Mark Griffiths' Blog

Guru’s Mark Griffiths checks in with news of a solid match win from the weekend! Find out how he did it below…

“After doing a lot of winter league practices and matches for Team Guru’s Castle Ashby team, I found myself with a free Sunday for a change. I always like to try to compete for big events, so after a few tweets with Larford Lakes I decided to book on the latest Maver Classic Qualifier on the Arena Lake.
The Maver Classic is an event that people qualify for throughout the year. The final features up to 100 finalists that then battle it out over two days, fishing a section on both the match and specimen lakes. The angler with the least amount of section points wins the tidy sum of £2,000 a trophy and tackle prizes.
After getting up nice and early and making the 90-minute journey to Larford I was greeted by the main man and all-round nice guy, Phil Briscoe. I get on well with Phil and he always gives me some banter and a good chin wag. Because it’s a venue that is too far to travel week-in, week-out, I always see it as a bit of a treat when I visit. However, the main objective of the day was to try and qualify.
The draw took place at 9am, and when my name was called up I pulled out my peg card opened it up to see peg 29. Having only fished Arena once before, narrowly missing a place in the £50,000 Maver Match This final, I wasn’t sure what a good or bad peg was this at time of year. Peg 29 put me middle of the lake, which I’ve found to be a safe bet on most venues in winter. To tackle Arena Lake in order to try and qualify, I chose a very simple and positive attack. This was to have a straight lead towards the middle of the lake, fishing popped-up bread and to have a pole rig set up to fish pellets and corn for bream, skimmers and carp.
My bomb setup consisted of 6lb Drag-Line for main line, through to a Guru Micro Lead Clip system, connected to a hook length of 0.19mm N-Gauge. I used a 2/3oz Guru square lead that I could easily change if needed. I had hook lengths set up with size-14 QM1s and long hairs with Speed Stops to take three 8mm bread disks. My pole setup was a 4xno18 Carpa Chimp connected to 0.15mm N-Gauge, through to a size-16 LWG, connected to an 0.13mm N-Gauge hook length.
To cut a long story short, at the start of the match I fed my pole then had a chuck on the bomb. It wasn’t long before the tip whacked round and I was netting my first carp. After a run of fish in the first two hours, my match was set to be a one-rod affair, however I did keep bait going in on my pole line just in case. At the end of the match I hadn’t tried the pole once and picked off fish on the bomb and bread steadily throughout the day, barring an hour spell in the middle that was iffy. I reckoned that I probably had in the region of 25 carp at the end and had clicked 127lb on my clicker. As the scales arrived I placed a weight of 131lb 15oz, so not a bad guess on the clicker by anybody’s standards.
My weight was good enough to win the match by a comfortable margin and more importantly qualify for the Classic final, as 86lb was second, so I was over the moon. To be fair I had a match that all of us match anglers dream of, in that plan A worked from start to finish. I’ll be looking forward to May’s final now and hoping to put a Guru Angler on the trophy, so fingers crossed and tight lines.”