NATIONAL ANGLING COUNCIL
The final of the 2012 CSSC National Angling Champs was fished at the
Midlands Mecca of Larford Lakes and with 12 regions again taking part in
near perfect conditions, the scene was set for a great match.
The Midlands team this year consisted of myself (Gary Booth), Ian Boyd, Carl Stringer, Patrick Wood, Rob Cox and Andy Edgington and I must say that as a team our preparation was very good and we came up with plan of sorts that at least gave every angler the confidence to do their bit.
As we drew closer to the day the team and our match secretary Mark McGinley attended a couple of conference calls just to share information, we had all wet a line at the venue so we knew roughly what was required, plus between all of us we attended the UK Champs and the ‘Match this’ final and made a number of calls to the top anglers such as Ian Giddins, Grant Albutt, Andy Kinder to name just three, we then held a final call before making our way to the chosen hotel for our accommodation at the two day event, in fact our preparation took one final boost as on the day of our arrival Andy Edgington won the open with Rob Cox runner up so we were in confident mood…..until we got the draw that is.
Our hotel this year for the 65 Anglers and the CSSC committee was the Mecure hotel just outside Bewdley, so there we were enjoying a lovely evening meal and one or two beers and when our captain Carl Stringer returned to the bar with the draw numbers and we weren’t exactly jumping for joy, the event was spread across Specimen and Match lake with 6 sections of 11 (I think one angler never turned up so there was one section of 10).
Match lake: Gary Booth peg 7, Ian Boyd peg 15, Carl Stringer peg 46 that’s one good peg with Ian on the rope and two very poor pegs indeed.
Speci lake: Andy Edgington peg 22, Rob Cox peg 34, Patrick Wood peg 68, again one good peg with Rob on the end and the other two were average at best.
Our team is a of a very good standard and with our plan involving a change in diameter of lines, an light opening feed approach, swapping from line to line during the match and an edge attack in the last 2 hours we felt would keep fish going in the net and see us in with a decent chance of retaining the trophy we won last year at tunnel barn.
MY MATCH (Gary Booth)
I drew peg 7, and my approach was to start on the straight lead with a banded 6m or 8m pellet whilst loose feeding just two or three pellets over the top and pinging a few 4m pellets at 11m, and switching between the deck at 11m and the straight lead until the last hour where I would go for broke down the edge.
All-in…. I chucked the lead, went for my catty and the rod was off my knee just what you need to settle yourself down, this pattern followed for the first 30 mins but the F1’s were so small I bet I only had 8lb in total but so did everyone else around me, the next hour I took a skimmer every put-in on the deck and couldn’t find an F1 but I had pulled away from most anglers in the section except the guy next to me from London on peg 6, come the third hour and I had started to get a few bigger skimmers, plus the odd 2lb F1, then I went back on the straight lead took a couple of F1’s then back on the deck for a few F1’s then lead then deck and so on, I literally had to keep swapping as they seemed to spook once you had a couple so I felt they needed a rest to ensure my bites kept coming longer.
Mark McGinley came and sat behind me later in the match and from our discussion it seemed that myself and the two anglers to my left were fighting it out for the section as it was literally fish for fish although only skimmers and the odd F1, I was also told that 4 of our guys were doing well and we had one guy struggling, therefore a top 5 in my section was key for me and I just made sure I didn’t drop further behind.
With 1 hour 30 mins left I chucked 20+ balls of swim stim ground bait on my edge line, to be honest I had cupped a bit of ground bait and a few dead maggots on my other margin line but had took just 2 perch and a roach earlier in the match, when I had finished balling the main left hand side I then cupped two pots of casters over the top and chucked 3 empty bait tins full of just water over the top to make as much noise as possible.
I continued to switch from the lead to 11m line for the next 30 mins and kept my eye on the edge for a sign, it’s worth pointing out that the whole match was fishing hard therefore a good last hour could see anyone make the main frame, as these Nationals pay section and frame placing’s as well as the top three teams.
I reckon I had 30lb with an hour to go and with others admitting to about the same I knew it was tight, I then had my first swirl down the edge, in I went double worm and a 5lb mirror was soon in my net
Next put in I had another one then nothing, so I balled another 2 balls of G/B followed by a handful of dead reds, I went back out on the straight lead, two chucks got me two small F1’s but more importantly the rest allowed the Carp to gather down the edge again and they started waving at me, isn’t it nice when they tell you where they are….
