NASH backed match pairing of Joe Hubble and Phil Bury are celebrating after landing a cool £5,000 runner’s up cheque following a hard fought final of the Eric’s Angling series at Farlows Lake in Buckinghamshire.

The Manchester duo scored with a brilliant piece of opportunist angling, landing a double and a 20 to add to their four other fish from the 48 hour match and secure second place with just hours to go, casting 13 foots zigs 130 yards to fish taking floaters behind an island.

Coming out 8th in the draw, heating engineers Joe and Phil were torn over swim choice, eventually discarding their first choice and settling for peg 17 on the Factory Bank.

“Our first choice was peg 11 right at the end of the lake, we saw a lot of fish there but it also looked like the sort of place where you could hook one fish and then they could all just disappear from in front of you,” explained Joe who prefers to never practice for his matches, treating them instead as a bit of fun.

Despite their efforts on the Factory Bank Phil and Joe could only get bites on one rod, finding a tiny hotspot that produced four carp over two nights on PVA bags of Micro Pellet Mix and plastic corn, but couldn’t get a pull during the day.

“It was weird,” admitted Joe who has partnered Phil in the BCAC since 2004, the pairing also claiming runner up position in the final at Broadlands two years ago. “On the skyline were two bushes next to each other and the fish would show in line with the right bush but we only got action on the left rod, and they were literally only one rod length apart – a real spot within a spot.”

On the final morning the duo were 70 lb off the lead, a long way given the numbers of carp being caught, but only 15 oz behind 2nd and effectively only one fish ahead of 4th and 5th placed pairings. It was a tight match!

Sharp angling made the difference in the final placings with the lads noticing carp feeding on floaters introduced from the other side of the lake that had drifted around the ends of the island at extreme range in front of them. Rigging up 13 foot zigs and blasting them 130 yards to ten feet of water around an island margin resulted in a fast brace of a double and a 23-pounder, enough for them to clinch second and pocket £2,500 each for their efforts.

The lack of sleep and a bit of celebrity spotting then made it a bitter sweet trip home: “We were on our way back and we saw a flash Audi A8 overtake us with the registration plate Foggy, and we followed it into a petrol station to fill up. I wanted to know if it was Carl Fogarty, and it was.

“I don’t know it was tiredness or just not paying attention but then I filled the diesel van with petrol and it cost us £220 to get it sorted and a long delay in getting home,” admitted Joe. “Luckily it wasn’t like we couldn’t afford it after fishing a match like that,” he laughed.