Match angling boys triumph in head-to-head fight

It’s official! Matchmen are better anglers than big carp fishermen…at least, that’s the verdict judging by the result of last week’s televised big match which saw the two disciplines of the sport go head-to-head at Barston Lakes.

During the long-awaited showdown, the six-man match team recorded 308lb 12oz, almost double the 156lb 11oz of carp landed by their specimen-orientated rivals. Leading the match team home was Scottish international Jamie Masson, who posted the top individual weight of the day, 75lb 1oz, while Mark Bartlett weighed in the heaviest bag for the carp team with 48lb 12oz as the bigger fish in the Solihull, West Midlands venue, failed to respond to the heavy long range baiting strategy employed by the specimen anglers.

The eight-hour event was the brainchild of British Carp Angling Championships organiser Rob Hughes, who admitted that he felt his carp team were always up against it due to the conditions.

“Had this match been a month earlier when we were catching a lot of fish in BCAC events here, the outcome would have been different. The weather has changed a lot in recent weeks and stacked the odds in favour of the matchmen, who we knew would catch lots of F1s and skimmers. We gambled a bit and spodded lots of bait out, but the bigger carp switched off on the day,” he said.

Match team captain Steve Ringer admitted that to begin with the aggressive baiting strategy used by the opposition had his team worried.

“If the fish had switched on, we wouldn’t have been able to draw any carp away from their baited area, but the flat, warm conditions suited us more. I said before the start that if our team members could average 40lb each it would be enough to win.

“Next year I’d like to see a carp-only match to pit our methods directly against theirs,” said Steve.