Maver Mega Match This Final 2014
Maver Larford Lakes, Match Lake (24 pegs)
All too rarely match anglers have one of those days where everything goes to plan and they fish the perfect five hours but never does it seem to happen in the cauldron of big money finals – until Saturday when Chris Cameron turned in a faultless display to be crowned 2014 champion and earn himself a massive £60,000 pay day.
Weighing in 42-220 from peg 8 on the grass bank of the Match Lake, Chris judged his match well to keep the chasing pack at arm’s length once he took the lead after a couple of hours, picking off fish from several areas of his swim to keep the catch rate ticking over and his nose in front.
Key rivals seemed to be Andy Fulleylove sat almost opposite him on peg 16 of the burr bank and Lee Wright to Chris’s left but both slipped just off the pace at the final reckoning, Andy ending up third to bag himself £3,000 with Perry Stone coming from, nowhere with a late run of big margin carp to nip into second and take the £5,000 cheque with 37-460, close but ultimately not close enough to spoil the Cameron party.
Chris now joins the likes of Andy Power, Les Thompson and Zak Brown in winning UK match fishing’s premier event and plainly ranks the day as the best of his career, recalling how everything he did seemed to go to plan and produce fish. No tangles, no harsh words and no spells of panic; just a smooth match.
“At the gala dinner the night before I got peg 8, which is permanent peg 20 and I was very, very happy with that,” Chris said. “I did have concerns that the pegs to my right could be a bit better as they always seem to hold more fish and Lee Kerry and Jamie Hughes were on those so I saw them as a real threat. However, I’d fished the lakes the weekend before and actually drawn peg 19 so had a really good idea of how to fish the match and had also seen that strong winds we’ve been having had pushed a lot of fish away from the pegs to the right and closer to my swim. I just hoped that they were still there!”
Taking on board what the weekend before had shown, when he finished third on the whole lake, Chris took the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach, aiming to catch big carp as opposed to F1 hybrids and alternating between two pole lines, the tip and the margins but feeding would be minimal as he reckoned the fish in the lake preferred a little and often ploy compared to dumping the bait in.
“I kicked off with a banded 8mm pellet on the deck at 6m – smaller pellets get smashed up by the skimmers,” he revealed. “That gave me one carp of about 8lb and then it dried up so I went out to 13m with the same bait on the deck, feeding 6mm pellet with a toss pot and caught one F1 and a 4lb but I expected this to slow down and it did so while I was waiting, I began flicking 8mm pellets onto my bomb line at 25m out, an easy range to feed.”
After an hour, the 43-year-old was onto the tip, fishing bomb and banded pellet but with few indications and no fish, Chris sensed that the method wasn’t going to work. With not much else being caught around the lake, there was time and the chance to play the sit and wait game and that’s when the Method feeder came into play. Casting to the same spot with a feeder wrapped in micro pellets and a little Old Ghost Carp Match groundbait, Chris fished a yellow 8mm Ringer Baits Banded Allsort pellet and enjoyed a great hour, catching ten carp between 4lb and 8lb plus a few F1s to take the lead.
“Leading didn’t really affect me – in fact is helped because it told me that what I was doing was working!” he revealed. “I kept on that line and while waiting I fed a few pouchfuls of pellet on the 13m pole line with the plan to drop the bomb onto here late on. The margins were also going to be crucial and in an ideal world I’d have fished this for the last 90 minutes but when I tried there, only ant odd fish moved into the swim. I did nick four carp but I was waiting too long and the fish weren’t there in the right sort of numbers to make the wait worthwhile.”
Prior to going down the side, Chris had a look back on his 6m line and bumped two carp, telling him that some fish had turned up in the area. In an inspirational move he undearmed his Method feeder here and caught two big carp, working on the principle that the feeder doesn’t spook fish or give false bites like the pole can and you couldn’t argue with his logic!
“At the whistle I’d clicked 89lb to saw pretty close,” Chris said. “I’d always felt that Lee Wright and Andy Fulleylove were my rivals but had no idea that Perry had caught what he had! Once I took the lead I followed the scales round by 42 kilos is easily beatable on this lake so no chickens were being counted.”
“Once Perry had weighed in I could allow myself a smile and knew that I’d won it. It was one of the best days in my fishing career ever, one that worked – everything I did seemed easy and worked. There were some nerves, of course but I told myself that as long as I could keep catching and putting something in the newt then I would give myself the best chance I could.”