Kev Grout and I had been looking forward to our BCAC qualifier at Walthamstow 1 for quite some time. Due to the lake being closed, we weren’t able to go for our normal practice session, so at the start of the match we were going to be fishing the lake without even ever wetting a line there before hand.
After a few laps on the Friday morning, we finally got our list ready for the dreaded draw. Our names got called out sixth, giving us the choice of the remaining four swims, but luckily our fourth choice swim was still available. With some very experienced pairs fishing the lake, we knew we would be in for an intense battle throughout the 48 hours.
Once the hooter had sounded for the start of the match, rods were flicked straight out on to the spots and within five minutes we received a take, resulting in a pristine 25lb 7oz common – a great nerve-settler at the start of the match. This gave us great confidence in what we were using, and the action didn’t stop there, as the bites came thick and fast all afternoon and evening, putting us on 12 fish for 185¼lb going into the first night, enough for first place.
During the night we landed another four fish, but by daybreak we had been knocked into second place. By midday we were soon starting to set the pace again, and after a ding-dong battle throughout the Saturday at nightfall we were sitting reasonably comfortable at the top of the leaderboard on 28 fish for 427¾lb. In our minds we were starting to hope we had done enough to at least secure third place and a qualification spot, but going into the last night we kept plugging away, trying to accumulate as much weight as possible.
The fish were still playing the game, and another sleepless night saw us land another six fish. With seven hours to go, we really went for it to try and extend our lead further at the top. When the hooter sounded at 12pm on Sunday to signal the end of the match, we had managed to bag nine more fish, giving us a final total of 43 fish for 676lb 2oz and first place overall. This secured us qualification for the next round, a semi-final on Brasenose One in July, and also gave us valuable points for Team Carp-Talk. We were completely shattered but thrilled with the result, and knew all of the effort we had put in was well worth it.
The fish clearly loved the bait we were giving them. We used a mix made up of DNA Baits Krill Powder, LT94, Secret 7 Stick Mix and Crayfish Mini Mix pellets. We introduced Secret 7 boilies and used PB and Fruitylicious pop-ups over the top. Our rigs were comprised of Fox Edges terminal tackle, featuring Camotex Semi-Stiff hooklinks attached to size 7 Arma Point hooks, which enabled us to land the fish effectively throughout the 48 hours.