Nick Crooks wins the Northern River Masters

On the hottest weekend of the year so far Browning’s Nick Crooks fished a brilliant two days on the river Tees to win the Covid delayed 2020 Northern River Masters final. Here’s Nick’s story of how the even unfolded. 

Day 1 – Bowesfield peg 42

I had never seen this part of the river before, but my peg on the inside of a bend looked stunning. I made a couple of phone calls before the match and it became apparent that I had drawn a very good area. 

Plumbing around the peg I found two lines on the pole; one in 10.5ft of water at 7m, where I fed four balls with pinkies and a few casters in. The second line was at 13m in 12ft of water, where I fed six balls containing worms, casters and dead maggots in the hope of some skimmers. 

I also set up a Sphere 13ft 80g feeder rod to feed a line at 58m at the start, but never had to pick this up during the match. 

It was a pretty simple match in all honesty, just rotating lines and swapping hookbaits kept the bites coming for most of the match. It was never solid, but just good enough to be patient and know that when I caught a fish it was of a good stamp. I lost a big perch of over a pound and a big eel did me in a snag, which wasn’t ideal and could of been decisive.

I weighed 13lb 14oz. This was enough to win the match so the perfect start. 

Day 2 – Yarm peg 192


End peg in the match, although not a great area for skimmers recently, but I was hoping I could catch some small fish and keep busy. The target was just 5lb, as I knew it would be rock hard again in the 30 degree heat. 

I fished three pole lines this time, and a feeder line at 45m touching the far side grass. 

The peg was deep, and in all honesty, when I plumbed up I really didn’t fancy it. I managed to find somewhere to fish in 10ft, this had been the best depth recently, but my long line was in 16ft plus. 

The day was spent rotating lines just trying to catch anything that might come over one of my lines, as topping-up with more feed was the kiss of death on the river. 

I phoned Ian Rodger ‘roachy’ Rockgod Exley who I knew had caught. 

He said you need another 2lb 7oz to beat me. I told him it was close but I really did think I was short. Luckily my fish went 3lb. 

My total of 16-14 was enough to pip Ian and take the title and a nice £5k cheque too. James Dent took third too so well happy for him, Iv spend all weekend with him and without his help along with Alan Le Patourel and Michael Bower I wouldn’t have come close to winning. 

Big thanks to the Northern RIVER Masters team, it’s been hard to get this final on with all the stuff that’s gone off in the last 12 months.

Loved spending the weekend on the bank with my dad as I never get to do it, that for me has been the highlight of my weekend.

Tom Noton qualifies for Angling Trust Riverfest Final

Browning’s Tom Noton recently qualified for this years RiverFest final on his beloved river Trent. Here’s Tom’s story of how his match unfolded.

Last weekend I fished the qualifier for the RiverFest final on the river Trent around Newark and I only went and qualified! I was drawn on peg 29 at Rolleston. Interestingly, the same peg I was on when I got a good hiding from Hadrian Whittle previously. So it was a chance to hopefully learn from that previous match and put things right.


With another scorcher of a day weather wise I decided that 10lb would be a reasonable target on the day. This would hopefully come from two lines on the feeder, a worm line, and pole and hemp. A slow start for all, but I managed a few dace and roach with the odd 4-5oz skimmer amongst them. I had to scale down and change things constantly to keep the bites coming.


I had a really good spell around 2pm when I couldn’t get in quick enough for little skimmers to 6oz. I had a few bites on the pole, but it wasn’t as quick as the feeder and the stamp was small.

I finished with 13lb 4oz which was enough to win the zone and gain a place in the final again. Hopefully I can go a few better than last year and win it this time – slide on brothers.
Well done to the other qualifiers Lee Wright, Paul Goulding and match winner James Robbins.

Big Sturgeon for Peter Hansen

Over the last four years I have fished quite a lot for sturgeon. Recently, I visited the Blue Rock Fiskepark day ticket lake with my team mate Bjarne Johansen, who had never caught a sturgeon before in Denmark. We were lucky to have nice summer weather. 

Because the sturgeon in this lake grow to around 90kg in weight we use substantial gear for them including,

Black Cat, Shadow Spin 880 rods, Black Cat, Passion Pro DX Spin 270 Headline reels, loaded with 0.45mm Black Cat line, with 2.5m Black Cat 70 kg Rubber Coated Leader, to protect the fish. A 60g lead packed with pellets attracts the sturgeon, and our hookbait was a 20mm Smashed Fish pop-up. 

We fished at a distance of around 35m, in about 10m of water.

Although sturgeon are big fish, they are very careful when taking the bait. We therefore fish with running rigs and are very aware of the smallest movements around the line and bite detectors. It is important to strike at the right time – and it can be difficult to hook the fish.

