"The Zone" Young Carp Anglers Fish-in on Brasenose-1.

25 May 2006

Well folks its all in the title. 16 youngsters,8 adults and Terry Hearn. Whats it all about then?. Some time ago a young member of THE ZONE called Joeh sowed a seed. "Lets have a social come pairs match",said Joe and as I read it sort of sowed a seed. I felt that as a carp angler who had quite a few mates and contacts,we could collectively do something for the youngsters.

So on the weekend just gone, May 5th,6th and 7th. 16 of THE ZONE members decended upon Brasenose1 a lake on the Linear complex,kindly donated free of charge by Len Gurd. Friday afternoon at around 3ish saw the first of us arrive and they kept comming. Big smiles and full of enthusiasm and by 6ish they had all arrived. The youngsters came from all points of the country. Yorkshire,Midlands,Dorset,Wiltshire and Hertfordshire to name but a few counties. It was planned for the youngsters to fish the Friday night,just to get a f!eel for the place and for the match proper to start at 08.00 sharp on the Saturday morning and to finish at mid-day sharp on the Sunday.

Many many weeks of real hard work had been put in by quite a few of us and to be honest I did breath a sigh of relief when the last of the youngsters and coaches arrived.

The format for the match was as follows. 16 youngsters would pair up into 8 teams. They would then draw for swims and two swims would make up a "zone". So we would have two pairs per zone,4 zones in all. I will run through the prizes later. But out of each zone,we would have a winner and a runner up. Each zone winner would win a prize and each zone runner up would receive a gift. There was to be an overall winner of the event and a runner up of the event,both to receive substantial prizes. There was a trophy for the biggest fish of the match and a special award from the coaches,for the most promising angler of the weekend.

Each pair was to re!ceive a "coach" for the duration of the match. It was the coaches responsibility to show,help,advise,look after and generally help there pair to not only catch fish,but to be in with a real chance to win the match.

The Friday night went according to plan with most of the lads catching the odd fish and they all enjoyed a free BBQ.

07.15 on the Saturday morning saw all of the youngsters vacating there swims in readiness for the draws and the start of the match. LJ,Steve Howard and Neil Hubber had already marked out the swims and numbered them. So at around 07.30 we started the draws.

First up was the coaches. They all drew there swim numbers and made off to the respective swims. At this point myself and the youngsters had a bit of banter and for some strange reason,I got the impression they were all rather enjoying keeping the "experts" waiting.....Actually it did make for quite a sight,seeing all of the coaches tapping there fingers waiting for !there pair to arrive.

Anyway the draw continued and Joe&Alexei joined Roger in swim A. Swim B saw Adam&Luke joining Ron . In swim C was Neil,to be paired up with Richard&Max. Swim D Ollie&Dean found an egar Steve Howard. Swim E Matt&Rob joined an ever smiling Steviep. Swim F was deemed to be the "twitchers" swim,where my son Joe&his mate Danny found LittleJohn. Swim G was Keiths(bigfella) and he was teamed up with Nick and Craig. The very last swim was H. Big Mad Al was to find himself teamed up with Smiler James and Sam.

So at 08.00 I blew the whistle and the very first ever Carp-Forums.com "THE ZONE" National pairs match was under way.

The coaches set about getting there pairs fishing and the swims prepared,whilst myself and a couple of very willing hands set about helping wherever we could. I had invited both Chris Murray(baitrunner) and Kim Weedon over from Fatcarp.com to help me out with the behind the scenes stuff for the duration of the !match and our own Stuart arrived a bit later to help us out. Chris had taken on the mantle of collating all the catch info,to keep everyone up to speed as to the standings. He would also go onto producing a write up for the angling press after the match. Kim and myself took on the mantle of helpers,gophers,tea makers and BBQ kings.

I will leave the exact catch details to Chris and the press,but as the match progressed it became quite apparent that swim A with Joe&Alexie were creeping into a comarnding lead. Infact by the evening they had well over 100lbs of fish to there credit. Both Matt and Rob had already bagged pbs during the day and the biggest fish prize was changing hands by the minute. All youngsters aside from two had caught fish and all were still smiling.

I visited all of the swims countless times over the first day and the lads were all having a great time,both with the fishing and the "robbing" of there coaches brains and tackle boxes.
line A free BQQ was cooked and all took it in turns to arrive and have a scoff.

As night fell most of the teams were still catching and swim A was still in the lead. Sleep came in very very short stints for us all during the night,with most of the coaches not sleeping at all. Fish graced the banks during the night,but it would be fair to say that the action slowed down dramatically. At around 3am,the first of pairs started spodding,to try to increase there chances of a win and an hour or so later the first of the real action started.

A quick scan of the swims by Chris told us that there was some real "hot" competition in progress.

