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Fishing the BCAC Carp Qualifiers with Paul Stevens

Myself and Stephen Crowe entered in to our second big Carp competition of 2016 and is known as BCAC (British Carp Angling Championship) and our qualifier was being held at Walthamstow reservoir in London and is known for large weights in the matches and this match was no different.

Arriving at the venue…

Armed with lots of bait courtesy of Angling Direct in Norwich we were set and armed for what ever this lake could throw at us. Sometimes the venue requires lots of heavy baiting other times it is single baits with little PVA bags of goodies so we had to go armed with everything just in case.

Walthamstow Reservoir 1

We arrived at the venue on the Thursday so we could walk the lake and work out our peg choice and when we arrived to bright sunshine we soon found the Carp shoaled up in an area that we already fancied before even seeing the lake. The lead up to each of our matches, we spend a lot of time researching the venue and speaking with as many contacts as possible seeing if we can gain the upper hand on the other anglers and then the other main part of gaining experience of the lake is looking around the day before.

So with our peg choice written down and changed many times it was final we had made a decision and it was all down to the draw now and would the Carp gods be shinning on us as previous matches we had not had a good draw so we hit our sack praying that we would get a good draw.

The day of the draw…

Up early on the Friday morning for the last couple of walks around before the draw and the Carp confirmed for us our peg choice was correct for the conditions. Right, now time for the draw……. This is the worst part of the match for us but not this time as we managed to come out of the bag second and we got our first swim choice so it was all down to us now to make this happen.

Draw done we headed to a swim for the next 48hrs and once we had barrowed half a ton of gear to the swim we stood back to see what we could see and the Carp were all over us, crashing out 10yrds in front of us so we kept all the disturbance to a low. Then the 11oclock hotter was blown meaning every one could marker and spod bait out but no baited rigs were to enter the water. We just sat back and kept quite until the start of the match at 12pm.

The Match Begins…

We simply under arm flicked 4 rods out and literally minutes are putting the first rod out we had a run and just looked at each other prating it would carry on this way. Once this fish was netted and sacked we had another run, then another then another then we lost one which we think annoyed the Carp out there and they disappeared. So what a great start the first 40minutes and we had 5 takes and 4 fish in sacks ready for weighing. We said hope this keeps up!!!

First fish for Steve and myself

Unfortunately is went a little quite for a couple of hours until we saw the fish rolling at around 130yrdsin front of us so we swapped rigs and blasted 4 rigs at range to showing fish then we started to get the takes again. Before we knew it we were third on the board battling with fourth place. This little battle went on until Saturday morning with just pounds between us and fourth but always managing to stay just slightly ahead then fourth stopped catching and we managed to carry on building a good lead.

Night time takes

Second night and it was close

The final day…

We went in to Saturday clear of the team we were battling with thinking it should be fairly easy from now on to stay in third. We carried on catching during the night and morning was soon breaking through the night sky when we received an update we were dreading. A team had caught us overnight managing to catch over 200LB of carp to bring them only 5LB behind us……. We both had to pull up our socks and get some more Carp on the bank. The next 6 hours was tough as we lost 3 carp on the trot but some how managed to gain a few more vital pounds on the board and before we knew it the final hooter was blown at 12pm on the Sunday lunchtime.

Onto the semi finals…

Now it was down to who had managed to catch more carp in the last 6 hours. So we quickly packed away and made our way round to the leader board to see what had happened and to our amazement we had managed to keep in third the whole time and we had even crept ahead of the team by 30LBs finishing the match on 396LB what a huge relief for both myself and my fishing partner Stephen.

We fished against some great anglers in this match and it was a pleasure to see Kevin Grout and Luke Church do battle against Billy Flowers and Jamie Londers with two huge weights of fish, fishing next door to each other. A massive well done to both teams who never gave up.

On to Brasenose 1 for the semi and we are hoping for a great draw as this venue is going to be tough semi with some very good anglers.

Hopefully you have enjoyed mine and Stephens report of our BCAC qualifier and a big thanks to Angling Direct for sponsoring us.

Contact us

Ontop of being a fantastic Carp angler in his spare time, if you were unaware, Paul is also the team leader for all of our fantastic Norway and Big game fishing destinations. If you’re interested in contacting Paul in regards to a hosted trip of your own, you can contact him at 01603 407596 or via email at

Until next time, tight lines

Paul & Stephen

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