West Midlands outfit The Fitters AC triumphed in this first Angling Times / Van den Eynde Clubman Supercup Midland semi final of 2010 with a 26-point score from a fishery feeling the effects of the hot, still weather, conditions that saw much of the carp population on the verge of spawning once again.
Despite that, the winners decided not to hedge their bets with a safe chopped worm and caster approach to catch everything that swims as many teams did. Instead, they relied on pellet and corn, a slightly bolder approach that would produce bigger fish and the proof as they say, is in the pudding, Fitters score sheet returning three section winners and a fourth.
It was close though, Burton Mutual AA taking second just a couple of points behind, Finedon AS, Wade’s MG and Hunstanton Tackle also making it into the Tunnel Barn Farm final, the latter including two 15-year-olds in their ranks to make it all the way in their debut Supercup year.
“We did find out about worm and caster this morning when we turned up and saw the lakes flat calm and the carp cruising around,” said Fitters captain Stuart Evans. “With a bait limit in force though, you can only do so many things and we had a chat about it and decided to stick with corn and pellet.
It was obvious that no one was going to sack up today, so it’d be a case of picking off what we could. Why pick off little fish when you could get a 5lb carp?”
Sections maximums for individual winner Neil Perry, Steve Pugh and Rich Noakes were backed by a fourth from skipper Stuart himself and looking at his draw, Stuart believed that his team hadn’t exactly been blessed either.
“I reckon most teams today have had a mix of good, mediocre and bad and I suppose that sorts out the better teams,” he explained. “We’re off to Tunnel Barn now and if we’re being honest, it’s not a fishery we get on with that well when we go. Saying that we’ll pool the money we’ve won today and really have a proper go at it.”
Tunnel will be a venue far more familiar with runner-up Burton Mutual and they can’t wait to get cracking on a fishery they know a good deal about.
First though, they had to get through and they did it by going down the worm and caster route.
“I think when the fishing goes a bit iffy and the carp are thinking about spawning then you have to do the best you can at every peg and worm and caster is pretty hard to beat for that,” said captain Dave Walkden.
“We’d been down a bit and seen how Moorlands could fish well but also how it could suffer when the carp spawned. There and then we vowed to catch everything that swims, but with a few pellet fish thrown in as well.”
Team result (top five qualify for final):
1 The Fitters AC, 26pts
2 Burton Mutual AA, 28
3 Finedon AS, 36
4 Wade’s MG, 40
5 Hunstanton Tackle, 51
6 Skegness MG, 42
7 Ridgemere AC, 43 (section countback)
8 Subfish Tackle, 43
9 Royal Mail Northampton, 44
10 Notts AA, 55
11 Newmarket AC, 58
12 Morgan’s Angling, 60
13 Ball Haye Green AC, 61
14 Harleston Wortwell DAA, 66
15 Bartley Green AC, 78