One of Britain’s longest-running carp-match competitions has dramatically shaken up its rules and ramped up the prize money.
Carpfeed can exclusively reveal that the final of the 2018 British Carp Cup will be decided not on total weight but by the weight of each pair’s top five biggest fish.
The radical overhaul will only apply to the final – staged at the prolific but sometimes ‘peggy’ Barston Main Lake near Birmingham – in a bid to attract new entrants and keep all competitors in the running right up until the final moments.
The 10 qualifying events will be fished under standard rules, with total weight determining the winners.
Three pairs of anglers will qualify from each eliminator, meaning 30 pairs will battle it out at Barston for a much-improved first prize of £15,000, plus personalised Reuben Heaton scales.
Runners-up will net £5,000, with third taking £2,000 and fourth £1,000.
- Orchard Place Farm Lake 7, KENT (March 23-24-25)
- Windsor View Front Lake, BERKSHIRE (April 6-7-8)
- Pool Bridge Farm Q Lake, YORKSHIRE (April 13-14-15)
- Penns Hall, BIRMINGHAM (April 27-28-29)
- Kingsbury Pine Pool, WEST MIDLANDS (May 4-5-6)
- Willows Lakes, HERTFORDSHIRE (May 11-12-13)
- Old Mill Oak Lake, LINCOLNSHIRE (June 8-9-10)
- Thorney Weir, SURREY (June 22-23-24)
- Branston Water Park, STAFFORDSHIRE (July 6-7-8)
- Clear Water Keer Lake, LANCASHIRE (August 3-4-5)
- Barson Main Lake, WEST MIDLANDS (October 5-6-7)
British Carp Cups had previously operated on a regional basis, with the winners of the Southern, Midlands and Northern Carp Cups competing for the overall championship.
Those regional cups have been scrapped for 2018, meaning pairs will only have to finish in the top three of a single eliminator to make it through to the big-money final.
Launching the event at Carpfeed HQ, BCC boss Mick Coxon said: “It will be fascinating to see how the finalists approach it. They could go for numbers of fish and hope to catch five decent ones, or they could sit it out specifically for bigger fish.”
Similar rules exist in some European carp competitions like the World Carp Classic, which Mick has marshaled, and he believes the change will inject fresh energy into the UK carp-match scene.
“Like anything, there will be people who don’t agree with it, but 99.9 per cent of the people I’ve spoken to about this think it’s a great idea.
“In the past, Barston has been accused of being too ‘peggy’, but show me a water that isn’t to some degree. With this rule change you can still be in with a chance of winning right up until the final morning.
“I want to keep people here for the whole competition and make it so the final can be won from anywhere on the lake.”
Entry costs have risen to £420 a pair, with last year’s entrants given a week to enter before places are opened up to the public. Pairs can enter on the BCC website from Monday [6/11/17].
Two new qualifying venues have been added for 2018 – Windsor View Front Lake in Berkshire and Clear Water Kellet Lake in Lancashire.
British Carp Cups will continue to run the popular ladies’ singles and pairs events, plus the Mixed Carp Cup in 2018.
Asked how he would describe the BCC events to anglers who have never entered a carp match before, Mick Coxon added: “I would advise them to get in touch with me and offer to help out with marshaling an event to get a feel for it, or if they want to get involved straight away then I’d say all our events are competitive but fair and friendly.
“We like to have a friendly atmosphere but we don’t allow any cheating and we have a yellow and red card system in place.”
To find out more about the event and to enter visit www.britishcarpcups.co.uk or call 0115 9812 791, or email firstname.lastname@example.org