Maver Match This Final Full story
Wootton wins Maver Match This with last-minute carp
ALAST-gasp ghost carp won Rob Wootton £70,000 and the 2017 Maver Match This title after a nail-biting finish to the final at Hayfield Lakes.
It took the Leicester man’s total to 42kg 175g, which was just enough to beat former champion Chris Cameron’s 39kg 800g catch from the next peg.
Rob was in front for most of the match from his permanent peg 23 draw on Island Lake, but late runs of fish from his neighbours Chris on 25, and Andy Power on 21, meant the result could have gone either way. That was until 90 seconds to go, when Rob’s tip
pulled round for the last time, and shortly after the final whistle
he netted the carp that made all the difference.
“I knew that last fish was going to be massive so I took my time with it and made sure it counted. It was a huge relief when it went into the net,” said Rob.
“Without it we all agreed that it would have been impossibly close to call!
“It’s a fantastic title to now put on my CV, and the money makes it the one to win now!”
It was a good start to the match for several anglers, with Jamie Hughes an early leader after several mugged carp to 12lb on the pole from his peg 1 draw.
Rob himself managed two carp
on a short pole and pellets, but it was when he ventured out on
to his bomb line at 25m-30m that his match really kicked off and a great run of carp saw him open up a lead over the field.
But the sun and the calm conditions made the going difficult for most during the hours in the middle as the carp cruised around, not really feeding. Slowly but surely, however, a few anglers started to eat away at Rob’s lead.
Chris Cameron, to the right, was fishing similar bomb tactics to Rob and had started to catch much bigger fish regularly. And Andy Power to the left, who had unfortunately lost a few big fish around the island, was working hard putting smaller carp and carassio in the net.
“I knew I just had to keep ticking over and put a few more fish in the net. Nobody was really bagging, but people were catching more than I was as my bomb line had dried up at this point. So I picked up my 12ft rod to cast a feeder to the island point 65m away, which I’d deliberately left alone until
then,” Rob said. It proved a masterstroke, as
a 5lb ghost carp and a much smaller carp came in consecutive casts to add vital extra weight.
As he was putting these in the net, however, the crowd gasped as Chris Cameron took two huge fish in five minutes, adding around 22lb to his own total.
By now Andy Power was also in bagging mode on the waggler and nobody knew quite where to look. Things quietened down in the last 20 minutes, however, with all three nervously looking at each other.
On the other side of the lake, Andy Bennett was catching better than anybody. Rob was now back on the bomb but neither his nor Chris’ tip moved
in a tense final showdown. Then, with barely a minute left,
a rod was bent round... and it was Rob’s. He kept his cool and 30 seconds after the hooter, he scooped the 5lb ghostie up.
“I knew Chris was the main threat and he weighed just a couple of kilos less than I did. Then word came through that only Andy Bennett could push me, so I walked round to see his weigh-in and when he put 36kg on the scales I knew it was mine! I’d like to thank Maver and Hayfield Lakes for such a great event, and also my wife and family for putting up with all the time I’ve put into preparing for this match!” concluded Rob.
Chris Cameron’s 39kg 800g secured him second place and
a £5,000 pay day, while Andy Power’s late efforts took him
to 37kg 50g and a third-placed cheque for £3,000.
Result: 1 R Wootton, 42-175; 2 C Cameron, 39-800; 3 A Power, 37-050; 4 A Bennett, 36-675; 5 J Hughes, 31-500; 6 J Wilde, 28-375; 7 S Brown, 27-425; 8 M Williams, 25-375; 9 S Skelton, 24-175; 10 A Bailey, 22.425; 11 K Rich, 22.125; 12 M Dawes, 21-900; 13 S Rothery, 20.875; 14 Z Brown, 20.275; 15 D Roberts, 18.125; 16 L Hodgkinson, 14-575; 17 J Allerton, 13-400; jt 18 A Hulme and D Bracken, both 11-900; 20 W Sharman, 10-625; 21 C Horn, 9-550; 22 M McMillan, 3-875; jt23 M Higgins and M Elliot, did not weigh.
Part of Rob’s winning catch of 42-175.
Rob Wootton’s name will soon be on the trophy! Last year’s winner Jon Whincup presents Rob with his cheque.
A few late carp on the Method helped Rob to victory.