O’Connor’s win the Pallatrax Carp Open at Upper Tamar

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Thirty three anglers fished the wind and rain swept waters of Upper Tamar Lake competing for a splendid array of prizes. Below is an excellent report of the event from Ben Smeeth Countryside and Angling Manager from South West Lakes Trust.

Barry and Ben O’Connor have won the September 2016 Pallatrax Carp Open at Upper Tamar Lake after finishing second the last time they visited Tamar.


Friday afternoon saw 21 Pairs eagerly await the draw for the much anticipated final competition of the year. Conditions looked really good, a warm breeze pushing away from the dam looked like it would favour a lot of pegs particularly towards the far end of the lake. The lake had been fishing really well leading up to the competition with Dan Gay and Nigel Woods recording 20 carp the previous weekend and Jason and Leanne McEvoy landing 9 fish the day before the competition. Whilst pegging and cutting swims a lot of fish were seen, particularly in the quarry, the far end, off the lookout tower and also at the end of the arm with some really good fish in among them.

With the welcome briefing done, Barry and Ben O’Connor were first out the draw and opted for swim 14, opposite the bird hide on the Devon Bank.


There were two spare pegs at the end of the draw to give everyone a good choice of swim. Anglers were then transported to their swim by staff and marshals and the horn went to sound the beginning of the competition at 4pm.

It took an hour for the first fish to be banked and what a cracker it was for Nigel Woods and Matthew Bull on peg 12. A mint condition 16.02 common.


This was followed 15 minutes later by newcomers Dan Young and Matt Wyld on the new quarry swim peg 11. A 9.01 common was in the bag and they were off and running!

Dan Gay and Lee Graver were also off with the 9.12 common from peg 9 on the second point. Barry and Ben O’Connor also banked a fish early at 11.08

Plenty of fish being caught all-round the lake and a great start to the comp! Through the first night there were fish caught steadily all over with Danny Clarke and Nick Singleton managing a brace including a lovely 16.13 common to take them into the lead from peg 8.


Past winners Scott Bowden and Jamie Rusling were off and running with a 5.14 common from the second swim on West bay (peg 18) and Barry and Ben O’Connor had two more fish and sat in second place.

Into Saturday and Dan Young and Matt Wyld bagged their second to move into third place with an 8.04 common. By this time the wind had really picked up and was thrashing down towards the far end of the lake making the seed drill and second point area hard to fish.

During Saturday there were fish for Mike Trew (peg 5), Danny Clarke (peg 8), Scott Bowden (peg 18) and three more for Barry and Ben O’Connor to move them clear at the top.


There were also first fish caught at Tamar for Tim James on Peg 1 (Pallatrax) with a lovely ghost common of 16.01 and Shaun Pimm (AKA Tackle Bridgwater) with a cracking 17.09 common by the pontoon on peg 22.

Saturday night proved to be the turning point with Danny Clarke and Nick Singleton managing two more fish the O’Connors were not to be outdone and landed five fish including a 15.14 common to move well clear of the field and over the 100lb mark! This was despite the torrential rain and rising water levels! It really did rain – anglers awoke to find rods under the water and alarms submerged, not to mention a flood in Jamie Ruslings bivvy!!

Nigel Woods and Matt Bull caught the fish of the competition on Sunday morning at 23.02 from peg 12 – congratulations to Nigel landing his first 20 from the venue.


Sunday morning didn’t produce many fish with just the odd one or two being picked off around the lake – the wind completely changed and was heading towards the dam at this stage favoring the dam swims. Phil and Sam Gilhespy managed a couple and lost a couple which would prove to be costly.

The horn sounded at 1pm and all the competitors were collected and taken back to the car park. Gary Vogel had prepared some burgers and hot dogs for everyone which were well enjoyed!

I would like to thank all the staff and Marshalls who worked tirelessly over the weekend Gary Vogel, JCB Bob, Terry and Martin Reid, Gandolph Bob and Steve Gliddon. Thanks to the café staff also.

Thank you to Simon and Tina at Pallatrax for their sponsorship and association with the competition.

The final leader board is pictured.

Many Congratulations to Barry and Ben O’Connor who had 12 fish for 118.01 and they scooped the £2000 first prize


Danny Clarke and Nick Singleton who have finished third twice before were runners up with 6 fish for 59.02 and they collected £1000

Local anglers Nigel Woods and Matthew Bull were third with two fish for 39.04 and took the £500 third prize.

Largest fish (not finishing in the top three was Shaun Pimm 17.02 and he won a £50 Pallatrax voucher. Smallest fish also winning a £50 Pallatrax voucher was Scott Bowden with a fish of 5.13.

All in all, a great weekend, I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did and I look forward to the next one in March 2017. We are taking bookings now on 01566 771930