Fry’s £60,000 delight!

Garbolino ace crowned Maver Mega Match This 2021 champ

Garbolino ace crowned Maver Mega Match This 2021 champ

by Angling Times |

The quest to be crowned 2021 Maver Mega Match This champion went right down to the wire at Maver/Dynamite Baits Hayfield Lakes, with six anglers still in with a shout as just minutes remained of the match.

In the end, the title and £60,000 winner’s cheque went to Garbolino star Simon Fry, who had 23-350 of carp on the pellet waggler. That was just over 2kg in front of Tom Edwards, who took £5,000 for second. Third, and £3,000, went to Dave Scott with 18-750.

Former Division One National champion Simon, who has been in plenty of big-money finals before but never made any impression, finally got that big win under his belt, enjoying a run of carp in the final hour to move clear of the field – although his celebrations were cut short as he had to leave straight after the presentation to catch a ferry to Ireland to fish a festival!

Here, Simon explains how he won...

At the peg

“I drew peg 12 (permanent peg 27) on the Island Lake, the same peg I had in a Fish O’Mania qualifier a few weeks before. It fished badly then, so I wasn’t full of confidence. When I got to the peg, there were hundreds of carp on the surface and that got me a bit excited. My only doubt was whether they were feeding fish or not.

“I kicked off on the short pole with pellet on the deck, but after 20 minutes I’d not had a sign and Jack Turner, on my left, had caught a carp on the pellet waggler.

“That was my signal to pick the rod up, fishing 3ft deep with a small stumpy float and firing in four or five 8mm pellets regularly. About 45 minutes in I caught a 4lb carp, then one of about 6lb, but the fish I could see just didn’t want to feed properly.

“Going into hour two, indications were few and far between. The only fish I caught was one of about 10lb that I took on the waggler. I had a rod set up to fish at half depth with a much longer 8g float, the idea being to cast, sink the line and let the float fish. It was my only bite on this tactic, but well worth waiting for. That put me on around 22lb at the halfway stage.”

Simon banked 23-350 of carp to win the match
Simon banked 23-350 of carp to win the match

The golden final hour

“After that, I couldn’t get a bite, but I knew that I had to keep feeding and casting. On the pellet waggler, you may not get anything for an hour and then you’ll catch four fish in four casts. Stop feeding and you’re finished.

“Then, just 15 minutes into the last hour, I had a run of three carp on the shallow waggler that put me right up at the top. I was aware, though, that any one of five or six other anglers were close too, so another two or three fish would be needed. It went quiet again, but in the last 10 minutes I landed two more fish, a carp and a carassio, the last one with just minutes to go. On my clicker I’d got 48lb but felt Tom Edwards was going to beat me, as he’d also had a good last half-hour.

“I was first to weigh, and my fish went 23kg (roughly 51lb) so I was relieved to have a bit more than I thought. Even so, everyone reckoned Tom had 50lb, but I was very calm. The match was done, I couldn’t have caught more and, if it was enough, so be it. I walked to the other side of the lake as Tom weighed in his 21kg, so those last two fish won it for me.

“When you make finals regularly (I’ve been in 14 of them) and never win, you think it’ll never happen. This year, I put no time into practising. I had a family holiday the week before, so put the match on the back burner. In fairness, given how hard the lake had fished, I don’t think I missed much.”

Simon lifts his first big-money final trophy
Simon lifts his first big-money final trophy
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