Angling Times/Maver Pairs Challenge 2008 Final


Maver Larford Lakes, Match, Arena & Specimen Lakes (50 pairs)

Winners of the title two years ago, Bristol baggers Des Shipp and Steve Mayo made it a double as they lifted the crown in frankly abysmal conditions, being the only pair to record a perfect two point two section win tally.

That earned them £5,000 for their troubles as the three lakes at Larford shook off the poor weather, which saw driving rain and gusting winds for most of the match, producing an average of 77lb per man with Des and Steve taking their lion’s share of the fish.

Their score put them two clear of their Daiwa Dorking team mates Paul Holland and Paul Hiller who got the nod on aggregate weight after Starlets pairing Sean Ashby and Kian Wardle also scored four, Paul Holland’s 92-900 from the Arena Lake going a long way towards securing the £2,500 runners-up purse.

For Des and Steve though it was familiar territory at the venue where they qualified from back in April, Des emerging triumphant from an extremely tough section on the Match Lake while Steve just nicked his section on the Specimen Lake to make good many people’s pre-match predictions of the two men winning the title.

Favourites? Don’t you believe it!

“We were favourites but we’ve both been about long enough to know that means nothing,” Preston Innovations-backed Des said. “We’ve slipped up plenty of times here before – you’ve only got to look at last year’s final where we finished nowhere!

This time round we got a couple of decent draws and the rest is history.”
Des was at peg 40 on Match, sharing his ten pegs with the likes of Steve Ringer, Steve Cooke, Chris Vandervleit and Simon Fry but he knuckled down and a mid-match switch to a small Method feeder cast to the island proved a master stroke.
“I’d caught well on the pole but it was too windy to really have any chance of winning the section fishing like that,” he revealed. “Steve Cooke had caught on the tip so when he came off it to fish down the edge, I chucked out and had the island pretty much to myself.”

Fishing a single grain of corn on a hair-rig and casting to within inches of the island, Des was into F1 hybrids on pretty much every cast to overhaul those ahead of him and come storming home with 63-180, Steve Ringer proving his nearest rival with 54-380.

For Steve Mayo over on peg 62 of the Specimen Lake, his beloved big waggler method once again worked its magic, the Maver man plundering 14 carp, adding a couple of skimmers on the pole late on for his 43-080 tally, just 5 kilos clear of runner-up Lee Murphy.

“I’d only caught a couple of fish early on and my halfway I’d got four and I was wondering whether the wag would work,” Steve explained. “I’ve fished the method enough to know that given time, the fish will come to it so I suppose it was a bit of a bottle job but they slowly turned on and with an hour to go I was getting a fish a cast. I lost a lot though, which I suppose would have made things a little less nervous at the scales if a few had stayed on!”

Steve fished a 10mm boilie just inches deep under a huge splasher waggler that allowed him to cast 50 or 60 yards, feeding small balls of groundbait packed with caster and meat, his biggest fish just going over double figures.

Shallow approach falls flat for Holland

While partner Paul ‘Tommy’ Hiller was doing the biz on the Specimen Lake, Paul Holland was having a bit of a nightmare on Arena from a peg that Maver boss Phil Briscoe reckoned should do 100 kilos from.

A former match record holder on the 40 peg lake, Preston Innovations sponsored Dorking man Paul had gone geared up to fish shallow, just as he had when he set the record and despite a great start fishing pellet at 6m, things went dramatically downhill.

“I just lost the fish and went from a bite a cast to nothing,” Paul said. “I wasted too much time on it and even though I started to catch well on pellet down the edge, I felt I was playing catch up in the section and that I was too far behind.”

His 92-900 proved to be third in section so all eyes were on Paul Hiller at peg 72 on the Speci. With his usual calm and collected approach, Paul set about amassing a section-winning 55-520, including almost everything that swims in the lake, carp, skimmers, tench, roach, perch and hybrids, all taken on the pole at 6m with meat over meat and hemp feed.

“That was one of the best day’s fishing I’ve had for ages,” Paul remarked. “It was a bit of a slow burner to begin with but the peg got stronger and stronger. I was surprised there weren’t many big carp though – I think my best was 8lb.”

For the full list of results, click HERE.

