Angling Times Bait Tech Supercup Regional Semi Final – Saturday 31st July 22
Team: Jamie Foster, Ben May, Will Abernethy, Grant Thorne, John Coulson & Graham Potter
Following on from our victory in the knockout stage vs the Carp Shop our attention turned completely to the Regional Semi Final which was to be held at Gold Valley in Aldershot. The match was to be fished across Syndicate Lake, Middle Lake, Bat & Stock Lake.
We were able to place our anglers on this round which meant we could really focus on the individual methods required to do well on each lake. Our key to getting through against carp shop was our ability to share every bit of information with each other and create a team gameplan for the match that we would all follow. Team fishing is won or lost together so with that in mind multiple practices were booked in throughout June & July which were attended by the team and other club members. A big thank you to those who joined us in practices and shared your information with us.
In the run up to the Semi Final, Jamie & Ben both entered the opens across Middle & Syndicate, with Jamie winning his section on one of the matches on Middle and Ben picking up a section and making it into the main frame by coming third on the final open on Syndicate before the Semi Final.
Since I joined the club, this is the 2nd Semi Final I have been part of and the 3rd that the club have reached in 3 years so expectations were high for us this year given that Gold Valley is a venue that a few anglers on the team fish regularly on the opens so have some prior experience and knowledge of the venue.
We turned up to Gold Valley on Saturday morning to be greeted by a very busy complex. Darren Stone kindly volunteered his services to be our bank runner so the 7 of us sat and waited patiently for the 9am draw. Stepping up to the plate and taking on Drawing Duties was Ben May. Knowing the venue, I knew this was a match that could very well be over at the draw if we got a bad set of Pegs.
Into the bag of dreams Ben went and luckily he did not disappoint with our draw, 3 good pegs on Middle, an ok draw on Bat and 1 half decent and one poor on syndicate. We had spoke about the requirement for us to get through and we tasked ourselves with at least a top 5 finish each to ensure we hit the 30 point count which is usually enough to see you through into the Final.
Pegs on the Day
Sec A – Grant Thorne Peg 101
Sec B – Ben May Peg 128
Sec C – John Coulson Peg 65
Sec D – Jamie Foster Peg 84
Sec E – Will Abernethy Peg 97
Sec F – Graham Potter – B8
With our pegs now decided it was up the team to execute the gameplan we had discussed in the run up to match day. There was a real sense of confidence between us knowing that we had a real shot of progressing to the next round, each of us eagerly awaiting the 11 o’clock horn to signal the start of the 5 hour match.
Middle Lake & Bat Lake are heavily stocked with F1s so this would be a number game for the 4 of with Grant & Ben needing to catch some carp to do well on Syndicate. To say we got off to a rocket start on middle would be an understatement. All 3 of us catching from the off and edging our way to the top of the sections. Fishing on Syndicate & Bat was unfortunately slower although on Syndicate with the fish being a lot larger its about catching a few and ticking over.
Our game plan on Middle was to start short on either Paste or Expanders and make sure we are putting fish in the Net. Our edges were there for when we needed to rotate our lines and hopefully snare a few carp. Syndicate was based around Bomb & Wag or Pole shallow with the expectation to catch some fish short at the end on the Pole.
As the match progressed it was becoming very apparent that it was a case of trying to catch what you can as Middle Lake started to switch off and fish become somewhat of a rarity for us whilst over on syndicate Ben had started to catch a few late to boost his weight and make up some lost ground in the section.
4 o’clock came round and that was it…. had we done enough? What weights did we have as a team?
In Section Order: Grant 35lb, Ben 56lb, John C 27lb, Jamie 80lb, Will 40lb & Graham 23lb.
Jamie had won his section and the lake from Peg 84, Will was 2nd in section agonisingly only being beaten to 1st by 1lb and John brought home a 5th. Graham came back with 9 points from what proved to be the wrong lake to be on in the split section with Stock Lake having 5 x 50lb +weights. As the 4 of us waited with bated breath back at the club house, Ben & Grant did not know where they had placed but between them brought back 13 points. Grant picking up the points in a very tough section with the 2 end pegs up the top end and Bens late run proving to be key.
As the results rolled in Richard at Angling Times announced the overall results on the day. Coming in 4th Place (tied with 3rd on 30 points but section win countbacks) we managed to do enough to book our spot in the Final!! After two disappointing results at the semi finals I was over the moon to see the teams hard work and commitment pay off. As I said above team fishing is won or lost together and today, we won it together by working as team.
The final is due to be held between Barston Lakes & Meadowlands Fishery in the Midlands on Sunday 11th September.
A big thank you to the club for their continued support and most importantly the boys in the team for getting the job done!
Next Stop the Final!!
Tight Lines Jamie