Post Match Report
I turned up at this venue with an open mind regarding all the work that had been carried out over the winter months. Every man and his dog seemed to have an opinion on it and it wasn t all good either!. When I walked round Thursday afternoon to peg out for the match I was pleasantly surprised with the sight that greeted me. A lot of tidying up around the banks had been done, with new pegs constructed and installed. Snags had been tastefully removed, along with all the line and leads that seem to go with them. Some anglers love to place baits in places carp can t possibly be safely fished for. Along with this another 30 plus double figure fish had been stocked into the lake, so I was looking forward to a good event.
We had a triple qualifier on Barston at the end of May in which 9 pairs went through to the final at Fosters Penns Hall syndicate lake in mid July. All we needed now were the top three pairs from this event and we would have our full compliment for the Midlands final.
In the past two years, 3 fish would have been enough to get you through, sometimes only 2 better ones. We started at noon Friday and to be honest I wasn t expecting a lot of early action. To my surprise we had 3 fish out before early evening all in their 20 s. By Friday night we had a total of 13 fish which were spread all around the lake. It was wide open at this stage and a great contest in progress. We had been going for less than 12 hours and already had 2 more fish than we had at the same event in 2015 for the entire weekend. It was only 7 less than the 2014 total. Things were looking great so far. What would the morning bring?
By first light Saturday peg 8 s, Aj Collier, half of last year s BCC champions now fishing with Josh Winfield were in a commanding lead with 5 fish for 107lb 11oz. They had 3 good twenties amongst them with fish of 28lb 3oz, 23lb 15oz and 25lb to boost their tally. In second place with 4 fish at 68lb 15oz were Christian Hughes and Ian Hirst in peg 2. Just behind in third were reigning MCC champs, peg 1, Ste Alford and Dean Crust on 3 fish for 50lb 14oz. Dean had to fish the remainder of the match on his own and dropped down to three rods as his partner had to return home for family commitments. There remaining 6 pairs who had fish were separated by less than 7 lb, so the battle to make the final was really hotting up. Midnight Saturday saw peg 1 still out in front on 123lb 5oz with only 1 fish caught since morning. After staying up all night Friday Aj and Josh wound in and went for a refreshing shower, resting their swim in the process (what effect would this have?) Joe Sallis and Jon Grouse next door in peg 7 now moved into runner up spot by adding 3 more fish giving them a total of 90lb 13oz. The guys in peg 2 had now dropped to third and hadn t caught since Saturday first thing. The rest of the field were still closely grouped with very little between them, all chasing that 3rd illusive qualifying place.
Sunday morning arrived but the fishing had now started to slow a little by comparison to the previous day. Thom Airs, from Bauer Media was on site to do a feature on the event for Augusts UK Carp magazine.
Pegs 8 and 7 were still in 1st and 2nd places but had added just a little more weight. These two pegs were now on over 100lb each. The real battle was for 3rd place now and putting themselves in with a chance were local anglers Ben Holland and Simon Gallier who added another two doubles to their tally to put them on 74lb 7oz with just a few hours left. They had also lost fish and landed a 13lb Bream during the match. The next 4 positions were taken up by Christian Hughes and Ian Hirst on 68lb 15oz, Ste Alford and Dean Crust on 66lb 12oz, Mark Sawyer and Simon Wheeler on 63lb 12oz, Ady Baumforth and Simon Tansley 61lb 12oz. Any of these pairs could still qualify with just one fish. Below these were Colin Meadows and Jason Hammond 37lb 9oz, John Garlick and Wayne Locking 31lb 12oz. This was the first time that these two pairs had tried the Carp match scene, they should give themselves a massive pat on the back as they were fishing the team event this weekend and both ended up putting points on the board for their respective teams. Well done all four of you.
Not long before the end Dean crust had a take which resulted in him landing a Pike, which was very bad luck and just goes to prove we are not always sure what will pick up our bait. The match ended with no further catches. This is definitely the best match I have ever run on this venue. Only three pairs out of the twelve blanked but even they hooked and lost fish so it could have all been so very different. There were 39 fish caught for a total weight of 683lb 12oz. This breaks down as 13 twenties, twenty three doubles and three nine pounders giving an average weight of over 17.5lb per fish, very respectable I would say, especially as the fish are so dark and stunning in photos. That s why this venue is so popular and an ever present in our Midlands competition.
Qualifiers L-R 2nd Jon Grouse & Joe Sallis-1st Josh Winfield & Aj Collier-3rd Ben Holland & Simon Gallier
Josh Winfield 23lb 15oz – Aj Collier 28lb 3oz
Joe Sallis 22lb 8oz – Jon Grouse 21lb 8oz
Simon Gallier 15lb 11oz – Ben Holland 18lb 8oz
Ian Hirst 21lb 7oz – Christian Hughes
Dean Crust 15lb 15oz – Ste Alford
Mark Sawyer 21lb 15oz – Colin Wheeler
Simon Tansley – Ady Baumforth 21lb 3oz