Monday, 30 August 2010

Tony Rixon Float Only Series - Final Match

As I placed my gear on the pavement waiting for Glenn to pick me up I noticed the wind was picking up but nothing serious. We soon had the car loaded (well Glenn did) and arrived at Viaduct Fishery with plenty of time to spare, but the car park was already very busy! I was in with a chance of making the top six overall, although I had to get a good result whereas others at the top already had most of their points in the bag, and as I have said in previous posts felt I would need a bit of luck today.

Into the drawbag and out comes a ticket with one stuck in it, which one to take? I decided to take the one I had my fingers on, and it revealed 116 a good peg on Campbell. Actually the other ticket I put back was corner peg 53, I know because Mat Dark took it! Glenn was not so happy when he drew peg 57 on Lodge (the disabled peg in the corner) although I have won off that peg before it can be hit or miss. I was interested to see where the other top anglers in the league had drawn, and with Tony getting 59, and Fred Roberts 94 I couldn't see them messing up.

When I arrived at 116 it soon became evident how strong the wind was, and it was to get worse during the day. Although this gave me cause for concern it would make life hard for nearly all in my section which went from 110 to 118. I had to win my section today to keep my chance of coming at least 3rd overall, and whilst not meaning to dis anyone, I thought Alan Oram 114 and Clint Wojtyla 110 would be my biggest rivals to this. Having done so well on paste recently I was keen to start on this method, but with the wind being so strong I couldn't see a float with no shot working, so instead I had a 0.5 grm Preston Tyson set up shotted to just below the top of the body, 0.18 to size 12 Drennan Nu hook. I set up a 4x14 Preston PB4 for fishing meat at 5 metres, 0.16 to a 14 PR28 and a margin rig for meat / corn (but only had one tiny carp on this). I was in two minds whether or not to set up a wag, but I decided to set up a Drake bodied wag, with 4 no8 down the line and a 16B960 to 0.185. The reason I set this up was just in case the wind dropped, or if the fish would not come in close.

On the whistle in went half a big pot of 6mm pellets at 12mtrs, some 30 pcs of meat at 5 mtrs and a big potful down the margin. Out went the paste and the float went under and never came up, but this was not a bite it was the force of the wind / tow not allowing the float to come back up! I lifted the float gently and the paste came off! I added a bit more depth and went out again this time with a stiffer paste, same result float would not come up, so I struck in disgust and hooked a carp just outside the mouth! Next chuck in and I had one proper, but then I couldn't get a bite and the wind was making it all wrong so at this early stage I abandoned the paste line. Onto the meat at 5 mtrs and it was very slow, I did manage 2 carp here in 30 mins but no signs in between bites. I was in trouble in I though, and reluctantly I started to feed 8mm pellets onto a wag line, it was a big wag line though as it was impossible to feed in the same place!

An hour and a half in and I had 5 carp in total, to my right had 2 and my left 1, but opposite on pegs 126 and 127 Andy Lloyd and Chris Davies were bagging. I was now feeling very cold and I took a walk down the bank to warm up, Alan on peg 114 had 4 carp on meat and so had Steve Evans on 111. Clint was struggling and was kind enough to leave his peg and go to his van and provide me with a fleece, thanks mate. As I returned to the peg it started to rain, straight into my face, lovely! It was now becoming me against the elements rather than the fish, and it reminded of a match earlier this year at Acorn. At one stage three top kits were blown behind me, my hat took off and my catapult and towel blew in the lake. Thankfully I started to get some bites on the deep wag, and whilst most were liners I at least knew there were fish so just got to work out how to catch them. I went more over depth to try to keep the bait still for as long as possible (about 2 minutes at best) and it helped.

