World Carp Classic Qualifier

Shimano News

28th July 2014

Winners Steve and Louis with RK Leisure Owner Raphael Khalili (right) and Complex Mangager Jamie Gold(left).jpg

The weekend commencing 25th July saw 11 pairs of anglers go head-to-head at the iconic Wraysbury 1 complex, where they were competing for not only the chance to win tickets to the World Carp Classic final at Italy’s Lake Bolsena, but also a tackle and bait prize worth nearly £8,000 from event sponsors Shimano and Dynamite Baits. As well as all of this, hosts RK Leisure also provided two annual ‘gold cards’ for the winners, providing them with complete access to all of their waters including Kingsmead 1 and the awesome Horton Church Lake.

Wraysbury 1 needs little introduction to many carp anglers and most will know it as the once home of possibly the most famous carp of all time – Mary. This mammoth mirror took the British Record crown back in 1996 at a weight of 55lb 13oz when carp angling superstar Terry Hearn banked the colossal specimen. Since then the venue has received a major facelift and has now been split down the middle creating two unique waters.

Louis Lee brings another one to the bank.jpg

The few remaining stock have also received many additions, making sure that the future of the fishery is well safeguarded. Rather than having a mere 40-50 fish within it’s entirety, there have now been a further 400 smaller specimens stocked into the South lake, which spans some 45-acres. These fish are all hand picked stunners, which are jet black in colouration and promise to be the biggies of the future.

With glorious weather promised, the chances of a few fish gracing the bank looked likely and it didn’t take long for the first fish to be landed, with Iain Macmillan landing one within 5-minutes of casting. A steady stream of fish fell to many of the anglers, but it wasn’t until the second day that some of the venues larger residents were to put in an appearance.

The Saturday started with many of the 22 anglers having caught fish through the night. Father and son team, Steve and Louis Lee took the lead very early with a number of fish in the first 12-hours of the match. It was also Steve who was to connect with the first Wraysbury original of the event. Not long after slipping back one of the venues stockies, Steve was soon playing a much larger fish that initially looked as if he was going to require the boat to land it. Luckily steady pressure and plenty of patience saw the fish come free of the weed and enable Steve to land the fish from the bank.

On the bank the significance of this fish was all too clear to see and Steve was overjoyed to have banked one of the venues more historic residents in the shape of a 31lb 8oz common. Not only this, but the fish also pushed the duo even further up the leader board creating a larger gap between them and second place.

The scales say it all.jpg

With one of the originals putting in an appearance all the anglers suddenly realised that there was a very real chance of a couple more hitting the bank. After their initial success it came as no surprise when Steve’s son Louis netted a fantastic original in the shape of a 30lb linear! The pair was looking to be unstoppable at this point and it looked as if they weren’t going to have any real competition from the other anglers, even though plenty of smaller fish were coming out amongst the others.

That was until friends Adam Sharpe and David Ward decided to have a cast around elsewhere in there swim and began to build up some momentum. Having landed very little in the initial 24-hours, the duo found a couple of areas that were producing the goods and in the remaining 24-hours of the match managed to add another nine carp to the one they had already landed. Even though the majority were smaller stockies, Adam was lucky enough to hook into two of the venues larger residents in the shape of a 29lb mirror and a 30lb common, bringing the total for originals landed during the event to four.

Adam Sharp and David Ward with a cracking 30lb original.jpg
Adam Sharpe with his 29lb original.jpg

As if catching two originals wasn’t enough for the duo, they now stood a very good chance of overtaking the leaders should their swim fail to produce any more. With very little time remaining, Steve Lee managed to bank a fish that put them comfortably in the lead and what a fish it was! The fish was not an original, but proof if anyone needed it of the potential of the new stock in Wraysbury. Weighing in at 22lb, the stunning fully scaled mirror was without doubt one of the best-looking fish of the competition.

A few more fish were landed in the remaining hours, but by this point Steve and Louis had already sewn it up and finished the competition with 106.8kg of carp, followed by Adam and David with 73.9kg and then Stuart Briars and his son Joe with 53.6kg.

Steve's stunning 22lb fully - the future of Wraysbury!.jpg

In total there were 56 carp caught, with four of these being original’s to the complex. This gave a total combined weight of 339.7kg making it an extremely manic competition for all involved. With the final now imminent, Steve and Louis will have plenty to prepare for the big week where they will be targeting the Italian mega water that is Lake Bolsena on behalf of England – I’m sure on behalf of everyone, we wish them the best of luck!

For more information about the World Carp Classic -

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