Big-fish approach takes the Pairs glory

The 2009 Maver Pairs Final was a fascinating match, with major decisions to be made and host of different methods on display.

One of the biggest dilemmas on the Specimen Lake was whether to target the venue’s massive population of skimmers and bream early doors or go all out for carp.

In the end it was those who tailored their approach to big fish with meat and large pellets who went home with the brown envelopes, and for Maver Pairs champion Gary Pook, the pellet waggler was his weapon of choice on a day when many others didn’t even get their waggler rod out of the bag. Loosefeeding 8mm hard pellets to a line 40yds out on peg 17, Gary took a couple of early fish on the Method feeder before finding some better fish to 14lb just 3.5ft deep on the same line.

“I was always going to fish a big waggler as I caught well in practice using it. The key was to use a big, stumpy version, I went for a 15g model made by the bailiff at Boddington Reservoir. Larford has a lot of tow and the bigger, heavier floats help keep the bait still and the buoyant tops don’t sink beneath the strong ripple,” explained Gary.

He took 16 carp in total using 8lb line, a 0.19mm hooklength and a size 14 Guru QM hook. Over on the Match Lake, those fishing up-in-the-water or the feeder went fish for fish with those using a short pole down the edge or at 5m, but it was ultimately the Method feeder which led to Darren Davies’ success. Darren told how he determined his tactics for the day as soon as he saw conditions that morning.

“I thought the wind would scupper fishing up-in-the-water for F1 carp so I decided to fish the Method feeder with a 6mm banded pellet and groundbait around the frame. I did start off on a 7m pole but the tow was strong, so I chucked the feeder over the top and had 20 fish in an hour.

“I was happy with that kind of catch rate, so I stuck with it the entire match. I loosefed pellet on two lines – that 7m one and a line further out at 16m – which I think helped me to nick extra fish, as I took three or four from each before swapping,” revealed Darren.

Ironically it was the first time the pair had fished the final together – normally Gary fishes with Simon Willsmore, Simon having the consolation of finishing with top weight on the Match Lake with a margin-tempted 62kg 360g.

Second-placed Sheffield anglers Tom Scholey and triple World Junior Champion Matt Godfrey fish together all the time and recognised that it was a team effort to collect the 3,000 runners-up cheque. Matt included over 14kg of skimmer bream in his 44kg catch from the Specimen Lake, topped-up by some late carp, while Tom won a true bagging race on Arena Lake.

Catch of the day was a 22lb common carp on the pole to Gareth Drury from peg 65 on the Specimen Lake, but Joe Carass did successfully hook and land a Drennan feeder rod while retrieving his feeder!

Overall: 1 D Davies and G Pook, 2pts (105-280); 2 T Scholey and M Godfrey, 4pts (136-390); 3 P Hiller and P Holland, 4pts (134-880); 4 S Lister and H Billing, (104-240).