After the first 4 hours I reckon I had 50lb, and I caught the odd carp on meat, I'd get one first chuck and then nothing, so I had just tried it now and then in between the wag. One thing that worked on the wag a few times today was to cast out and then try to bring the hook bait back to where the wag landed, this caught me a few on the drop, probably carp that investigated the splash and only found my pellet! The last 2 hours were much better (although the wind wasn't and it even brought down a 80ft tree behind Gary Etheridge on 121) and I spent the last 40 mins on the meat taking some skimmers, tench and carp.

I knew I had not won the section as Alan Oram had emptied it on meat at 4 mtrs, he ended with 183lb to be the clear top performer on my bank, an excellent match for Alan. Thankfully for me I was not beat by anyone else and I weighed 112lb which included 13lb of silvers. 2nd in the section was good enough to keep me in 3rd overall in the league behind overall winner Tony Rixon and Fred Roberts in second. With a section win by default I pocketed £285, a big pick up for me these days! I'm very happy to come 3rd behind 2 commercial experts.

Full result can be see on Tony's blog. Congratulations to Tony for winning and also for running a great competition along with Steve Evans.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Viaduct cost cutter 26/8/2010

As you may have read previously I have the last round of Tony's float only series at Viaduct this Sunday, and when Glenn mentioned this match I was up for it! Warren Bates was the man in the van today, and picked both myself and Glenn up, which was nice!

I viewed this match more as a practice session and to see what is going on and how the place is fishing, after all it only costs £10 to enter this match and that's only a few quid more than a day ticket but with the chance of getting your dosh back! There was a good turnout of 30 people, and some had fished the day before when there had been two 200lb weights, I just wondered how the rain would have affected the fish. I drew peg 131 on Campbell which is in a good area, Barry Fitchew had my peg the day before and told me it was solid but he did not weigh in. In the corner peg 132 was Ray Haywood, Ray had taken 160lb from the same peg on Wednesday and it didn't take him long to set up! On my left was the fishery manager Paul Greenwood's daughter Maisie, no pressure then! Glenn and Warren were both on Carey, but the talk was that Carey wouldn't be so good today.

I didn't set a lot of gear up, a paste rig as normal for 13 metres, a shallow rig for banded pellet (never used) and a deep waggler for banded pellet. 0.18 to 16 B960 were used for pellet. I did not set up the lead as I would get no benefit from using it. I didn't set up a pellet wag because Ray and others didn't think the carp would come shallow. On the hooter I fed half a large pot of mainly 6mms plus a few 8mms at 13 metres, and stated firing out 6 to 8 8mms on the wag line. Starting on the paste I had a bite first chuck and missed it, next cast I had a carp, but Ray was already on 3 and Maisie 2! The first hour was though good for me and I reckon I had 35lb to 40lb on the paste, but then it went iffy and it was a struggle to catch so I picked up the wag. I had bites straight away at depth but 4 out of 5 were liners, so after 3 or 4 fish I was back on the pole. The pole only gave up a couple of fish and so I had to go back to the wag as there were fish there.

I took another couple of carp on the wag but it was wrong and halfway through the match I took the wag off and put on a 3 swan Corby pellet wag instead. I was a mile behind Ray at this stage who had bagged fishing down to the tree in the water, but I tried to block him out of mind! The carp were very wary of the pellet wag and I had been warned they don't like it anymore. It was frustrating as the fish were there but it was hard to get them totake my hook bait. I tried a long tail and this caught a couple but I fouled too many, in the end I settled upon about 12" and just worked hard to try to trick a fish to take the bait. The last hour and a half the peg was fizzing, fish were swirling and the water went black! I had some good spells, and when it went quiet once a look back in on the pole caught me two more carp. I finished the match landing a carp on the wag after the whistle. Frustrating today, I lost at least 12 foulers on the wag, and pulled out of 4 at the net (think I pulled too hard).

Ray had taken 249lb and I was only just behind him (lol) on 175lb, but I had lost 13lb by going over the 80lb net limit twice! Either the fish were heavier than I thought or I lost count, hmmm probably both. Congratulations to Maisie who caught 103lb next me, absolutely brilliant!

