“A very special weekend, one I will remember for a long time to come”. Those were the words of organiser Simon Bangert at the end of the Carping for Heroes weekend. The weather had been kind, the lake perfect, and fish landed.
Simon initially came up with idea of a 24hr carp match to raise money for the Help the Heroes charity. It quickly took off and gained lots of interest from local anglers and support from the tackle trade. It was called a match, and a match there was, but the weekend was about a lot more than some carp anglers just fishing for the weekend. Simon had amassed a mountain of prizes for the Sunday raffle and on the Saturday evening there was a social complete with games and an auction.
At 5pm on the Saturday the match was temporarily halted for the social and everyone gathered round the BBQ and the food tent. Invited to host the Saturday games, Julian Cundiff and I had devised a hook a fish type competition which kept everyone entertained and in some cases not just a little bit frustrated and embarrassed. There was a serious side to the game however as Daiwa had put a Longbow DF floater rod, and SS2500 reel up as a prize.
The auction was a lively affair and raised £295.50, and then it was time for the anglers to get back to trying to catch carp. The night turned cold and the fishing was not as prolific as Welham can be but with first light fish had been landed, with Tony Constantine in the lead with two fish for a total weight of 26lb 2oz. The biggest fish fell to Tony Mangan at 16lb 2oz.
With the end of the match, it was time for the raffle, and everyone gathered around the prize tent with tickets in hand. I cannot remember the last time I saw so many prizes gathered together for one event. A credit to Simon for his hard work in contacting everyone and I suspect a measure of the goodwill our armed forces are held in. Along with the auction this brought the amount raised to £1837.50.
Overall it had been a terrific event, brilliantly organised and very well supported, by local anglers and the tackle trade. It shows how much regard there is for all those brave people putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, they have our utmost respect. Well done Simon, and to all those who attended or helped in any way.