The first Elite Carp Masters carp fishing match of 2017 took place on Lake Pepper recently. The popularity of the Elite Carp Masters has gone from strength to strength and there are now more competitors than places. Not a lot of carp matches can say that!! It’s in no small way due to the venue and the superb head of large carp in Lake Pepper. Another factor which we think contributes to the success of the Elite, is the attention to the way in which the lake is pegged for the competition. It is pegged so that no matter where the carp go they are within reach an angler. We’ve not seen this in any other matches, but its an important detail as it provides everyone with the chance to catch. And it pays, as you’ll see…
As usual a get together was arranged by Mango in the Three Horseshoes pub which everyone seems to enjoy. Some remained sober and, erm, some didn’t!!
The morning of the match and everyone was waiting nervously in the onsite Kingfisher Café for the draw to begin. Mike and Barb cooked up a nice breakfast for those that wanted it and also brewed up loads of reviving hot coffee for those who needed it.
Finally to get things underway all the competitors were called together for the dreaded draw. Mango picked the first canister containing the names and first out of the draw was Owen Sayles. With much heckling going on Owen picked peg 10. The draw continued until everyone had picked their swims.
At 12.00pm the Elite Carp Masters began and the baited rigs started hitting the lake.
Its all quiet on the old section of the lake, for now…
Within fifty minutes a competitor was calling for the marshals. It was Owen Sayles who had come out first in the draw. The first carp of the match weighed nineteen pounds and three ounces.
Owen Sales with one of the Mirrors that helped him to a total of 171lbs 8oz
From then on there was a steady flow of carp being caught. The marshals were called to peg eleven where Grant Hambridge, who was new to the Elite competition, was playing a fish into the bank.
Little did they know that something special was on the line …
Grant’s PB was a twenty one pound Common. On the bank this carp, a Mirror, was considerably bigger than twenty one pounds. It was duly weighed and the dial on the scales stopped at forty one pounds. Grant had beaten his PB by twenty pounds.
Something special for Grant, a 41lbs Mirror and a new pb.
Grant and Kris proudly show off the 41
An hour later Grant had a Common of twenty three pounds and fourteen ounces, which was his PB Common. To say he was happy is an understatement.
Something we haven’t done before, but this time Ben streamed a live feed onto facebook as the action happened. It was a massive success and something we’ll definitely do again.
Ben recording a live feed to facebook.
Fish came at regular intervals throughout the competition.
Competition regulars Barry and Dean always seem to catch
By the time the match ended, thirty five carp had been caught.
Its another thirty!!
This included one forty, twelve thirties, eleven twenties, ten doubles and one single. A massive catch for a tournament by any standards.
German with a 30lbs 3oz Common
Sean and Karl chipped in with this 37lb 4oz Mirror
There has to be a special mention for Gary Mardle and Stuart Lemon for their sportsmanship. A competitor caught a carp and whilst playing it, the carp managed to get entangled in Gary’s line. The carp was landed and to be fair under the rules could have been disqualified for touching another competitor’s line. Gary and Stuart didn’t want this to happen and allowed the carp to count. Great sportsmanship from two good lads.
The winners were Kris Hillier and Grant Hambridge with fourteen carp for 349lb 06oz.
In second was Owen Sayles, who fished on his own, with six carp for 171lb 8oz.
In third were James Ball and James Weller with four carp for 112lb 14oz.
One of the fish that helped newcomers James and James into 3rd place
In fourth were Gary Mardle and Stuart Lemon with three carp for 56lb 08oz.
The top three, James, James, Kris, Grant and Owen
The Elite has a reputation for being competitive whilst still being fished in a friendly atmosphere, as exemplified by Gary and Stuart, which is how it should be.
Sometimes you get wet if you catch big carp!!
And sometimes you get wet if your Ben!!
Ten of the fourteen competitors caught carp. This has been the best Elite match so far.
Our thanks go to Gary and Darren the owners of Cottington Lakes for allowing us to use Lake Pepper, to Mango for organising the pub get together and to Mike and Barb at the onsite Kingfisher Café for breakfast and the coffee.
The next Elite match is on the 11th, 12th and 13th of August. If you fancy taking part ring Ben on 07737254503 or Barry on 07890143952.
If you want to fish at Cottington Lakes ring the shop on 01304380691 to check availability.