THE highest number of contestants for more than a decade took part in Keighley Angling Club’s latest matchplay competition.

The 21 competitors braved cold temperatures under bright, clear skies to take a peg along the Leeds-Liverpool canal in a bid to win one of the cash prizes on offer.

The match was won by Andrew Smith, who took pole position with a 26lb haul mainly comprised of bream caught on caster and bread.

Ian Fletcher came second with a total weight of 12.3lb. Third place went to Andrew Thomas, who weighed in with 10.62lbs.

The club’s newly-elected match secretary Rob Carter said: “The four-and-a half-hour match was enjoyed by everyone who took part.

“The canal has been fishing well recently and it was satisfying to see so many people putting good quality catches into their keep nets.

“Perch, skimmers, and shoals of bream were tempted by a variety of baits including worm, maggot, caster, and bread punch.

“Most anglers used poles successfully, although a number of perch were caught using a feeder rod.

“The largest single bream weighed over 4lb, while a 1.5lb perch was netted using a hook baited with worm.

“Unfortunately, one competitor narrowly missed the chance to land one of the large family of carp which is known to inhabit the stretch of water running through Silsden.

“Skipton Angling Club gave so much support to this event and it was great to see some of their members taking part alongside our own.

“I particularly want to thank Skipton for their help and participation, which made this match such a notable success.”

The next match in the series will take place on Sunday, January 30. Meet at Snaygill for an 8am draw.

For further details, ring Rob Carter on 07387 309956. Details can also be found in KLTackle shop, Keighley.