I had another 4 Carp in the last 45mins which were all fairly small at 3lb, if only they were of a bigger stamp like normal and they weren’t crawling up the line either, then with the whistle approaching I hit my last Carp and as he turned I saw the size of his back I knew I had to take my time as he tried to get into the next lake, eventually I netted him after a decent battle and an 8lb lump was mine and surely a higher place in the section.
The rules in our Nationals mean you are not allowed to follow the scales, however as Match lake was last to weigh and my section was in front of the car park everyone was standing around therefore I knew when the scales reached me what I had to beat, I then put 55lb 10oz on the scales to be first in section with three to weigh, I knew the guy next to me had beat me but it was closer than I thought as he put 60lb dead on the scales (one more Carp and I could have possibly beat him…..) the last two guys had low weights of 30lb something so I had managed second in my section but not a clue where I had finished overall.
So the guessing games had started, from the car park to the hotel, in the bar nobody really knew, if fact the evening 3 course meal and drink was a tense affair as the suspense is maintained until the results are announced, during the early evening we thought we had 23 points or possibly even 24, and Northern region thought they had the same but as their weight total was 20lb better than us they would take the title on weight, but we were only guessing at our placing’s and so were they so we thought we were going to lose on weight or even by a single point. (Editors note - this is exactly the situation we try to create by banning anglers from following the scales. The suspense builds and builds right up to the presentation!)
ANDY EDGINGTONS MATCH
After a good win the day before with 84lbs in the practice open on the Speci peg 8 on the burr bank I was very confident that similiar tactics would pay dividends, and my draw in the National was peg 22 on the same bank and considered to be a better peg.
One thing I had learned was the fish would not settle so it was often a case of having a few (if you were lucky) then you had to change tactics to keep the fish coming, somthing we had discussed prior to the match.
I arrived at the peg to be greeted by a change in the wind direction, which was now blowing into the low numbers, similiar to the previous days match I started by big potting 5 balls of groundbait on my 14 m line and 8 on the 13 m line and 6 at 10 m line, then to give these lines time to settle I went on long method and boilie – after 4 healthy chucks the tip finally twicthed, sadly from a 1lb skimmers not the expected carp, during this hour I was pingng 8 mm pellets onto my bomb/pellet waggler line.
With an hour gone I switched to my paste line at 14.5 m fishing a big piece of paste which worked very well the day before so I wanted to see if this would work again, the light wasn’t good but a sharp dip resulted in a 5lb carp in the net,,, happy days I thought.
I went back over this line for 15 minutes without any further indication so decided to try the bomb line, the effect was instant and another 4lb carp found the onion bag, 40 minutes later and one more skimmer in the net meant I had to change, I went over the 13 metre line getting the odd dip and a few skimmers meant I was struggling as were those around me so still I had a chance and i wasn’t out of it.
With 2 hours to go I filled in the margin with G/B, hoping something would happen, but during the match this produced no sign of fish, and for the next hour and a half I put a few skimmers in the net by alternating on methods, but sadly nothing was working to great effect, but with 20 minutes left I dropped on my 7 m paste line again, an iffy dip resulted in a foul hooked skimmer, next put-in the float smashed under and my 17 h roared out of my pole.
After 5 minutes I put my net under a healthy 12lb carp, back out as quick as I could and whack it went under again, I took my time as I knew this could possibly be the last fish as there was only 5 minutes left, with a couple of minutes to go a lovely 8lb common was coming into my net very nicely, then disaster as I had a hook pull and the fish wallowed for a second as I managed to get my net under it, only to see the wily old fish literally jump out of my net….I was devastated……to put it mildly would it cost me…… the scales didn’t need to weigh peg 20 as the angler blanked, but I put 28lb odd on the scales also beating the angler on peg 24 who had 20lb odd.
As I was packing away news of the section filtered down, it became apparent that the top weights all came from the early pegs in the section and I reckon I had ended up 5th or 6th in my section or maybe even 7th which would be a disaster for our team but you just couldn’t tell as you can’t follow the scales….
However we needn’t have worried as our final total of 22pts meant that the Midlands region were the champions once again, beating Northern Region by 1 single point (god that was close….).
My thanks to Gray and Andy for explaining how their day
If you qualify to represent your region at the final
you are expected to attend the whole event ie. stay the previous night,
fish the match, attend the presentation and stay that night also. If you
cannot commit yourself to this then you should consider relinquishing your
place to another qualifier.
SECTION A - MATCH LAKE
SECTION B - MATCH LAKE
SECTION C - MATCH LAKE
SECTION D - SPECIMEN LAKE
SECTION E - SPECIMEN LAKE
SECTION F - SPECIMEN LAKE