Carp Specialist UK
Ian Poole Features
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'How I Won BCAC'

Every April, 216 pairs battle to be carp angling champions of Great Britain. In 2008, Ian Poole and Jon Finch became the seventh pair to win – here's how...

01 Know your team mate

"There are always going to be times when things go wrong and over the years I've seen a few teams go their separate ways right in the middle of a match. Pressure can do funny things to people so the longer you have known your prospective partner, the better - Jon and I had known each other for several years before we teamed up."

02 Prior knowledge

"After a couple of poor results in the years leading up to our win, we realised that it was no good just turning up to venues blind and hoping for the best. Even if we couldn't make time to practise, a short visit to the fishery to look around was better than nothing and was something we did on one of the venues in our winning year - what we saw in that morning ended up making a considerable difference on the match weekend." 

03 Don't worry about others

"With so many big names targeting the BCAC it's inevitable that you are going to be up against several of them at some stage. However, we never worried about the team next-door whoever they were and just attempted to catch as many carp as we possibly could."

04 Expect the unexpected

"There's no doubt that carp put under match pressure can turn up literally anywhere when all those lines go out. It's best to half-expect things to be nothing like it would be on a mid-week practise session with less anglers on the banks."

05 Going for a quickie

"No matter what venue we were fishing, one of our early aims in every match was to get on the scoreboard as soon as we possibly could. It may or may not have an impact on the final results, but until I got that first fish out of the way I never felt as though I was properly in the match." 

06 Fish to your strengths

"Every angler has their own individual strength and weaknesses and we've always tried to exploit this in our chosen pegs, thinking carefully before we decide who gets what part of the swim." 

07 Fish for one at a time

"Despite contesting some matches where 1,000lb might be needed to win, we've always felt that a fish and bait for one-at-a-time approach has produced better results. With fish showing in numbers at Broadlands the potential was there to go for glory and fill it in right at the start. We didn't and it proved to be a very wise decision." 

08 The luck of the draw

"I feel that a major part of our success in 2008 was down to simply getting three good draws in a row. Having plenty of previous match experience in all kinds of situations to fall back on, when we got our chance we were able to take full advantage. Everyone's time comes at the draw bag at some point, and when it does you must make the most of it."

09 Look forward not back

"Three dropped fish in the first couple of hours at Broadlands had the potential to very quickly put us on the back foot but once a fish has gone there's nothing you can do about it. We had to get over it quickly and after a quick adjustment of the end tackle our total for the rest of the 48hrs was 31 fish landed with only one lost."

10 The one percenters

"I've always been of the opinion that it's the little things that add up and give and in doing so produce those extra bonus fish that make all the difference. When up you're up against several pairs of top opposition you have to put yourself on a level playing field preparation-wise and then hope the draw bag is kind to you. Fortunately in 2008 it was for us."