After returning the pole I borrowed from Warren Bates I was hoping my no 6 section had been repaired and delivered to Avon Angling. As I arrived Sat afternoon Tony told me the section was a no show, oh dear. Well in Tony's defense he does do a good job of repairing tap dancing shoes. I was very badly hung over from Friday night and so could not be bothered to do anything else to get a pole, so it was to be 5 metres maximum on Sunday.
Glenn picked me up with his usual military precision and we were off to Cider Farm chancing our luck. There was a good Bristol contingent with Mike Nicholls, Bela Bakos, Pete Sivell, Chris Gay, Roger Andonio as well as a few Brummies! I drew peg 19, which I have already drawn this year but a long time back when there was bare bank, and Steve Howells had really struggled on this peg the previous week. On the opposite bank appeared Pete Sivell on 20 and Chris Gay on 22, with Glenn next to me on 17 it was an all Bristol affair! It didn't take long for the banter to start from Mr Sivell and it never stopped all match. He asked if I wanted a pound on it, which I accepted despite being limited to 5mtr! I set up a paste rig with 0.18 to size 12 Drennan Nu hook, I fished it straight out at 5mtr, and to my right at 3 mtrs. I did set up a shallow pellet rig and a pellet wag but neither of those caught me a fish.
I fed half a big pot of 6mms and a couple of balls of paste on both my pole lines and started on the 5mtr line. I missed a bite first chuck, and Pete lost the first fish he hooked for the 2nd week running! It was a slow first hour for me with just 3 carp, although I was getting fizzes and plenty of indications. Glenn's brother Mark came down to watch him and this co-incided with him having his best spell of the match, then when Mark went he stopped catching! My second hour was a bit better but I was not connecting with many bites, and with the two lines I tried feeding one with a pot and one by hand. This didn't really help much but as although the fish remained present on both lines they were proving hard to line up. I'd get 1 or 2 fish by feeding a bit differently or resting a line, but then it would be a long spell of missed bites or foul hookers.
The 4th and 5th hours were probably my best, I caught with a little more regularity and was now getting the odd better fish up to 4lb. Fouler hookers were still a problem though and one fish must have straighted my hook but I didn't notice it (Drennan Nu hooks are an odd shape anyway) until I pulled out of two decent fish by the net! By now I wished I had got a longer pole as I am sure a line further out near to the reeds could have been useful, also there was no margin line to fish as the reeds were to dense. My last hour was not so productive and Pete Sivell had a good run of fish which I thought we see him beat me by a long way. When the scales arrived Dave Roper was leading with 73lb from peg 7, Glenn weighed 50lb and I tipped 71lb 13oz on them. Pete then took back the pound he gave me last week by weighing 81lb, and he also took Chris Gay's who weighed 59lb (so that means I have beat you in the section at last Chris!). Pete was obviously very happy to have beaten me, but I did remind him it had taken him three attempts to beat me lol!
The bottom half of the lake was much more consistent, with Lewis Breeze winning the match with 88lb on pellet shallow. In the end I was 8th overall and won my section by default. So a tight frame, with only 17lb between 1st and 8th, I reckon I lost 14 fish (mostly foulers) so could have been up there, but to be fair everyone suffered losses. Glenn had fish feeding on the top shelf all day but could not catch them, he chucked a straight lead out in the end and took 5 fish on this!
Well that is the end of my "season" at Cider Farm this year, it has been very kind to me this year and I've enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to Mark Gibson for his good organisation, see if you can pull a few reed beds out over the winter Mark! I've now had 5 pick ups on the trot, but it will be a mighty effort to keep this run going as I am now at Avalon for the next two Sundays. Time to tie lots of hook lengths!