West takes Most Wanted crown

London-based personal trainer Alex West has been voted the winner of the inaugural Carp-Talk Most Wanted competition thanks to his captures of two of the country’s most desirable carp in the past 12 months.

The competition was launched at the start of last year to honour the 100 ‘Most Wanted’ carp in the country and the anglers who dedicate much of their time and effort trying to catch them. In the end, Alex was one of six anglers who appeared in Carp-Talk during 2016 with two ‘Most Wanted’ carp, meaning the overall winner had to be decided by the Carp-Talk panel, who unanimously voted Alex as the winner owing to the fact his two fish were caught from different waters.

The first of Alex’s ‘Most Wanted’ carp came in April, when he tempted a 50½lb mirror from a pressured Yateley club water. The capture was all the more impressive given Alex used a zig to tempt the fish after he noticed a carp take something off the surface amongst a group of gulls. He quickly cast a zig to the spot and just five minutes later saw his rod tip move. He struck into a solid resistance and 15 minutes later the biggest carp in the Yateley area was in his net.

Five months later, Alex visited day-only venue Sutton-at-Hone in Dartford, Kent, in the hope of continuing the run that had seen him catch his first River Thames thirty a few days previously. Within an hour of casting out his rods on first light, Alex was doing battle with a huge common that turned out to be the Peach, weighing in at 41lb.

Commiserations go out to the five other anglers who narrowly missed out on the award:

Ashford, Kent, tree surgeon Dan Taylor, landed Stella at her best ever weight of 51¾lb and the Northern Linear at 42¾lb during the same winter session on Manor Farm Lake, Essex.

Christian Hardwick from Benfleet, caught the same two fish as Dan although somewhat down in weight, Stella at 45lb 5oz and the Northern Linear at 38lb.

Richard Ince from St Neots, bagged the two biggies in Bluebell Swan Lake, Dave at 53lb and the Z Fish at 50lb 10oz, in the space of a month.

Canvey Island locksmith James ‘Lockey’ Mann, proved why he is the top rod on Fryerning Main Lake by catching the Boss at 52¼lb in April and the Gurm at 48lb a couple of months later.

Jonathan Moon, a company director from Calverley, notched up the captures of Black Scale at 44½lb and Three Scale at 52¼lb on consecutive visits to Erics Willows Lake.

Alex will be invited to the Carpin’ On Show at the Five Lakes Crowne Plaza Resort in Colchester, Essex, on 11-12th March, where he will be presented with his trophy by Carp-Talk owner Bev Clifford and editor Simon Crow on the Main Stage.

The 2017 Most Wanted competition will be altered slightly, with a number of new additions to the list and the introduction of a platinum, gold, silver and bronze grading system. A full list of Carp-Talk’s ‘Most Wanted’ carp is available to view on the Carp-Talk website: www.carptalk-online.co.uk.

Alex’s 50½lb southern club water beast, caught on a zig
Alex chalked up his second ‘Most Wanted’ fish with the Peach from Sutton-at-Hone at 41lb

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