Swim A was still in the lead,but hot on there tails was swim F with my son Joe& Danny only a mere 18lbs away from there total. Little John,sprang into action at this point and really got the guys wound up. A real frenzy of activity saw the pair bank a cool 7 fish in a short space of time,including the only common of t!he match. But Roger had also got the info and Joe&Alexei kept the pressure up by banking some larger fish.

Neil in Swim C and Steve H in Swim D had a right old ding dong on there hands,as they found out there was less than 5lbs in it. Adam caught his first fish of the weekend,as Rons swim lept into action and James kept banking the odd fish to keep up the action at the other end of the swims.

By 08.00 the whole bank was totally buzzing as everyone could see some sort of winning line ahead of them.

Now I took a bit of time out here for two reasons. Firstly my legs and feet were totally shot to pieces,I had walked miles and miles over the match so far and was starting to flag a bit. I also wanted to observe things for a bit to take it all in.

God I was impressed. The atmosphere was electric and I was totally amazed at how competitive everyone had become. Banter was flowing thick and fast,and the fish were still being caught.

! Anyway after a quick cuppa,I spotted a black estate car on the far bank. Could it be I thought?. Is he really here?

As the car drew nearer I spotted the number plate on the car and it finally sunk home.

Many folk helped bring this all together and there are many sponsors to thanks. But the youngsters were now in for a real treat.

As Terry Hearn got out of his car and shook my hand,I was rather humbled that he had taken the time and effort to come and meet our youngsters. What a loverly fella he turned out to be. Taking the time to visit every single swim and chatted endlessly with the youngsters. All of the youngsters had pics with him and he shook hands with them all. He helped out in odd swims,he gave advice freely and never once ducked any question that was put to him. He even made the tea in one swim. What a guy and a real credit to carping.

The look on the faces of our youngsters when he walked into the swims,was nothing short !of a very emotional moment for me personally. Eyes wide and with jaws dropped,the youngsters one by one made Terry feel at home.

Once Terry settled in,he informed me that he had plenty of time on his hands and kindly agreed to stop and help present the mass of prizes we had for "every" youngster.

Time moved on and it was time to set out the prize table. I make no apology for mentioning sponsors at this point,but it is from the stance of there kind generosity,rather than to plug there products.

Linear Fisheries for the free use of the lake.
Carpanglersdream for the main prize of a week for two "all in".
Lac Des Lesmont for an exclusive booking for 8 youngsters.
Catcherbaits for teeshirts and 160kgs of spod/pellet mix.
Carp Hunter Baits for 160kgs of bloodworm pellet.
Mainline for 80kgs of The Pulse boilie/pellet,popups, dips and caps.
Carp-forums.com for ZONE teeshirts.
Sharper Carper for bait choppers. !
Atomic Tackle for goodie bag stuff and unhooking mat.
Korda for goodie bag stuff.
Matrix for goodie bag stuff,hats,shirts and hangers.
Solar Tackle for goodie bag stuff and hangers.
Thinking Anglers for carp care kits
Total Carp for subscriptions to TC/ACF.
Carpology for interactive dvds,shirts and hats.
Hookers for popups,hats and shirts.
Jim Shelley for copy of his book.
Globetrotter for his book.
Carp Addict/Steve Howard for endless copies of the mag,plus dvds.
Big Ron Woodward/Angling Lines for bait and dvds.
ECHO for the mailing of copies of Echoes,plus other goodies.
MarkCresswell for the biggest fish trophy.
[b]Bigfella for Nash pod and lead bag.

So as you can see,we really did have quite a lot to give away. All 16 youngsters got a substantial "goodie" bag,full of useful bit and bobs,with dvds. And the total prize value fund was estimated to be over £3500.00.
!ne At mid-day on the dot,I blew the final whistle and Chris collected the sheets from the coaches. The lads set about packing there gear away,whilst we did "the maths".

Swim A Joe&Alexei produced the highest weight and won the overall competition,with over 308lbs of fish. Swim F Joe &Danny was a very credible runner up with over 229lbs of fish. Both won weeks away in France plus many other goodies. Swim C also won a week in France as zone winners,as did Swim H. Swim D,as highest weight runners up also won the last of the places for a week in France. Craig had the biggest fish of the match and won the trophy,goodies and an automatic invite back next year. James was awarded "the most promising angler" award and received a mass of goodies.

Terry Hearn helped me award all of the prizes and willingly posed for pictures with all of the winners.

But it had not ended. To my complete surprise,it was time for me to get a bit emotional. I swear I knew nothing of the following events,but the youngsters had me on the hop with a massive lump in my throat. Two of them came forward and presented me with a bottle of "fine malt whiskey" and a shield. Upon the shield was engraved.

"To Jeff. thanks for everything,from THE ZONE 2006"

I am afraid I am not much good when things like this happen and I had to take a brief walk to compose myself. But I did make my thanks and was very proud to receive the awards.

So there we have it folks. 16 kids,8 adults and Terry Hearn. And what a fantastic weekend we all had.

We will return in 2007.

kind regards Jeff Lemaistre. THE ZONE