The line-up for August’s £50,000 Maver Match This Final keeps getting better and better – following UK Champion Grant Albutt’s qualification a few weeks ago, England ace Des Shipp booked his spot at Larford on a great day at Stafford Moor that saw 12 100lb-plus weights recorded and a 171-9-0 winner for the Bristol man.
Drawing Tanner’s Lake peg 2, Preston Innovations-backed Des fished the bomb with pellet and a small PVA bag to land 26 carp and a tench to beat Dorking team-mate Ben Leach’s 153-10-0. Initially, though, Des didn’t fancy his chances.
“Peg 2 can be brilliant if the wind is blowing into it, but when I saw the wind was blowing out from that bank I thought I would struggle. I was positive that the carp would follow the wind,” he said. “The only way I could compete was to fish the far-bank margin at 40yds with the bomb, using 8mm and 10mm hard pellets on the hook and feeding small PVA bags of around 40 6mm pellets.”
A steady first hour gave Des six carp before the following three really saw things begin to motor, a couple of golden 40-minute spells that saw eight big carp dispatched to the keepnet before a poor closing hour saw Des bank only two small carp.
“I was one of the first to weigh and I reckoned on around 130lb. To get 170lb was a result, and I knew it would be hard to beat, but I still thought because I hadn’t caught late on that someone else would have more than me,” he added.
1 D Shipp, Preston Innovations, 171-9-0
2 B Leach, Maver, 153-10-0
3 A Murray, Sign Solutions, 140-8-0
4 M Bartlett, Viaduct, 130-2-0
5 A Palmer, Mosella Royal Marines, 129-10-0
6 R Halborg, Stafford Moor, 129-4-0
7 P Cardwell, Viaduct, 122-0-0
8 T Downing, Summerlands, 116-4-0.