Another successful match for Mark Betteridge!

Mark Betteridge had a successful first trip to Broadlands Lake, in Hampshire, when he teamed up with Stuart Mogford to beat 11 other pairs and qualify for the final of the Ashima Carp Championship.

Mark, who has already had a good year by qualifying for the semi-finals of the UK Carp Championships, had never even seen the lake before, nor had Stuart, and they only managed to come out ninth in the draw, but fortunately still got their fourth choice of swim.

He revealed: “We arrived early of the Friday to have a good look around and see what pegs we fancied, and it was tricky working out what order we fancied the swims in – when we were drawn there was only one peg left that we really fancied, so we were lucky to get it.

“When we got to the peg we tried to figure out the best places for our baits, and I settled on a fallen tree whilst Stuart opted to cast one to the far bank and fished his other rod along the near margin under a tree.

“We opted to start off just fishing solid PVA bags, and almost instantly Stuart had a take, and after a bit of drama with the fish getting caught in some braid hanging from a tree on an island, we landed our first fish in the competition, a mid-double mirror.

“That was quickly followed by a few bream and we quickly decided that the solid bags weren’t going to work for us, so we changed to feeding boilies and just hooking on a small bag of 10mm Mainline Cell boilies each time we cast out. Hookbaits were Peaches and Cream Wafters fished on size 6 Kurv hooks, and we were using lead clips.

“It was very quiet up until the evening, but just before it got dark I landed my first fish, another mid-double. The night was tough and I got very little sleep as I was snag fishing and some pike were very active in front of me and kept giving me line bites all night.

“As soon as the sun came up the next morning one of Stuart’s rods burst into action and he landed a beautiful orange-coloured mirror that apparently hadn’t been seen for the past ten years!

“Overnight we’d dropped from first to fourth and had realised that unless we were getting within inches of the bank we weren’t getting bites, so we recast all of our rods to the far bank.

“It wasn’t long before I’d put together a few fish, with the best being a 24lb 12oz common, and Stuart had a 25lb 2oz mirror. By the evening I’d had another mid-double and we were 40lb clear of everyone else, which was a good thing as it was clear the previous night that the fish were only in our swim during the day.

“We awoke at first light to find a freezing wind blowing down the lake into our swim, and overnight the guys in second place had added two more fish and were now only 6lb behind us.

“The next few hours were painful as we kept hearing of fish getting caught up the other end of the lake, where the second place pair were, but fortunately for us none of them came to their rods!

“Then with just ten minutes to go they had a take and there was a bit of confusion as it turned out to be a big pike. Finally the hooter sounded and we’d won with a total of nine carp for 161lb, which put us through to the final back at Broadlands in October.”