I had always intended to fish Cider Farm lakes Sunday just gone, but then a late night was planned for Saturday and I didn't want to get up early and drive after a skinful. So it was lucky for me that Tony Rixon had an open at Avalon with a midday draw, fish 13:15 to 19:15.
I had plenty of time to get my gear together on Sun morning and the expected hangover was not to bad at all. I received a call from Glen Bailey who was fishing a CARPS AC match at Viaduct Campbell lake, or so he thought. It turned out the match had grown and went on to Cary lake too, which did not please Glenn one bit as he was on his third bash at Campbell. His call was to advise he had drawn peg 90 on Cary and was now looking to fish at Avalon, and Tony had the space to fit him.
Arriving at the venue the weather was not to bad, none of the promised rain, but a gusty wind was affecting the far end of the match lake we were to fish. I drew peg 28 which was 2 pegs away from where I had drawn last match, and on that day peg 27 had weighed a ton, Clint wykylicylik was on this peg. As I was setting up the wind was increasing and I set up a grip mesh feeder to use to pack soften pellets into. Getting my range with a straight lead I had 6 chucks that were all near perfect, just one more to make sure... let go to soon and up the tree it went... damn! That was to come back to haunt me later. I set up deep pellet and paste rigs and a margin rig and that was all I had time for. On the whistle I deposited half a big pot of 6mm pellets at 14mtrs and went straight onto the feeder. I was not leaving the feeder in for more than a few minutes to try to get some bait in, after about 20 mins the tip banged round, it was a carp but at 1lb one of the babies in the lake. A few casts later and a 4lb fish was in the net, next chuck a 5lb fish. Not long after another 5lb common was netted, so on the hour Mark I reckoned to have 15lb. It then went a bit quiet but a slightly bigger common hit the net and another smaller one came all by 1 1/2 hours. I was using 0.20 hooklength to a size 18 PR36 hook with a fairly long hair, hookbait was a 8mm or 10mm hard pellet. All the while I was feeding the odd pouch of pellet onto the pole line looking for signs of fish feeding.
My casting had been fairly accurate but the wind was getting worse and now the rain had started. Inevitably I lost a feeder and had to set up again. Leigh Nutland walked down and advised that I had as many in the net as anyone else at that stage. My bites had dried up on the feeder, but there were carp showing on the surface so I decided to set up the pellet wag which took no more than 5 mins. A 3.5 Swan Corby got me to the far side, although at this stage I had not fed any bait over as I had tried to keep the fish on the bottom, I had no bites on the wag. I tried to feed a few 8mm pellets over but it was very hard to concentrate the feed, one decent common was my only bite and I decided to go back to the feeder to keep the bait going on. Unfortunately in the next hour I had only 2 bites, but both fish came off halfway back, they didn't feel foulhooked so I was gutted to lose them.
With 2 hours to go I chucked 2 pints of caster and half a tin of corn in down the edge, then went on the long pole, In 30 mins on the pole I had one bite and came back with a scale. I spent the rest of the match on long pole and looking down the margin. The margin produced no bites, but I did manage 2 more commons on the long pole and lost another 2 foulhookers. There were fish on the pole line with fizzes all the time, but I couldn't get the damn things!
By the end of the match I could feel the rain had finally penetrated parts of my clothing, mostly in the groin area! I think I may have caught more if I had persisted with the feeder for longer, but unfortunately that lead I lost before the start of the match had a fair bit of line hanging down from it, and once I caught it I only managed to drag it out further meaning I was catching it nearly every cast and had to throw it up the bank! Glenn had rounded off his bad day by packing up early, wet and completely hacked off, in his own words "I have had a right f..." sorry, I cannot print what he said on this family friendly website, but you get the picture!
I weighed 43lb for 6th place (first out of the money) and nowt else, Clint beat me off peg 28 by 3lb thanks to 3 big carp he had on the paste in the last hour, one of which was around 15lb, well done matey.
Bela Bakos won with 75lb all on the waggler from I think peg 38 (must have been solid), Mike West was 2nd from peg 24 with 72lb (must have been really solid!)
VENUE EXPERT TONY RIXON HAD 29lb, so at least I managed to finally beat him on this venue!
Right now I must go and put all my gear back away, it's been spread out in the garden since 6pm drying out. No fishing this weekend as seeing family, hopefully by the next time I go everything will be dried out!