This match was being run by Tony Rixon, and it was a late start with a 10am draw. I'm not used to 10am draws, and normally I'm awake from about 6:30am anyway on a Sunday. However, this Sunday I was once again in an unhealthy state after far to many ales the day before so the late draw was welcomed. Glenn picked me up and we soon arrived at the venue, as I paid my pools money I was trying to keep the banana (breakfast) in my stomach, thankfully the pain passed and all was well!
I drew peg 3 which meant nothing to me or anyone else because the venue is so new, all I knew was that I was on the island. When I reached my peg I was a little disheartened to find there were five of us in a row on the island and I was bang in the middle, with fairly tight pegging I thought I could be disadvantaged. Glenn was on peg 1, Timmy Clarke on peg 2, Garbolinos finest Bob Gullick on 4 and John Dursley was on 5. John's peg looked the best by far as it had open water to the left. I had been told that there were a few thousand small carp in the lake, with a few better ones and some perch. So with this in mind I didn't set up heavy rigs and elastic. A swim on top set plus no4 section was nearly 6ft deep, and I used a 0.4grm Preston slim bristle float, with 0.12 to a 18 PR28 hook and red Hollo elastic. This rig was also for down the middle where the depth was the same. I set up another rig for this depth but with 0.14 to 16 PR28 and Green Hollo in case I was bagging. Fishing at 13 mtrs across I had nearly 2ft and I set up two rigs here (Cider Farm rigs) one with a band and one without. The floats used were 4x10 with 0.14 to 16PR 28 and PR36 for the band.
I just managed to make a quick visit to the toilet (hope no one went there for at least 30 mins afterwards) before the all in was sounded. I potted in some micros and maggots on the close line, a potful of pellets down the middle and some micros and 4mm pellets at 13 mtrs. I wanted to start close in and keep feeding pellets across by catty to try to get them lined up over there. It wasn't long before a small stockie carp took a liking to double dead maggot on the close 6ft swim, and I had a couple of perch here and a 5lb carp which surprised me. Things went a bit quiet for me then, but by flicking in a bit of bait I got the odd small carp, I then hooked another good fish before it snapped me off when it thrashed it's head on the surface. Around me Bob had a poor start, but the others were all catching close except Glenn who gone straight over and was catching.
An hour in and I'd taken another couple of small carp and another decent fish from the middle but this and the inside line had died so I had to have a look over. Fishing a 6mm soft pellet (Sonubaits F1 hookers) I took 4 fish in the first 4 put ins, but this soon slowed up. I was flicking over about 12 pellets every couple of minutes but the fishing was slower than I expected. I put the odd fish in the net in the next hour with some fish up to 6lb, but I also pulled out of a few. My peg then went decidedly dodgy, and I really struggled for bites on any of my lines, Bob Gullick's peg on the other hand came to life and he put a run of decent fish together that put him way out in front of me, but John Dursley was still the clear leader.
With 2 hours to go Timmy Clarke, who had been struggling, started to catch really well on caster, he was fishing across now, but it looked like a little further over than me. As I was just getting the very odd fish I stuck another section on and fed a swim to my left with some micro and maggot (I had no caster). I fed only a small amount as I could see Timmy was hardly feeding anything at all. This line came alive for me with about 90 mins left, the carp were small 8oz to 1lb but the bites were coming the quickest they had all match, I was catching on double dead maggot. Whilst Timmy never stopped catching this line did go quiet for me and I had to rest it, but I managed 2 fish in the last 2 casts landing a 5lb fish after the whistle. I knew John Dursley had won easily but it was close for the rest of us, Bob had struggled for just 2 fish in the last 2 hours and so had Glenn.
John weighed 97lb to win the match, Bob 59lb, me 60lb, Timmy 62lb and Glenn 46lb. So I dipped out on the coin. I should have won the section because I must have lost at least 10lb of fish off the hook, in fact that would have framed. I missed the guys name who came 2nd (it will be on Tony's blog) but he had 74lb and was effectively fishing the next peg round to John (in terms of fishing to the far bank I mean), Steve Hutchinson had 70lb for 3rd and Chris Fox 66lb for 4th. Charlie Barnes won the Silvers with 15lb, just beating steady Eddy Wynne.
It was noticeable that in my 5 pegs we had lots of lumps, as did 2nd place, but the further you went away from us the more smaller carp were caught. So I think the stockies weren't really in our 5 pegs because of the lumps. An enjoyable match, and it seemed to me that everyone caught a few fish. Obviously this lake is very new and it will take some time for the fish to settle in and the landscape to go green, but I have to say I was impressed with it and hope it goes from strength to strength.