The fishing on this trip, a nice summer evening, gave us eight sturgeon of between 18kg and 51 kg. Brilliant fishing for these impressive and very powerful fish. 

Peter Hansen

Bjarne Johansen with a terrific sturgeon.

Peter Hansen with a lovely big sturgeon.

The lovely Blue Rock lake – home to big sturgeon.

The tackle and bait we use for big sturgeon.

Trent Tidal Festival 2021

Tidal Trent Three Day Festival

I had the pleasure of fishing the Cadence Fishing UK tidal Trent festival recently. I was out to defend last years win, but as always, with an incredibly strong field it was going to be a tall order! 

Day 1 – Dunham down peg 7. Not ideal, but this is what I love about big natural venues. You never know! It was a very tricky start on the feeder, but I managed to catch some roach on the bolo for 8lb. Andy Starkey’s bream catch and John Smalls roach weight beat me, but third in the section was not a disaster. Although it did put the pressure on with two section wins required now.

Day 2 – Peg 14 Laughterton. Not an area I fancied but I feel Laughterton is quite fair. Again the feeder was rubbish, I did catch a skimmer at the top of the tide, but I was going nowhere. I’d been feeding the float for a couple of hours and thankfully they were waiting for me when I went on it. There was some nice big fat roach amongst them on the bolo, and I finished up with 15lb – enough for the all important section win and 4th in the match.

Day 3 – Peg 26 North Clifton. This area has not fished very well this year and with the better pegs to my left I had work to do. The rascal Tom Scholey on the end caught a nice skimmer early which had me worried. The section fished really, really hard. It was a case of constantly changing things to nick the odd fish, but they were all tiny. I finished up with 7lb 6oz, enough to win the section again. This left with me five points overall. 

Back at the draw I was really pleased to find out I’d managed second overall. Beaten to the top spot by my mate and all round angling legend Matt Godfrey. Awesome Angling mate! Big well done to Gavin Butler for third also.

A great weekend away with the lads with plenty of beer and laughs. Finally, a big shout out to Alan Henry and Ryan for running a faultless festival. 

Tom Noton

Small fish on the bolo dominated my catches.

Skimmers mixed in with the roach were worth their weight in gold.

Pairs Match win for Trigg at Moorlands

Craig ‘Trig’ Edmunds and his partner Pemb Wrighting had a brilliant result at the two-day event at Moorlands Farm last week. Here’s Craig’s write-up of the event. 

Over the last couple of days I fished the pairs match at Moorlands Farm with my partner Pemb Wrighting.

On the Friday I drew peg 9 on Middle, which is a lake that I had never fished before, so wasn’t sure what to expect. 

I had been told that it was mostly F1’s, with a good head of skimmers and with some carp to go at too. As it turned out, I had plenty of bites to end up with 73lb, made up of around 45lb of F1s, with the rest being small skimmers caught on worm. It was really enjoyable fishing, and I finished up second in the section. 

Pemb did brilliantly to win his section with 133lb on Island peg 2, so a really good start, and all still to play for on day 2. 

Day 2 and I drew peg 19 on Moors. Again, a lake that I had never fished before. I had a few fish on hard pellets early, before catching some skimmers and F1s on casters shallow. I then had a good run of F1s short on meat, but felt I needed some carp to frame, so spent the last hour down the edge for seven carp on meat or corn for 98lb, to win the lake. 

Pemb did what Pemb does and had a superb 166lb of F1s on peg 46 on High Meadow to win his lake. This gave us a total of 5 points which was the same as Kieran and John, but we managed to edge them by 40lb on weight to win overall. Well done to the both of them, who put in brilliant performances each day and to the other framers. 

A really enjoyable two days. It was proper thinking fishing, which I love, with you having to chop and change to keep bites coming. Thanks to Simon Jones and the Grant Albutt family for putting on a great little event with plenty of laughs especially the Friday evening watching the football. 

Moorlands was the first commercial I fished over 25 years ago as a young lad so it’s great to see it in good hands. It will definitely be one to put in the calendar for next year! 

Craig ‘Trigg’ Edmunds

Lindholme win for Ian Ralph and James Hall

Dynamic duo Ian Ralph and James Hall had a brilliant result in the Interservice Pairs competition recently at Lindholme Lakes. Drawing peg 39 on Bonsai lake, Ian has won the lake with 138lb 3oz, whilst over on Benny’s Lake James has put 203lb 7oz on the scales for third on the lake, giving the pair a combined score of 4 points, and the win amongst the 27 teams competing. 