Specimen Lake winner - Saturday match

A switch to paste fished short after his feeder and long pole lines failed to produce turned out be a wise move for Lee Richmond as the Nottingham ace plundered some huge carp to take the Specimen Lake prize with 61-040.

Drawn at peg 19 on the Burr Bank, the Dynamite Baits-backed Daiwa Trentmen team man had kicked off on the Method feeder but that produced just a few skimmers and with the long pole equally as poor, he went on his paste line earlier than he had planned at the halfway stage.

“It was a case of having to on it as I was catching nothing elsewhere,” Lee said. “It was always going to be boom or bnust fishing there but I had my first fish with around two hours to go and it just got stronger and stronger.”

Fishing at 6m, Lee fed Dynamite Swimstim groundbait and Frenzied Meat, fishing a big piece of Swimstim paste over it and included 14 carp, 14 skimmers and a lone tench in his net come the weigh in, three of those carp weighing 45lb between them!

Match & Arena Lake winner - Saturday Match

Arena has been performing best out of the three lakes at Larford this summer so it was always going to make the running in the overall stakes – indeed, it produced the top three weights as each angler broke or nudged the 200lb mark!

It did produce a clear winner though, north east young gun Adam Richards crashing out 112-020 from peg 34 to take the £500 first prize, taking all carp to a 15lb best after enjoying a fish-packed second half of the match.

“I kicked off on pellet shallow at 8m and probably had around 50lb of smallish carp but then the bites just went,” the Billingham 19-year-old said. “I’d been feeding meat down the edge and as soon as I saw a few tails coming up I swapped over.”

Feeding meat and fishing small cubes on the hook, the Garbolino Elton star was into fish immediately, most of his carp weighing 2lb but including a healthy percentage of big double figure fish that swung the scales his way.

Maver British Pole Pairs Championships - Sunday match
Maver Larford Lakes, Match, Arena & Specimen Lakes (55 pairs)

Following disappointment at dipping out of the top four money-winning places in the Maver Pairs final 24 hours earlier, the Ringer clan did at least earn some consolation with Steve and Geoff topping the Pole Pairs on a windswept Larford, finishing with a clear three point win.

With Steve taking section win and dad Geoff pocketing a second, the duo finished two points clear of a clutch of pairings on five points, Saturday winners Steve Mayo and Des Shipp clinching second on aggregate weight from Trevor Robinson and Dave Swain and Gary Baugh and Jamie Hughes.

With only polefishing allowed, some mammoth weights were taken including a new Arena Lake record of 133-140 by Lee Thornton and a solid 64-580 for Steve’s brother Phil as the anglers averaged over 70lb a man on top of the 77lb average the day before – fantastic fishing!

“Steve and Des are a pretty tough pairing to beat and I felt we would have struggled yesterday but today was a different story,” Steve said. “I had 41-700 of F1s and a single 5lb carp on 4mm hair-rigged pellet shallow at 13m but the wind really did make it difficult. I was only one peg away from where I was Saturday, which helped a bit but the surprise was that none of the big carp that were caught down the edge in the Pairs Final showed today. That made it a bit more of a leveller.”

Geoff on Specimen Lake peg 74 chipped in with 35-660, five big carp and a raft of skimmers taken on meat over meat and hemp at 5m to send the Ringer’s back to Northampton with £1,200 and a brace of Maver 410 poles in their van.

“I suppose I’d swap beating Des and Steve today for beating them yesterday!” Steve laughed. “It’s just nice to come away with something to show for our efforts.

To average 70lb a man over two days with 100 anglers fishing both times is just awesome fishing and incredibly I don’t think the lakes fished as well as I know they can.”

Result: 1 S Ringer, Shimano/Van Den Eynde and G Ringer, Ringer Baits, 3pts; 2 D Shipp, Preston Innovations and S Mayo, Maver, 5 (92-620); 3 T Robinson and D Swain, both Team Mosella Garbolino, 5 (80-680); 4 G Baugh and J Hughes, both Chester Tackle Locker, 5 (71-720).
Specimen Lake winner: Phil Ringer, Ringer Baits, 64-580
Match & Arena Lake winner: Lee Thornton, Bag ‘Em Match Baits, 133-140.