all of you and an extended thanks and well fished to all the entrants and competitors who have taken part not only in the final but at all the qualifying events and matches.

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