Close Battle for First in the Ivy House Festival

Craig Edmunds has a great result last week winning the five day festival at Ivy House Lakes. Here’s Craig’s day-by-day run down of how he got on. 

Day 1 – Willow, peg 21. 

Spent the first couple of hours mugging as I had no indications short early. This resulted in four fish. It appeared that few people were catching, so it was nice to get off the mark.

I then noticed a bit of mud come up at 13 metres over a spot where I had been pinging a few pellets and had three carp on this. With two and a half hours to go I fed my edges and the carp immediately came in.

This led to what I can only describe as possibly the most hectic edge fishing I have ever ha. In the last hour and a quarter I filled two and a half nets to finish up with just shy of 300lb and the win. 

Big potting a mixture of maggots, micros and corn after every fish was the way to go, with a couple of worms on the hook. They were feeding so aggressively and mopping up the bait so quickly that I didn’t foul-hook a single fish. I went away thinking what might have happened if I had started feeding down the edge earlier! 

Day 2 – Peg 11 on Heron. 

I started short on pellets for 10 fish, but noticed a few swirls on the shallow line and spent the rest of the day at 11-metres on pellets for 150+ F1s for 194lb and another win. The fish were keen to come right up and 8-inches deep proved to be the right depth on the day.

Day 3 – Peg 10 on Old match lake. 

Spent most of the day at 16-metres to the island catching stockies on pellets and a few on the Method feeder, before a few better ones caught late down the edge on worms over casters and maggots. My 115lb was good enough for a section 2nd. 

Day 4 – Peg 46 on Kingfisher. 

The previous three days on this lake had all been won fishing shallow with casters, so that was the main plan of attack, however it didn’t quite go to plan. 

I have only fished this lake twice before and for some reason thought the stamp of fish were bigger, so spent too long trying to catch quality shallow when I should have caught quantity, as I could catch plenty of smaller ones on the deck under my shallow line on worm heads. 

I finished up with 93lb for 4th and with a 95lb and 101lb ahead of me I was kicking myself for being far too positive too early, instead of feeling my way in. I did the opposite of what I try to get across when coaching, so only had myself to blame. At this point I thought that was the end of my chances of winning. 

Day 5 – 22 on Heron. 

I had a dozen carp short on pellets before that dried up. Switching to my shallow line, again on pellets, didn’t bring any signs, so it was time to change again. Coming back short I change to feeding casters and this worked better. Would the same approach work on the shallow line? 

Going back out I spent the rest of the day at 11-metres catching on a banded caster for 146lb, which won the section. Jamie Read, who is a cracking angler, needed a third in section to win, but faired a similar fate to me the previous day on Kingfisher, and could only manage a 5th, which meant I won the festival. 

I felt for Jamie, and speaking to him after he also said that he couldn’t catch shallow, yet when he changed to fishing on the deck with worms he caught plenty of smaller fish, but when you are already behind you always feel you have to be positive to claw it back, so I completely understood his mindset. Decision making in fishing is everything.

A brilliantly run festival by Andy and Karen, with the complex fishing its head off all week; testimony to the hard work they have put in. A different approach is needed for each lake with F1s and stockie carp in Heron, big carp in Willow and a mixture of stockies and bigger carp on Kingfisher and the Match lake, with plenty of silvers to go at, which can make a big difference with natural baits being vital to score decent section points. It certainly is a fishery going from strength to strength! Well done to all the framers and all that took part in a lovely friendly atmosphere.

Craig ‘Trigg’ Edmunds

Monster Danish Rudd for Peter Hansen

Despite the cold weather this April, Browning-backed Danish angler Peter Hansen has been enjoying some great rudd fishing sport, and recently landed an absolute giant of 45.5cm and 1.85kg.

Peter had already visited the lake several times this Spring, catching some nice rudd to around 1kg, but it was on his latest trip that he struck gold. 

Feeder fishing at 50-metres in two metres of water, with a bunch of maggots on the hook, the huge rudd couldn’t resist Peter’s succulent carpet of bait, consisting of 3/4 Champion’s Choice Big Fish and Champion’s Choice Black Magic, laced with sweetcorn and maggots. 

Peter’s set-up comprised a 60g Xenos Pro Cast Feeder, to a size 10 Sphere Beast hook and 0.28mm hooklength, to give Peter a good chance of also landing any of the lakes resident carp. 

A truly stunning fish. Congratulations Peter! 

Peter’s rudd feeder rig.

What an amazing fish for Peter.

Brilliant Result for Browning Youth Team in the Commercial Fishery National

The Browning Youth team recently became the first youth squad to compete in the National Commercial Fishery Championships, and despite being up against some of the strongest anglers in commercial fishing, came away with a brilliant result!

