Carp Fishing France
The carp fishing event is run annually by two Gunners, Maj (Retd) Russ Marsh & WO2 Tim Gray and this was the second year in a row the event was held at Abbey Lakes, the home of the eighth biggest carp in the world, after last year's success all competitors where looking forward to an excellent weeks angling.
The carp fishing competition was spread over 3 different carp lakes to accommodate the hugely popular event; Atilla lake a typical runs water with fish running to 57Ib, Fox lake with the average stamp of fish being nearer to the mid forties with an exception 60Iber thrown in and the crown jewel Heron lake the home of "Shoulders" at an average weight of 80Ib.
The carp anglers met up on the Saturday evening for the registration, BBQ and enjoyed a very pleasant evening with old colleagues as well as a chance to walk round the carp fishing complex for some the very first time. In the morning with a few smiles and sore heads it was time for the dreaded peg draw.
The draw is quite different from the norm, carp anglers are permitted after drawing a peg from the bag to decide whether to throw it back and choose again, competitors have 10 seconds to do this all the while being heckled by the audience which adds pressure but is highly amusing.
The event kicked finally off at 1300hrs and after a slow start fish started to appear, on average fifteen fish a night were caught in the first three days.
By the Wednesday afternoon we had a pause in the competition to allow carp fishing competitors to re-charge their batteries and gather for another BBQ & refreshments. Due to the wooden BBQ the food was exceptional but incredibly burnt, to that end it was unanimously suggested that we hire a chef for next years event; Tim and Russ took all the comments fairly well.
Suitably refreshed and rested the carp anglers returned to their swims and awaited the start of the final stage of the competition. The fish continued to come out at a steady rate until the last night, when all went ballistic. On most nights an average of 15 fish had been caught, but on the Friday, the final evening a staggering 29 fish were caught, keeping the organisers who had to weigh every fish very busy.
With the hours falling away the competition was very close, during the final few hours Sgt Jimmy Caine (47 Regt) and his brother and partner Luke Taylor were well ahead in the competition by a country mile, having caught consistently throughout the week.
At 2310hrs a carp was netted in peg 17 by Andy Moore, who turned to his partner holding the rod "my god it's huge, I think its shoulders"..!! In fact it was and the next 2 hours went by in a blur with weighing, photos, getting wet (a normal tradition when landing a new PB) and all manner of drinks including champagne were drunk in celebration.
The final results were as follows:
1. Andy Night & Tom Jackson 304.09 x 14 carp
2. Dave Greenland 201.10 x 7 fish (Gunner)
3. Paul Bennett & Phil Kent 160.01 x 8 carp (Ex Inf)
1. Chris Seeley & Andy Moore 380.14 x 10 carp (TA)
2. Iain Fordham & Martin Brandon 199.10 x 7 carp (Inf)
3. Ricky O'Connor & Michael Wells 71.05 x 2 carp
1. James Cain & Luke Taylor 399.02 x 11 fish (Gunner)
2. Anthony McCann & Rod Simpson 235.14 x 7 carp (Gunner)
3. Mark Trayhorn & Lee Berry 206.09 x 7 fish (Gunner)
1. Forces Carp Classic Champions 2011 James Cain & Luke Taylor (47 Regt RA)
2. Runners Up Chris Seeley & Andy Moore
In total some 97 carp were caught by 30 Pairs and these weighed in at 2920lbs 03ozs, which was made up of 36 x 30lbs, 10 x 40lbs, 2 x 50lbs and 1 x 80lbs, truly a fantastic haul of carp beating last year's event by some 400lbs of fish.
Summing up the week Sgt James Cain of 47 Regt RA said "this is the first time I have fished this event and trust me it won't be my last, we are already planning for next year and retaining our title". The event was well supported again by RACC members, LBdr Mark Trayhorn (19 Regt RA), Capt Terry McCann (RSA), Sgt Jon Costello (14 Regt RA), WO2 Dave Greenland (PJHQ), WO2 Steve Woolcombe (RSA), Mr Wayne Ashenden (Ex Gunner), WO2 Tim Grey, Maj (Ret) Russ Marsh.
2011 has been a cracking year for the RACC, It is inherent that in any year the RACC will gain or lose a few members. This year however has seen the RACC membership grow from strength to strength with new members joining us from across the breadth of the Gunner and TA Regiments.
Our Forecast of Events will expand to reflect our growing membership, with Regular Carp Academy's to develop angling skills, to the more high profile Inter-Corps carp fishing type events. Next year will also see a Gunner team enter into a national team event the Forces Carp Classics, so watch this space for updates and make every effort to attend as many events as possible to guarantee your selection.