Daiwa Southern Dealer Match
Pegged around Gold Lake, Will Raison had chosen the most productive pegs to go into the pot hoping to give the guests the best sampling of the renowned Gold Valley sport on offer.
With plenty of carp showing themselves around the lake it looked like it would be a rod and reel approach on ‘The Method’ or feeder plus a commitment on the pellet waggler that would see the winning weight on the day; a weight certainly of carp to double figures.
However the prolific stock of skimmers and bream wouldn’t go ignored either with dedicated pools for the best three silver fish nets on offer.
With everyone topped up on bacon and sausage ‘sarnies’ the draw commenced with all 37 guests looking for a peg in the ‘twenties’. Looks were exchanged when Daiwa Dorking captain and owner of KC Angling, Steve Sanders plucked peg 25 from the pot!
Although not all venue experts in the draw there were plenty of festival and big open regulars ensuring they got some detailed info from Will before they broke out their plans of attack. Bagfuls of 8mm pellets left the clubhouse as those drawn ‘in the zone’ set their focus on a big weight of what would be very hard fighting carp.
With a generous two hours to get set up and grab another cuppa from Angie, the atmosphere was relaxed but with anticipation of some cracking sport. Although a random light breeze caught the water there was a windward end away from the clubhouse with Ade Walker (Fosters of Birmingham) and Mark Barnett (Danson Angling) having facing end pegs at the bottom end.
Able to reach ‘the steps’ nearest the clubhouse was Jim Alden (Angling Direct) who would kick off on ‘The Method’, hoping to lure the residents out of the undercut bank that makes it a hot spot.
Islands dotted around the lake also created some ‘calm’ spots With Chris Haines (Haines Angling) having open water and an island within reach. At the horn feeders and pellet wagglers entered the lake; some aiming towards the rope but most into open water. However almost all planned to feed big pellets for a line with the float or bomb.
After 10 to 15 minutes, rods with serious bends in them could be seen around the lake with many trying to tackle 5 to 10lb carp that refused to give in. Two and three attempts would often be needed to get them into the net with unhooking happening in the landing net and nobody picking their fish up; straight into the keepnet…phew!
Chris Haines on peg 9 showed how single minded you need to be sometimes with only three pellet waggler set ups at hand. Building a feeding and casting pattern he soon connected with two carp in quick succession with one looking like a ‘double’. Getting off his box, he was able to apply the most control available by keeping the rod down and low, applying side strain the keep the fish from bombing off.
Stuart Yeomans (Reading AC) created some early action for himself on ‘The Method’. After a few casts down the same hole he was soon off the blocks with a good fish or two. There was a sprinkling of worthy fish at other pegs but with the best part of the five hours to follow there was plenty of time for anything to happen.
As the match unfolded Steve Sanders (K C Angling) kept himself busy with a better back half of the match. Combining loose pellets, and small balls of moist pellets he continued to pluck quality carp from mid water.
Some anglers had recognised that skimmers were the best route to a respectable weight and with three prizes on offer they made the switch. Fish averaging 2lb started to oblige over pellets on the pole line. Who knows what five hours could have produced?
Gary Underwood (Gone Fishing) entertained the Daiwa crew as he wrestled with a carp around 15lb and only just got half of it into his ‘baby’ landing net. After it fell out, Gary showed incredible calm (not) getting it back in and then having to throw his rod down to man handle the net frame with two hands. At the closing stages, with fish well above 10lb turning up any of those in the running could make a leap for the line and nobody knew who had the advantage. There were certainly some who had been catching a few ‘under the radar’ too, so it was certain to be interesting.
At the final horn a couple of late fish were definitely going to have a say and now only the scales would tell.
Weights started to increase as the early pegs neared the first island. Daniel Baker (Tredegar AC) scored 55lbs 10oz from peg 5 and Chris Haines on peg 9 certainly did not disappoint with 94lb 2ozs. This included a 16lb 6ozs fish that would certainly put him in the frame for the biggest fish.
Weights did vary along the far bank with a stand out 51lbs by Dean Swift (Angling Direct) from peg 13 and two good ‘silver’ nets of 32lb 6ozs from Steve Kedge at the next peg and 30lbs 10ozs from Gary Booth (Smithy's Angling) on peg 17.
Gary Underwood was hopeful that his monster would have been worth the ordeal but in the 15lb zone it was not going to take the biggest fish prize. It was however the most entertaining catch of the day.
As expected ‘the twenties’ produced. Dave Schofield (Fishermans Friend) registered a square 80lbs on peg 20 but nudging ahead was Steve Sanders on peg 25 who brought just one pound more to the scales with 81lbs.
Across the lake on peg 33 Ade Walker put together 22lb 6ozs of silvers, putting him in the hunt for a return from the pools.
Only three pegs away Paddy Garrett (Angling Direct) showed that he had been putting it together with an impressive 57lbs. This included a big double that also proved less than Chris Haines 16lb + beast.
The next big weight that was thought to be in the running was from peg 53 where Stuart Yeomans had kept plucking carp from the open water. Estimating 70lbs his 66lb 14ozs turned out to be close and would see him win the section.
The generous after match buffet also saw plenty of action with the hard work from the anglers seeing plenty of topping up of plates required. The ‘how to’ and ‘if only’ conversations began as everyone pondered how the match had gone.
Daiwa's Robin Morley announced the results with 13 prizes being awarded.
Chris Haines took top honours winning a 16m G20 pole and £180 pools.
Second was Steve Sanders taking getting a Spectron 10/11Q, TDX3012D and £110.
Third went to Dave Schofield who won a Spectron 10/11Q, TDR3012D and £70.
Silvers pools went to Steve Kedge, Gary Booth and Ade Walker respectively.
Section winners (by default) were Daniel Baker, Dean Swift, Stuart Angel, Paddy Garrett, Pete Marshall and Stuart Yeomans.
The big fish prize also went to Chris Haines, topping off a thoroughly successful trip from Somerset.
Special thanks to Will, Angie and John at Gold Valley for an excellent day.