RAF Deploy Precision Tactics at Inter Service Carp Championships

The Annual Inter Service Carp Championships took place recently at Chigboro Fisheries, Maywater Lake in Essex.

The competition, which is competed for by the Royal Air Force, The British Army and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines is run over 48 hours with four pairings of anglers from each Service battling it out for the chance to become the Inter Service Champions. RAF Marham provided nearly half the team with three anglers, RAF Team Manager CT Alfie Waters of Tor LITS PT; CT Lee Sustins of CMU and SAC(T) Jim Starr of ISTAR.

With weather conditions staying dry and mild, everyone was in an upbeat mood going into the draw for sections, the RAF team captain, Sgt Jason “Reg” Verney declared that he would pick out the RAF in the section that they fancied and duly did so! With the advantage of getting their first choice of sections on the lake the RAF lads took no time in getting pairings into position ready for the all in at 11am. With two of the swims in the sections covering a large expanse of water that was unfishable due to the weed growth, the decision to apply a strategy that would not disturb the fish in the area was adopted. In fact the decision to apply precision baiting tactics had been made during the RAF Team’s walk around the lake the previous evening. It was a decision which proved “spot on”. The pairing of Cpl Andy Wilson & CT Lee Sustins were fishing a lovely quiet area in “C”  section which had a channel of water between two islands as well as some other fantastic features to fish to. Whilst on the other side of the lake in “D” section, CT Mark Chappell and Sgt Matt Hunt were in a similar  situation, with an island in front of them and open water in the area to the left. Down in “B” section Sgt Reg Verney along with Cpl Dean Caseberry were fishing an open water area, which had plenty of weed present. Finally in “A” section, and the most unfancied section on the lake, were CT Alfie Waters & SAC(T) Jim Starr with half an island to go at but lots of floating weed to contend with as well as depths of only two feet of water!

As the hooter sounded for the start of the event, battle commenced and it wasn’t long before the first fish came out for the RAF pairing in “C” section, Andy Wilson getting the RAF team off the mark with a decent common carp. Whilst the Army team were busy “Spodding” out plenty of bait the rest of the RAF team were quietly going about their business, using single baits fished over a scattering of boillies. This tactic proved decisive as fish were coming out on a regular basis to three of the four pairings over the next 48 hours. It took until the 22 hour point for the pair in “A” section to register a fish with Alfie netting a 13lb 4oz common which was worth its weight in gold and save a potentially devastating dry net scenario. As the other sections continued to catch at a steady rate, it was becoming clear that the RAF were building up a substantial lead, with weights for the RAF surpassing 100lb in quick time.

The tactics remained constant and the fish kept coming from the RAF, soon the weights would become 200lb plus and for the pairing of Andy & Lee in “C” section even 300lb was exceeded!! By the time the final hooter sounded after 48 hours of excellent fishing from the RAF team, it was clear who the winners were going to be.

1st Place: Royal Air Force
2nd Place: British Army
3rd Place: Royal Navy & Royal Marines

The RAF Team won three of the sections, finishing 2nd in the 4th section as well as having the biggest fish from three out of four of the sections and the biggest fish of the competition with a fine 33lb common falling to Cpl Andy Wilson’s rod from which RAF Marham’s CT Lee Sustins had to reel in, as Andy had to visit a call of nature!

It was a fantastic performance from the RAF Team and proof that the tactics deployed for the venue worked like a dream and the watercraft knowledge of the team also was decisive in picking the most productive swims.

Finishing weights for the RAF team as follows :
• A Section: 13lb 4oz
• B Section: 137lb 10oz with biggest fish of 21lb 2oz
• C Section: 308lb 12oz with biggest fish of 33lb 8oz
• D Section: 249lb 10oz with biggest fish of 29lb 0oz

Total winning weight of 699lb 4oz

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