The Elite Carp Masters October 2016
By Barry O’Connor
The Elite Carp Masters matches are the brainchild of Ben and Barry O’Connor and have been running for four years now. During that time they have found their natural home at Cottington Lakes, near Deal in Kent. The matches, which are held on Lake Pepper are always sold out which shows just how popular they are, mainly due to the high head of big carp in the lake.
The second Elite Carp Masters match of 2016 took place between 14th – 16th October. One of the trophies on offer for this match is for the biggest carp caught by a competitor. This trophy is in memory of our dear friend Peter Breeze who died so suddenly at a young age one year ago. This will now be an annual trophy to be fished for in the second Elite match of each year.
As ever, the event starts with a social evening held at the Three Horseshoes pub the night before, with food laid on for all the competitors by the pub management. It’s a great evening and good way to bring the competitors together. The main topics of conversation vary but ultimately always return to the forthcoming match.
For this event Paul “Mango” Manderson, one of the Cottington bailiffs, was assisting with Marshalling duties in Ben’s absence, who was competing in the final of another event. I’ll be having words with him about his priorities!!
The draw was held the following morning at the onsite Kingfisher Café, with Mike and Barbara serving up hot tea or coffee, and breakfast for those who wanted it beforehand. Its unusual but on this occasion three of the pairs had been reduced to single anglers for a variety of reasons. The draw began and the first names drawn were Alan Coombes and Laurence Townsend who chose peg 7. You wouldn’t put money on it, but the last three names drawn were all the solo anglers!! The last name out of the draw was Owen Sayles. With the draw done all the competitors went off to their chosen swims.
It was about two hours into the match that the first call came for the marshals. Mango and I went round to peg 14 to weigh the carp. It was a one of the big scaled Mirrors and weighed 31lbs 9oz much to the delight of its captor Kev Smith. This was later followed by three more thirties, albeit to different competitors.
Kev Smith Gets Things Off to a Great Start with his 31lbs 9oz Mirror
When the photos of the carp were taken, the captors had to wear funny hats as is the tradition in The Elite Carp Masters.
Martin – We know its you under there!!
Carp were caught steadily throughout the match. A shout went up that Tommy Onslow in peg 11 had a fish on. Mango and I gathered the tripod and scales and began walking to the truck to drive round and weigh it. But a quick glance back told us that he had lost it. We went round to Tommy and he told us it was a big silver Common that he’d lost at the net. He wasn’t best pleased when we told him there are two big silver Commons in Pepper, one weighs forty pounds and the other forty four pounds. Bad luck Tom!!
The match finished with seventeen carp being caught and here are just a few;
Mark & Toby Dyer Representing Fat Fish Tackle With a Lovely Common
Dean Hernandez and Barry McGuire with their “30”
Dan Hawkes, partnered by Ian Cannon, with Another of the “30s”
First place went to Owen Sayles who was fishing on his own and came out last in the draw. He didn’t fancy the swim he’d got but persevered and with some top angling eventually won.
Owen Sayles with his 31lbs 11oz Mirror
1st place Owen Sayles with seven fish for 157lb 14oz winning £1000.00
2nd place James Mardle and Kerry Pickering with three fish for 79lb 7oz winning £750.00.
3rd place Dan Hawkes and Ian Cannon with two fish for 57lb 14oz winning £450.00
Congratulations to the Winners
The Peter Breeze trophy for the biggest carp went to James Mardle with a 38lb 14oz Mirror.
James Mardle, Winner of the Peter Breeze Trophy, with The Big One
Thanks must go to Gary and Darren at Cottington Lakes for allowing us to use Lake Pepper for the match.
To Mike and Barbara for the use of their onsite café.
To Fat Fish tackle near Canterbury for the prizes.
To Mango for helping to run the event.
Last but not least the bailiffs Ben and Richard for their help.
And here’s the winners thanking me!!
The next Elite Carp Masters events will be held in 2017. The dates are 14th/15th/16th April and 11th/12th/13th August. If you fancy taking part in them, ring Ben on 07737254503 or Barry on 07890143952.