Just one small carp, caught in the final half hour, was enough to decide what was one of the most dramatic endings in the 2018 UK qualifier of the World Carp Classic.
Dynamite backed Matthew Eden and father Terry had to settle for a well-earned second place after Carp Society rods, Robert Saunders and Josh Boyes banked a fish in the dying seconds to snatch victory at the death.
Matt and Terry were left feeling unlucky after leading for so long and having caught two of the three biggest fish in the competition out of 15 other pairs bivvied up the Carp Society’s Horseshoe Lake in Lechlade, Gloucestershire.
We caught up with Matt after the competition to get his version of events and reveal his tactics…
„So with the 2018 competition season well under way, our qualifier for the World Carp Classic was here! With it being the 20th year of the WCC we were very keen to book our slot, in an already full competition for this year.
Preparation was well underway weeks before, researching the famous Carp Society, Horseshoe lake where the match was due to be held. Unfortunately, Jacob had to pull out 24hrs before the event, so I thought I would be fishing alone, before my father offered his rod services to keep us as a pair for the weekend.
The customary Thursday evening BBQ was a great social event as always, catching up with friends and chewing the fat, and the usual copious amounts of banter, soon passed, and we drew our draw position for Friday morning…and true to form, we came out 15th…out of 15….great, I could see how this was going to go again!
Friday morning and draw time was soon upon us, and knowing there was a lot of fish in the bottom of what is known on the lake as Summer Bay we had a fairly good idea of where we wanted to be, but knowing we were last out the bag for the peg draw, we thought chances of us getting in there would be slim. To our amazement the draw progressed, and the lastthree pegs still in the bag were all on Summer Bay… unbelievable…as we watched the last two pegs go before us we were left the last ball…..PEG 2 on Summer Bay! YESSSSS.
After skipping to the swim, and getting all the gear sorted, we had three hours to set up before rods in, and with the weather warm, and a strong wind blowing down the 68 acre venue right into our bay, it looked good…really good. We took the decision to go two rods on zigs, and two on a clear spot we found when we leaded about after the whistle.
Wth minimum disturbance 2 zigs on black foams were dispatched and 2 bottom rods out to the 14.5 wrap gravel spot.We opted to fish PVA bags, using the Dynamite Active stick mix, with a 15mm Monster Tiger Nut boilie soaked in matching liquid on the hook, and a CompleX-T 15mm bait, tipped with fake corn on the other bottom rod.
The spomb mix was made up of Dynamite Mixed particle, hemp, sweetcorn, and 12mm tigernut boilie, with crushed boilie in the mix too, all glugged in tigernut syrup, and left to soak. A small spomb was primed, and ready to go.
We fished the 1st three hours with no disturbance, before introducing 10 small spods to get some bait in the swim, conditions had cooled off somewhat, and the fish were not present in such vast numbers as the day before, but a few were showing all over the bay, so we decided to quietly get some bait in, and see if they would get there heads down for a feed. Our 1st take came at 5pm, and after a blistering bite, the hook pulled a few seconds into the fight, gutted, the re-cast CompleX-T was placed back on the money, and an hour later the rod was away again, resulting in a fish hitting the mat at a healthy 11.9kg (26lb) we were well chuffed and happy to be on the score sheet. A very quiet night then followed, except for the ghost takes…screaming runs and hitting into nothing, which we figured out later to be spawning tench in the margins.
A few fish started to trickle out across the lake, and just before dark the team in peg 3 landed a 12.3kg fish to get into 1st spot and a band of heavy rain came down for a few hours into dark seemed to switch everything off. A few more fish came out overnight and we remained second on the leaderboard come 7am Saturday morning. A very quiet day through Saturday saw various tactics being tried, and we changed two rods to naked chods fishing over the silkweed that covered most of the bay, just hoping for a rogue pick up from a cruising carp. Casting to showing fish was also tried, and various pop-ups of every colour and flavour were put to work, but alas not even a sniff, until 3pm, when the rod on the gravel spot roared off again. Now normally I am pretty calm, but this fish decided that in 3-4ft of water it didn’t want to have its picture taken, and proceeded to try every trick in the book, picking up two more lines in the process, and getting into a bed of lilies just in front of the swim and getting stuck. With the barbless hook pull, and the loss of our 1st bite fresh in my mind, the fight was tense until we managed to land the 2nd fish, again at a healthy 11.8kg. Great, that pushed us into the lead with 23kg, and we went into the night full of hope, and waiting more action. The rain came down again, and it went very quiet. News across the lake was that nothing came out through the hours of darkness, and at dawn Sunday morning we were still hanging onto our lead, and heading to Madine!
At 7am the website was updated, and news of a 6kg fish filtered through from peg 11, the guys in 3rd…they had overtaken us with a little 6kg stockie, and put them 3kg in the lead…gutted, we tried everything for those last two hours, with the sun coming up, and really warm, we knew the fish would be making their way back into the shallow bay, but try as we might, nothing could tempt a pick-up to nick us the 3rd fish we needed…Gutted, so close again and only lost out to local anglers. Thats the 3rd time we have placed top 3 in 4 years….what is it they say, always the bridesmaid…never the bride! Fingers crossed that 2019 is the year……onto the next one. Tight lines, Matt“