April 28th marked the fourth round of this year’s Masters event at Barston Lakes, Solihull. The event is the culmination of a ten month qualifier campaign starting in January right the way through to October, which sees eight (8) anglers from each 80-peg round progress through to the main final in November where one lucky winner walks away with £2,000.
The Barston Masters is an event Andy likes to make time for during his hectic match fishing calendar with Andy boasting an impressive run of form at the venue including winning last year’s 3-day Guru Festival as well as finishing runner-up in the 2017 Masters final.
Following this fourth and latest round, Andy finds himself, once again, back in the final after winning his 10-man section. Below, Andy reflects on his second consecutive qualification in as many years for this popular event.
“The fourth round of this year’s Barston Masters qualifier campaign saw me draw peg 22, which I happen to know is a really good area for carp due to the gravel bottom and it being near to where the old fountain used to be. I’ve always fancied drawing this area but never have in all the eighteen (18) years I’ve been going to Barston so I had to make this one count”!
“These are out and out carp pegs and the method feeder at range is widely regarded as the best approach. There’s also a chance of catching short later over pinged pellets. With the weather being cold and wet, I had a feeling it might be a sit and wait job“.
“Tools for the day were a 12′ 8″ Diamond feeder rod and a 13′ Diamond Extreme 2 – very similar rods, but I opted to set up a 13′ rod just in case I found myself having to chase the fish out should I need to. A quick investigation of my swim with a bomb revealed the gravel area at around sixty five (65) metres, and this is where I planned on starting the match. I decided I was taking no prisoners given where I’d drawn and set up with 0.23mm Jurassic main line with a four inch 0.20mm MVR rig mono hooklength tied to a size 10 CS24 hook. The hoobait of choice was a wafter offered on a hair with pellets around the method“.
“All in all, it was a steady match for me with most things going according to plan over the course of the five hours with five (5) carp, two (2) F1’s and four (4) skimmers gracing the net, which gave me a final 51lb 6oz. This was good enough for an all important section win and placed me 3rd overall in the match. As I suspected, the match turned out to be relatively slow going with me needing to be patient and needing to follow the fish out once I’d starting catching ending up at around eighty (80) metres“.
“A nice day really even if it was freezing cold, but glad to be back in the final again“.