Keith Arthur: Make the match vs speci angler event annual

The result of The Match ¬ Rob Hughes’ event that put carp match anglers and open match anglers against each other ¬ came as a bit of a surprise to me: I honestly thought it could go either way. Obviously Nigel Harrhy, the owner of Barston Lake, is a better judge because he predicted that the carpers’ weight would be doubled by the open match anglers.

You may notice that I have described the carp team as ‘carp match anglers’ because that’s what they are. Their tactics are based around specialist angling, but what they do is as far removed from living in a bivvy for days on end as snooker is from pool. Both call for more or less the same equipment, but the game is very much not the same!

There are people still thinking that the carp team slung out a rod, put it on a buzzer and laid back. I will tell you that I didn’t see one of them even sit on a  chair for a minute, although one did sit on his wooden peg post ¬ about 20cm square ¬ for a little while. I tried it, but my bum is a different size!

The carp anglers’ technical ability is excellent, I’d go as far as to say that only the very best match leger anglers would compete with them on accuracy and not many of those could be as accurate at extreme range as the specimen lads.

They had a plan that, to a greater extent, failed. That plan was to spod slop in an attempt to get the carp feeding well off bottom. Most of them had carp in the swim, mooching about in the cloud, but they simply didn’t eat properly.

I would be interested in seeing the event run again next year, maybe in a warmer month and I’d also like the rules to change as the open match anglers could weigh in everything, but the poor old carp match boys could not weigh in anything that wasn’t a carp. The F1 hybrids counted for both teams.

In my opinion, it would be fairer if the open anglers couldn’t weigh carp in. The difference on this occasion wouldn’t have been much ¬ few carpers caught bream as they designed their rigs to avoid them ¬ and not many mirrors or commons were landed by the open team. That came as a bit of a shock, but underlined how tough it was for the big-fish squad.

So, next year, same place but in August, may see a very different outcome. Let’s hope it happens.