Team Manager, Paul Etherington, gives us an insight into how the match unfolded.


We entered this event as the first ever Youth only team to compete at this level, no other youth or junior squad has ever attempted this event. We wanted as a team to compete at the highest level and against the best anglers in the UK as a team. 

Our team has a mixture of experience, youth, and determination to succeed. The other differing factor with our team compared to others is that we are split across the North and South of the UK. So, unlike other teams, who have more time to practice, we are more limited by school, college and for a few now, work getting in the way.

The draw was made live on the Angling Trust competitions page the day before the event. A random draw for the teams, and then a second draw for our peg set, which is a defined set of pegs across all lakes being used. 

We were handed peg set 8. Fortunately, our manager Carl Shepherdson knows the venue, and we also have two Lindholme regulars within the main Browning UK Team in Jim Hall and Rich Kerridge so they both gave us valuable information on how to approach each lake. 

We had a chat amongst our group and we all agreed mid-table would be a fantastic achievement and a good target to aim for, especially knowing the calibre and company we were in.

As it usually does, the weather wasn’t too kind to us with a hard frost overnight. It looked to change the mood slightly among many when turning up in the morning, but we didn’t let that bother us as we were focussed on getting the job done for each other. 

In our peg set we didn’t have any pegs that were deemed to be ‘run as fast as you can’, like-wise, none that wanted to send you ‘wheel spinning out of the car park home’, it was a good steady set of pegs. 

The plan was to just fish a steady match and keep the bites coming from whatever species was happy to feed at that point – it’s valuable to think of the team points rather than individual glory in events like this.

Come 4 o’clock the nerves started to increase as we all started to message each other to try and work out how we had done. Both our managers Carl and Paul Etherington were keeping up-to-date and posting via the Angling Trusts scoring website live online. 

The first lot of results to come through left several of the team towards the top half of their sections, which was good and the team were placed 7th. We then started to think it wasn’t going to be, as a couple of lads had a really hard day. What we thought were bad results turned out to be, over a couple of sections, decent results, it’s just unfortunate only your 11 or 12 peg section counted for points.

Ninety minutes after the all-out the weigh-in was complete. As with all National events the top three in each section and top 10 overall are not announced to allow the staff to check and ensure any points and monies to be paid out are correct. 

We had Matt Mollart, Will Marchant, Charlie Sibley and Tommy Clark each in the top three of their sections, and we knew by this point that 7th was the lowest we could come, but had to wait nervously to find out the final result.

Come 6.30pm and the final results were in. We had done it, coming 7th overall as a team out of 23 on our first attempt against some of the best teams in commercial match fishing. We were only one point away from 6th, something we felt we could have achieved, a couple of lads ruing some lost fish, but every team could say the same. 

We couldn’t believe that we had made the top 10 in the Commercial National, and not only that had Matt, Charlie and Tommy finishing 3rd in their sections and Will coming 2nd in his. Overall, from 230 anglers, Matt Mollart who had only turned 16 a few days prior to the event came 20th, Charlie Sibley 24th and Will Marchant 40th. One of our other team anglers Josh Derry fished for his adult team on the day and also came 2nd in his section and 25th overall. We couldn’t believe we had beaten our main Browning UK Team as well, who had one of the strongest line-ups in the field, so we feel privileged.

Each of us played a huge part and for our first event as a Browning backed team, we hope this is the start of many more to come. 

We would like to thank Simon Henton for giving us this opportunity, George Kenrick for the product support we have received, Jim Hall and Rich Kerridge for the info to help us to this result and each other for coming together and ensuring we work as a team.

The Browning Youth Commercial National Team are:

Ethan Etherington

Josh Paling

Charlie Sibley

Matt Mollart

Adam Tollitt

Owen Newman

Tommy Clark

Will Marchant

Tyler Bird

Joe Peake


Team Managers

Carl Shepherdson

Paul Etherington

"we hope this is the start of many more to come."

New Big River Block Feeder


A specially designed feeder for fishing in moderately fast-flowing rivers, where extra weight is often required. The stainless steel cage is extremely durable and casts straight and true for improved accuracy.

This feeder is available in a range of different weights and has a diameter of 3cm and a length of 3.3cm. The mesh size of 6mm ensures that your bait reaches the river bed intact before it begins to be released. 

The rounded corners of the feeder give improved stability and help the feeder cut through the air improving casting distance.

Available in weights from 80 grams to 140 grams.

These feeders cast incredibly accurately, and are ideal for moderate flows are larger rivers.

The stainless steel cage is very strong.

"River anglers will love these."

The shape has been designed to give improved distance and accuracy.

The cage size is ideal for most river fishing scenarios.