Monday, 19 August 2013

PDAS 24 Hour Charity Carp Match

This weekend was the PDAS (Portsmouth & District Angling Society) 24 hour charity fundraising social match at Lakeside in Portsmouth. The match/social was fished from 3pm Saturday till 3pm Sunday with the biggest weight winning a shield and other prizes for section wins and biggest fish. 22 anglers took part with raffle donations and ticket sales taking place weeks leading up to the event. This year we have decided to support Samuel who sadly suffers from Cerebral Palsy, and requires a special operation in the USA, followed by lengthy post operation treatment in the UK.

The day came. We met in the car park, had a natter and began the banter with most of the mickey taking being aimed at the one who was going to be using vintage tackle throughout the whole 24 hours. John was also using some of his cane rods so I wasn’t alone. Once we’d drawn for swims we made our way to our swims but before getting the gear ready for the off we were treated to a wonderful BBQ and lots more banter.

As the fishing started so did the rain. It continued for 12 hours, I noticed it stop and the sky clear at 3am, I was awake due to the action I was seeing to the rods. The first take came at midnight. I was ledgering close to the bank with two rods, both hooks were baited with three grains of sweetcorn and the areas were baited with more corn and some ground-bait. The first take I had resulted in a hook pull, the next take at 01:15 resulted in the fish diving into the reeds and breaking my line. With two fish lost I felt quite dejected, it was still raining, dark and I had to re-tackle my rod.

Me beavering away to increase my catch rate…
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Retackle I did and with the rods now fishing again I fell back to sleep. I woke just after 3am to another take, only I managed to land this one, and the one just before 4am. So, by morning I was tired, but had two carp with a combined weight of 6lb 11oz. Rumour was that not many fish had been caught but there was a clear leader further along the bank. I wound in and went for a walk to stretch my legs at 7am, had a natter with some friends and retuned to strike up the Kelly Kettle for a pot of tea, although finding dry kindling after 12 hours of rain didn’t help matters too much.

My camp once the rain had cleared…
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Tea Time…
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I happened to catch another carp of just over 4lbs at lunchtime and another of similar size around fifteen minutes before the final whistle. The match was split into two sections of 11. When we packed away and returned to the car park for the results and the raffle I was delighted to learn I’d won my section of 11 and finished 2nd place overall. Not expected but very welcome. I was heartened to see those who had entered the pools give their winnings to Samuels fund, and after a wonderful raffle we were told that we’d helped raise over £1,000 for the little lad, who was there at the presentation with his family congratulating the winners.

Samuel and his family congratulate the overall winner…
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It was a superb event, well organised and with loads of fun. The fishing was fairly slow with 10 of the 22 anglers not catching any carp, the weather also seemed to be against us for the first half, but spirits remained high and we carried on enjoying ourselves nonetheless. It wasn’t really a match in the true sense of the word, although it had the tag of one, it was a gathering of souls all intent on giving something back and doing our bit for a very good cause.

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