It was certainly noticeable that Sunday was the longest day of the year, I keep waking up earlier and earlier at the moment and struggle to get back to sleep, so I was at the draw in plenty of time. Scanning the list of entries I could see half the Thyers team were present, as was "young un" Lewis Jones and Dave Roper (not the Dave Roper, but another excellent angler).
I felt the venue owed me a good peg and there was no complaint when I pulled out 14, this used to be "THE" peg but 46 and 41 have since taken over this mantra. I noted that Lewis Jones had peg 4 (no one pegged 7 pegs to his right 5 pegs to his left!), Lance Tucker peg 36 and his team mate Nick Harvey opposite on 37 (reed bay for both) and to top it all off Dave Roper had 46... all these regulars on decent pegs.. this was going to be tough so I could not take it easy.
I set up a deep paste rig, up the shelf pellet and paste rigs, a shallow pellet rig and even a pellet wag were for the open water in front of me. The reason for the wag was that the wind was not nice and as I thought I'd catch shallow this might help. I decided to start on the deep paste rig giving the other swims time time to settle. Unfortunately it was a slow start, and 20 mins on the paste with just a couple of liners meant I was up the shelf quicker than expected. This yielded 1 carp and 1 foulhooker and was my sum total after an hour, mind you Gary Cross next to me on 13 had 1 skimmer! I decided to look shallow out at 16 mtrs and took a couple of carp but the wind was hampering me. The pellet wag took another 2 carp but the fish drifted off. Trying the other lines was no good but dropping back on the pellet wag saw another 3 fish before they went again. I knew the venue was not fishing really well but I knew I was not catching well enough to do well. However, my perseverance feeding up the shelf next to the island paid off with 2 hours to go, it wasn't mad but I was now getting bites on paste. The fish were smaller than I expected but I was netting regularly and stuck with it. I was feeding 4mm pellet and using Thatchers green groundbait as paste, a cut down big H float with 0.16 to a 12 B711 barbless with no shot did the business.
I weighed 62lb 2oz, and was not expecting to win any coin based on recent results. Gary Cross next to me DNW and the lad on 17 had 40lb. As expected Dave Roper won with just over 100lb, all his fish on paste some deep some up the shelf, Lewis came 2nd (pleasure fishing) with 79lb paste deep, Lance Tucker did me for 3rd with 63lb 12oz. So I managed to win my section and a £25 pick up, but once again at this venue I had too long a dead spell which cost me. I think my main mistake was thinking I would bag catching shallow, If I had potted in and fished paste deep further out then maybe I could have had a few more carp in the first couple of hours. So really this day summed up what I had said in my previous blog, it is hard to beat the venue regulars, I need to make better decisions.
One thing did happen to me today which has never happened to me before when fishing, I killed a bird! On one of my strikes on the pellet wag (yes I missed the bite) my rod hit a reed warbler in flight! I never even saw it happen, just heard and felt the whack on the rod, well what are the chances of that happening! The reed warbler didn't warble one bit after that, and I watched it float away on the surface drift. I told fishery owner Mark Gibson of this incident, and he called me a murderer, ahem Mark, pot calling the kettle black.... mink?
The Thyers lads advised me that they were not going to fish the Superleague next year if Porth was in. I think I have to agree the place fishes harder every year, and after 6 weeks of festivals you can understand why. So they fancy getting Cider Farm on the venue list, there are 5 lakes here and 8 sections could be easily accommodated with plenty of room for all. As Lance pointed out Thyers are the team living nearest to Porth so if they don't want to bother why should anyone else! Gets my vote.