Angling Trust Masters – Tony Curd

There are a few events every year that I really look forward to and right up on that list is the annual Angling Trust Masters which is held at the fantastic Glebe Fishery. This year we entered a MAP Team which was a collection of our Consultants and with a strong field to compete against from other tackle companies and teams it would be a great match. The conditions were however going to throw a spanner in the works with very strong winds and rain pouring down early on. At the draw we decided to play our ace – Enter Jamie Hughes! Who headed to the draw bag, this couldn’t possibly go wrong, could it? Well to be honest and I’m sure by his own admission the collection of pegs he produced were to be kind about things, not the best and a real off day in the bag. Nevertheless The Glebe is a great venue with lots of fish available to catch so it’s never over until it’s over.

I was heading off to Peg 95 on Lake 6 at the top end which wasn’t good on the Match This Qualifier the previous Glebe 2Wednesday and to make matters worse I had the last 3 pegs of Lake 6 and the whole of Lake 7 in my section so I’d have no idea how well I was doing as the match progressed so it was going to be a case of head down and just catch as many as I could. The peg had a lovely far bank feeder chuck where a bank had collapsed at some point and I knew that to get any sort of team result here the feeder just had to come good and would be my main attack. My set up was very simple with an 11ft MAP Parabolix Feeder Rod 8lb MAP Optimum mainline a large cage feeder on a free running rig with a 20” hook length of 0.18mm MAP Power Optex to a size 14 B911 hook which I’d fish bunches of dead maggots on. Through the feeder I find pellets and a few dead maggots to be king at the glebe so a bag of 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets were prepared. Other than that with it being very windy I set up a short pole line at 5m which I would feed with Bait-Tech Superseed Hemp and Corn. I did set up a longer 13m rig but it was doubtful that I’d get to use it in the gusting wind which was coming from a thousand different directions.

At the all-in I dumped a large pot of hemp and corn at 5m and chucked the feeder across with four dead reds on the hook, nothing first cast so after just a minute I recast and had a bite while sinking the line a lovely start and nice to get off the mark so soon! I had strangely drawn next to my team mate Mark Malin who was on 94 in the other section to the left he had begun at 5m and had two fish very quickly. Thinking I may also be able to catch a few quick fish off this line I put the feeder down after 4 casts and dropped in, feeding a small amount of corn and hemp through a flexi pot it wasn’t long before I started to get some bites and managed to put 8 or 9 carp in the net in the first hour, not the biggest fish in the lake but any sort of start like that is always a good thing. As this line started to fade it would be kept for the latter stages of the match and it was now going to be full steam ahead on the feeder, keeping a steady rhythm casting regularly and not waiting too long for bites fishing very positively was the aim and after 30 minutes I started to feel I was building my peg up nicely with good spells of fish – usually 3 or 4 quickly then a 10 minute lull and then 3 or 4 more. It was steady progress and good for the area I was in.

As with all highly pressured commercial venues casting tight to the bank was essential and anything short would just be met with liners, with two hours to go I’d put around 90lbs in the net which was pleasing coming into the best part of the match and with the short pole still in the pipeline I was hopeful of adding a considerable amount to my keepnets. With an hour and a half remaining I dropped in on my short pole line to give myself the best possible chance to capitalise if it was solid but one foul hooked small carp which fell off and a big skimmer wasn’t the one this time and waiting for bites wasn’t going to be productive so I binned that and went back on the feeder for the duration, again I had flurries of fish which kept me interested and managed another 3 in the last ten minutes.

At the scales my 3 nets weighed 143lb which was enough for 2nd in my 13 pegs beaten by the end peg on Pool 7 who had managed a great weight of 198lb there was no way I could of caught that so feel my result was as good as it was getting from the draw and more importantly points on the board for the team. Mark next to me had managed a 5th in his from a peg that couldn’t have been worse in his section so that was another good result, Fisho Champ Andy May had won his section on Pool 5 and Matty Pillay had managed a fourth on Pool 1. Jamie and Aidan had suffered tough days and a combination of the conditions and a poor draw hadn’t done a lot to help them.

We actually managed to finish 3rd as a team which was a great result everything included! A big Well Done to Drennan Team England who took this year’s title, we’ll be back…

Tony Curd



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