The first Carp ‘O’ Mania.

I haven’t brought the scales…

Jon – First session of a weight based competition.

After years and years of not angling, one snapchat was all it took to get Kev and Jon back on the bank. Jon stole his dad’s gear, Josh his grandads and they found themselves on Piper lake at Partridge Fisheries, Culcheth.

The sun was beating down on the small, popular pond. We took a short walk around the pond to decide what pegs to fish when we spotted a dead bream float on past. Ah, hadn’t we missed this.

We settled on some pegs and with the help of a few youtube videos a couple of calls to Mark (Jon’s dad), we were angling. Fishing on mostly maggots and feeder’s we couldn’t stop catching all day. It was good, but we couldn’t catch anything larger than a couple of pounds. So the decision was made to fish the specimen lake next time.

A couple of weeks later we were back at Partridge with Mad in tow for a crack at the specimen lake. It was torrential rain, and in short, Jon slipped down the bank during a run, I nearly lost a rod to a fish, and Mad somehow out caught both of us despite not knowing how to fish.

We were cold, wet but happy. That day we toyed with the idea of doing a competition to keep things interesting. We got a trophy, agreed on some rules and done it. Below is the report on how that inaugural competition went, although you’ll have to forgive me on the lack of details due to going on memory alone!

Carp ‘O’ Mania I

Rules:

  • Each competition consists of 4 sessions
  • At the end of each session the angler with the biggest fish is awarded 1 point.
  • The angler with the biggest combined weight is awarded 2 points.
  • The angler with the most points at the end of the competition is the winner and in the case of a draw, there is a fifth session between the drawing anglers and biggest combined weight wins the trophy.
  • There are two ‘power moves’ each angler can play only once at any point during the series. Double the weight of their next fish and move pegs.

Carp ‘O’ Mania consisted of three day sessions at Holbar Lake at Partridge Fisheries and 1 night session at Greenwood Lakes on Kingfisher Lake.

Session 1 got the competition off to a flyer. Well it sort of did. We had decided to compete in a competition that relied solely on being able to calculate the weight of the fish we were catching. None of us had scales so I offered to buy some, Jon assured me I need not buy any as his dad had some we could use. Lovely stuff.

Well, not really, 6am on the car park we had a draw for first choice of peg, when Jon revealed he had in fact not brought any scales. So we had to guess for the first day and it involved a lot of negotiating on the weight of the fish caught.

Anyhow on to the fishing. We all had success fishing to the islands on boilies and with pellets as free offerings. Jon and Mad both had 2 fish equalling only 12lb and similarly I had one fish that weighed in at 12lbs.

So considering the bleak conditions, none of us suffered a blank and we all shared the spoils with 1 point each.

Session 2 seen a change in fortune for some. By this point we were into November and the fishing was tough. Sadly I cant remember many specifics, probably because my body temperature had dropped by too much and I was huddled around my stove for the majority of the day. If memory serves me correctly Mad had an early small fish, me and Jon didn’t have a knock, Jon used his move peg card and got on the fish, dragged a few in and took all 3 points. You’ll have to forgive my lack of detail. Regardless, Jon took the lead in the series on 4 points, Mad was in 2nd with 1 and I trailed in the rear with 1 point but with a session 2 blank to my name.

Session 3 at Greenwood Fishery was rougher again. Young Mad nearly lost his life here. As for the fishing it wasn’t pretty but Mad blanked, Jon banked a 3lb carp, I used my double the weight card and managed to bank about 8lb in total. Again, wasn’t pretty but it was 3 points for me and put me into joint 2nd with Jon at 4 points with Mad in last with 1.

Now, onto Mad’s battle. Before the trip he told me he needed some night fishing gear. We got him a cheap bivvy online which was fine but wasn’t the warmest, he lent a half broken bedchair of Jon which meant he spent the night unable to move in case it collapsed but worst of all we got him a very cheap sleeping bag. It was thinner than his hair and when Jon peeled back the bivvy door first thing in the morning, and I’ll quote him here, “I s**t myself, because I thought he was dead”. Luckily he was not dead, just very cold and eager to go home.

I also had a problem at Greenwood due to my fear of rats. The place might as well moonlight as a rat sanctuary because frig me, they were everywhere. They were bold as well, they didn’t bolt when you moved, they waited for a bit to let you know what was what.

Session 4, again at Holbar, was the most interesting session of all. 3 points for Mad would see him take it to a fifth session, while me an Jon knew 2 points for the biggest combined weight would win the thing.

It was all Jon in the early going, putting together a handsome lead. I had a small fightback in the afternoon and with an hour to go Jon led by 8lbs. With about 10 seconds left on the clock, my rod screams off, a real melting take. I hooked the fish, and Jon’s heart went a bit. Luckily for him it was only 5lb and not enough to scrape the victory.

The whole series wasn’t pretty but it was a laugh and got us back into angling. Jon took the win and we we’re all just happy it didn’t go to a fifth session considering it was the 23rd December and we didn’t fancy dragging ourselves onto the bank between Christmas and New Year.

That was the first ever Carp ‘O’ Mania. Please forgive the lack of details and the technicalities of it, I really can’t remember. All that’s important is that I was sick with losing the first series and instantly we started planning next series.

Small spoiler – The second series will be concluded this weekend and the report for it, with more pictures, videos and interviews will be uploaded soon. It will also include more information about our rigs and bait etc.

Still haven’t decided on a sign off so here’s another quote.

“He’s six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster – That would make us all feel better.

Sir Ian Holloway – Talking about Cristiano Ronaldo

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