The road to the 2016 Maver Match This final is rapidly reaching its conclusion after the penultimate two qualifiers were decided.
Adam Playford, at Decoy Lakes, and Steve Openshaw (page 64), at Tunnel Barn Farm, were the latest anglers to secure their spot for the huge money final at Maver Hayfield Lakes on September 3.
Both anglers recorded huge 200lb-plus catches of F1 carp on caster shallow tactics, a technique which has been dominating many commercial fisheries this summer.
A top class field turned out for the midweek qualifier at the prolific Decoy Lakes in Cambridgeshire, but the match wasn’t without its drama.
Dersingham AC man Adam won with 208-9-0 from peg 29 on Beastie, taking full advantage of the pegs either side of him not being drawn.
But it could have been so different as third-placed Andy Bayley (Daiwa Dons) had enough weight in the four keepnets he used to topple this from peg 23.
But he exceeded the 50lb limit in three of them and was given an official recording of 164lb 2oz, instead of his actual 219lb.
“Andy’s pole was in my line of sight and I knew he’d caught really well,” said Adam.
“I’ve fished here quite a bit, so I used a clicker and tried not to go over 50lb in any of my nets.
“I started on the Method feeder to the island with pellets and had a 10lb carp first chuck. Then I caught a few smaller ones before it died, so I went onto my 13m shallow line where I’d been firing casters. I caught well here for an hour, but I’d been throwing casters down to the tree to my left with a view to catching shallow there too as it’s deep and snaggy. I spent the rest of the match on this close line with heavier gear, catching mainly F1s and barbel,” he said.
With the much fancied Strip Lakes failing to produce any catch in excess of 150lb, it paved the way for Beastie Lake to take four of the top five places in the match. Winner Adam fished 11 hollo elastic, a 0.11m hooklength and a size 18 hook with banded caster in open water and a 12-16 Middy Shockcore, 0.15mm hooklength and size 16 hook in the snaggy margins. He fed sparingly with just three pints of casters over the match.
1 A Playford (Dersingham AC) 208-9-0;
2 A Szczupak (Decoy Lakes) 170-11-0;
3 A Bailey (Daiwa Dons) 164-2-0; 4 A Geldart (Matrix/Dynamite) 147-14-0;
5 R Lidgard (Sturgeon Baits) 145-6-0.