Bitter sweet BCAC Final


Jack Meyer and Lewis Swift

It is safe to say that Jack and I had been on a bit of a roll in 2015. We had won the eliminators and semi finals in both the British Carp Angling Championships and the Eric’s Carp Championships. That meant we were in both finals and would be going into both matches full of confidence.

First up was the Eric’s Carp Championships and to cut a long story short our luck finally ran out. Disappointingly we only managed to land one fish during the 48 hour final. Everything seemed stacked against us from the start but it was nice to see our good friends Rob and Marc lift the trophy. We weren’t finished yet though as we had one more chance to end the year on a high as the BCAC final was now only a couple of weeks away.

Similar to last year, RK Leisure put on a fantastic night before the match begun with all the competitors enjoying a barbecue and a few beers before things got serious on the Friday morning. Gradually people retreated to their beds to get some much needed sleep, however, if our night was anything to go by then nerves certainly got the better of us. Before we knew it our alarm was telling us it was time to get up and make a couple more laps of the lake to finalise our swim choices.

At the draw the jokes and laughter from the previous night had been replaced by nervous faces and twitching feet. After the introduction from the new owners, Bev Clifford stepped up and pulled the first names from the hat. Unbelievable!! Jack Meyer and Lewis Swift come on down. We couldn’t believe it and spent a nervous few moments deciding on our swim before sticking to our list and opting for Peg 11, The Stiles. The peg offered us a large area of open water as well as some features such as islands, on top of that we had seen a good number of fish showing in the swim earlier that day so we were very happy with our choice. The rest of the draw played out before everyone shook hands, wished each other good luck and headed back to the cars to start unloading the mountain of gear.

After a couple of hours the hooter signalled that baiting could begin and an hour later the rods were cast out onto the spots. In places Wraysbury is top to bottom weed in 20 feet of water so finding spots can be hard. We got drops on the leads but the areas we were fishing weren’t completely clear of weed so naked chods meant we were confident in our presentation, with just a Spomb of boilies over the top.

At 120 acres Wraysbury isn’t the sort of venue where you can really induce competitive feeding between fish like we would aim to for almost any other match, so it was more a case of get rigs positioned perfectly on the spots then sit back and wait. We did exactly that but amazingly we didn’t have to wait too long as after a couple of hours one of Jack’s rods was away. The fish managed to find sanctuary in the weed but steady pressure kept the fish coming and soon it was safely in the net, a 16-pounder. It was the perfect start.

The second area we found was the one that changed everything, two massive weedbeds either side of it and fish showing in the weed continuously all weekend. I went for a different approach with just corn and pellet with a solid PVA bag of corn and pellet. A 2oz inline flat pear lead set up on a drop off system using 20 lb Armourlink, a size 6 Twister and a couple of feet of of Cling-On leader. A couple of hours more into the match and the plastic corn rod was off and we landed a truly special Wraysbury 37-pounder called No Name. That put us safely in the lead and now it truly was the perfect start.

That was the last of the action for the first day but we were hopeful of a bite or two in the morning. Just as we’d hoped, at around 9am the rod on the spot where the big girl came from the day before rattled off. Noooooooooooo!! Shortly into the fight the hook pulled and to our disbelief the same thing happened again only a couple of hours later. We had gone from being on top of the world to absolute rock bottom. Despite this we still had the lead which was the main thing so gathered our thoughts got the rods back out and sat back to wait.

The next 24 hours were the longest of our lives and with just four hours to go we were still winning and starting to question whether we may actually be able to hold on with just the two fish. Oh how wrong we were. The final few hours saw the peg opposite kick into life and the fish had clearly switched on to a couple of the guy’s spots as they landed 4 or 5 fish within the last couple of hours. It was awesome angling but completely killed us as we slipped into 2nd place and our dreams of being crowned BCAC champions faded away.

The match finished and we stayed in 2nd place. If we had been offered that at the start we would have definitely taken it with both hands, however from the position we were in it was a hard thing to come to terms with. Still, the eventual winners put the time in on the lake before the final to practice and it certainly paid off for them and they deserved the win.

Having nearly tasted success it just makes us even more determined to go one step closer next year and I’m sure with the backing of Nash it’s something we can achieve.