We have a monster blog from Luke Church this time round as he looks back over all of his fishing goings on since the start of September…
September saw me out competing in both the British Carp Angling Championship and UK Carp Championship finals and it’s these two events that I will start off covering.
First up was the BCAC final at Wraysbury, which I was fishing with my good pal Kev Grout. I got home from a session on Farlows on the Tuesday evening and literally had until the Thursday to re-organize all of my gear, re-spool, prep rigs, get shopping, generally sort my life out and make my way to the lake on the Thursday after work haha! Under pressure I somehow managed to get all of this done and excitingly got to the lake and did a couple of laps round with Kev before it got dark. As with the usual finals at the BCAC, a lot of the competitors were there and lots of chat and excitement was to be seen along with the obvious anxiety and nerves. This was to be the 3rd final at Wraysbury in a row for Kev and I, we were hoping to beat our previous best result of 6th position on the lake. This time round the final was going to be an ‘out of the hat’ draw so there was no need to make a list of swims, just wait for our names to be called out and pick a number out of the bag. We got our heads down around midnight and woke early on the Friday morning to have one more walk round before the draw.
Everyone nervously gathered round and we all listened to the introduction and rules before the draw commenced. Funnily enough our names got called out 1st and Kev picked out peg 5 (The Lawns), we were generally happy with this peg as we knew it would do bites and we would have a chance to compete. The rest of the names got called and the final was set, we got our gear round to the swim and got ourselves ready for what was to be a very intense 48 hours ahead of us.
Over the previous two years fishing the lake we had learnt loads so this time we felt like we had a much better idea of how to attack the lake. One of the vital things we had learnt and this suited especially to the peg we were fishing – braided mainlines. We spooled up with 35lb Horizon and this was perfect for the job in hand with snags and lots of weed present in the peg. All rods were rigged up and as the horn sounded for the start of the match at 12 we got about our business and pinged the rods onto the spots.
Only a couple of hours in Kev received a slow take and little did he know what he had connected into. Initially the fish gave a couple of powerful lunges before it must have got its head into some weed, the fight then became steady and Kev walked the back whilst steadily retrieving. We soon saw the ball of weed and I lifted the entire clump into the net along with what looked like a large Silhouette of a Carp. The fish was unhooked and hoisted onto the scales by the marshals – 35lbs 15oz’s of Redmire strain original Wraysbury Common! What a start! Photos were done and not long after the same rod was away resulting in a gorgeous 21lbs Linear. This gave us a very early lead and a dream start to boot.
The swim went quiet for three or four hours, then out of the blue I received a take which unfortunately came off before I had even connected into the fish. With the adrenaline pumping I quickly re-positioned the rod and within a matter of minutes it was away again, this time I managed to connect to the fish and a few minutes later the fish was weeded up again but moving slowly. Eventually we had the fish in the bag and it weighed in at 19lbs 4oz’s.Going into darkness we were sat in 1st position on 3 fish for 76lbs 9oz’s. We were truly made up with how the match had started, tactically we had got it right and we just hoped the action would carry on as it was. Strangely there was no action during the night and the morning session proved successful for some of the other pairs whilst we had to sit and wait. By the midway stage we were sat in 2nd position and praying for another bite or two which came in the afternoon. My rod ripped off and basically did a wheelie on the rests as I was locked up fishing with the braided mainline. Hurryingly I pulled into the rod and after a decent fight the fish was just about in the net with a ball of weed attached, on this one I actually had to jump in and scoop everything up into the net as there was so much weed attached. The fish weighed in at 17lbs 4oz’s. As we went into the final night we were around 90lbs behind 1st position, on Wraysbury two or three of the larger residents could very quickly rocket you up the leader board so we had to stay focus and hope for something decent to come along. As we got through the night we started getting the news that the lads in third were catching and by first light we found ourselves biteless and sat in 3rd and still around 90lbs behind 1st.
With everything still to play for we carried on fishing as hard as we could and wishing some luck to come our way. When the bite finally came I hooked into a fish which roared off, it was something like off river monsters, it’s the only way I can describe it whilst fishing with the braided mainline. Within 20 seconds the fish had serrated the line on some undergrowth, probably zebra muscles and frustratingly cut me off – devastated! The other lads started catching again and we had a lot of catching up to do. One more bite came after this with another 14lber falling to my rods, but it was too little to late as the horn sounded for the end of the match.
At the end of the match considering the difficulty of our peg we were both very happy with a podium finish and grateful for an opportunity, we fished as hard as we could and did our best but it wasn’t our year this year. We ended up on 5 fish for 108lbs 6oz’s. Huge congratulations has to go to Bart and Kev who retained their title, epic angling, what an achievement – well done lads!!! We did manage to win the team trophy with Team Carp Talk so the presentation took place and we received two trophies at the end so all in all it was a successful year for us both and we can’t wait for next year’s event already.Our year of the BCAC was filmed by our good mate Mozza on behalf of DNA so be sure to check that out when it goes live. We have seen snippets and it looks awesome, good work Mozza as always.
No rest for the wicked, I literally had a day to let this sink in before prepping again for the following weekend of which was to be the UKCC final at Farlows with Jason. We arrived on the Thursday night and made tracks around the lake deciding our swim choices and this match was a ‘watercraft draw’.
We woke to lots of wind and rain, perfect for Carp fishing and we were really looking forward to the match. I brushed aside my tiredness and got ready for business. The draw took place at the usual time of 9am. Sadly our names didn’t get called out until 12th out of the 16 pairs fishing the match. We got our 12th choice swim and almost instantly knew our chances of winning were out of the window knowing that the fish were held up elsewhere and we were nowhere near them.
We got set up for the 48 hour match and planned to fish hard as we always do. Surprisingly Jason managed a couple of quick bites which shot us straight up into 2nd position on 2 fish for 33lbs 9oz’s on the first evening. Frustratingly this was the only action we received and after two hours fishing the match we didn’t see another fish in our water for the remaining 46 hours and nothing else got caught from our end of the lake after this. Somehow on the final morning we were still only one 23lbs + fish behind a 4th podium spot, but nothing happened in the end. Our final position was 8th.
There was a proper ding dong battle going on for first though at the other end of the lake which eventually got won with seven minutes to go by Colin Scott and Andrew Mundy. Congratulations lads, top angling.
Since the two finals in the early part of September I haven’t really done a great deal of angling. I have been feeling fairly done in and was kind of looking forward to having a week or two away just to catch up with myself although I would always been thinking about fishing. Also I have worked three weekends on the fish farm to make up for some time that I had off which obviously restricts me from going anywhere as I need to be at the farm mornings and afternoons to feed the fish. To add to this I have had one of my best friends stag do’s in London which took quite a lot of organizing and doing, it also took me quite a few days to recover, then just to finish I haven’t long been back from a five day wedding holiday of another good friend of mine which was in Cyprus.Moving on, getting back onto fishing now and just give you an update on how things are shaping up and what I have done this month albeit very little. A few weeks back Kev and I got together to discuss our plans for the autumn/winter. After lots of thought we both decided we were going to rejoin a lovely fishery not too far from where we live. Nar Valley Fisheries in Norfolk has lots of lakes on the complex and a river so it offers plenty for everyone. For us there were two main lakes we wanted to target, one being a 37 acre snaggy pit and the other being a beautiful 4 acre lake. My plan was to fish the big lake over the next couple of months before (if) it switches off and then I will focus most of my efforts of back onto the smaller lake for the winter. Not ruling out West Stow or the odd social session elsewhere.
Kev and I were both very excited about fishing the complex again following a two year break, so we decided to have a social on the smaller lake the day after we got our ticket. We arrived at the lake at a similar time; I was only fishing a 12 hour overnighter so we were hopeful of finding a few fish quickly. Within minutes of walking a decent fish lumped out of the water where the wind was hacking into, shortly after another showed itself in the same area. Kev and I flipped a coin for swims and I managed to get the peg where they were showing. I soon got about chucking a couple of Rapide solid bags out onto the spots and baited with some 8mm S7 boilies and crayfish mini mix pellets. I started receiving liners around 11pm and by 11:30pm my right hand rod was away, the fight didn’t last too long in all honesty and before I knew it, I had a pristine 12lbs 4oz common lying in the bottom of my Torque landing net. We did a couple of quick snaps then I slipped him back to his watery home. Nothing else materialized through the night and I packed up in the morning to go to work with a smile on my face – it was nice to have caught a fish on my first night back.
A week later I was determined to fish a couple of nights on the big lake. The lake hadn’t produced a fish for five days so I tried to stay optimistic but this particular lake can make or break anglers, it can be a very tricky water but the rewards are most definitely in there. I opted to fish an area of the lake where I was very familiar of and I had a good feeling the fish would be in the area. I got my rods out and just before dark a very large fish crashed out over one of my rods, needless to say I was buzzing with excitement for the night ahead. I also heard another fish in the area but when I woke up my bobbins hadn’t moved sadly, I went off to work and couldn’t wait to get back down and hopefully drop straight back in the same peg. The second night I arrived and the lake was busier but the peg I was fishing was free so not wasting any time I dropped in there. I got all three rods out 1st cast and was feeling very confident. I didn’t hear anything through the night and sadly woke again to bleepless rods. I packed up again after my second overnighter and when I was driving out I spoke to an angler who said there had still been nothing caught so I didn’t feel all that bad, the fish were clearly just not on the feed but I’m sure that will soon change.That really does conclude my fishing for the month, three whole nights on the bank and all overnight sessions between work! Not my usual amount of time of the bank, but with other commitments sometimes it’s just not possible to get out however I am unbelievably keen to get back out again now and with this weather I can’t wait to have a go.
Kev and I will actually be filming for DNA next weekend at Nar Valley so I am very much looking forward to that. I am planning on fishing Tuesday night on the lake and there after I will be hoping to have a good few weeks fishing the big lake in search of them illusive lumps that reside in the lake.
Until next time, be lucky!