My weight was good enough for 3rd overall, and it was my second consecutive 170lb weight, what's going on! Carey had not fished so well, with Glenn being third best weight with 91lb off peg 86, and Warren struggled for 2 carp on peg 76.
I was a tad tired after the match, cos they are hard fish to get in on the wag (much easier on the pole) and was glad Warren was going to be driving home!

1st Ray Haywood 249lb
2nd Mash 195lb (peg 123 and included 73lb of tench)
3rd Tim Ford 175lb

Silvers were won by John Green on peg 126 he had 79lb 14oz of skimmers on corn!

So I learned a few things today, and it will be interesting to see how it fishes Sunday, it would be nice to draw Campbell again, please! Need to draw a section without the Viaduct regulars in though, they're bloody hard to beat!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Cider Farm Open 22/8/2010

Obviously with my holiday cancelled it was back on the commercials (well I've got lots of pellets left!) and I was booked in at Cider Farm. A good turnout meant that both Yarlington and Dabinett were going to be used today. Maybe my luck has changed because I pulled peg 7 on Dabinett, one of the flyers on this lake. If you haven't been here before it is basically a peg on a gap in between the 2 long islands. For company I had venue regular Derek Culip on peg 6 (another flyer) and Bristol's finest builder and window fitter Paul Haines on peg 8 (no where as good a peg as mine). Opposite me on 21 was Steve Howells, and the other danger men were John Paige on peg 12 and worst of all Pete Sivell on peg 28. Pete has drawn this peg 3 times now, and has the match record off it.

I was pleased to know a 100lb had come off my peg the day before in a match, and I decided to attack the peg full on with paste at 7 metres, what I thought was a very comfortable distance and one the fish would be happy to come to. The usual 0.18 to size 12 Drennan Nu Hook and Big H float would do for this. I set up a 4x10 PB4 at 12" for pellet shallow and the same float at 2 feet for the margin to my left which I would feed with hemp and corn.

To start the match I fed half a big cup of pellets (4mm, 6mm and 8mm!) at 7mtr and a full big pot of hemp and corn in the margin. I did not feed any pellet across at this stage as I did not want to split the fish, I wanted them all on the paste line! I had a massive fizz over my feed and thought I had fed too much bait, but after the first hour I had taken 15 carp! I was getting a bite or a liner within seconds of the float settling, it was awesome! This put me way ahead of my neighbours and gave me a nice buffer. The second hour and 12 carp graced the net (I think 12 cos I started to lose count and gave up) and just after 2 hours Glenn Bailey rang me from Newcastle and was shocked when I told him how many I had! I had tried mainly topping up with a full Preston cad pot of pellet, but I didn't do this after every fish as it seemed to cause liners and missed bites. I also put in a bigger amount in the big pot occasionally when things slowed, this caused the fizz to return and after a while I'd get a good run of fish.

Half way through the match I decided to put two more keepnets in, this way I could see what I caught in the two halves of the match. This had the usual effect of stopping me catching! In the next 30 mins I managed 2 carp whilst Derek took 10! I managed to get a few more on the paste but I was not catching anywhere near the amount I was earlier. In hindsight I stayed on paste probably 45 mins too long, but this was because I was still getting the float go under but not hitting them or getting the odd fouler and I thought it would come good again. Eventually about just under 2 hours to go I started feeding 6mms at 13 mtrs and went out with a banded 8mm. Within 15 mins I was into carp and by regularly feeding and slapping the rig in I was catching well. However, I did have the odd mishap, as about 5 fish did me in the reeds even though I was a way from them. I thought about going to a heavier elastic but when fishing shallow I don't like heavy elastic and so I just tried to yank the pole behind me quicker. I finished the match by landing a fish after the whistle and should say I took 2 fish from the margin on corn to give the shallow line a rest for 15 mins when it went iffy once, they wouldn't stay on the inside.

Dabinett had fished well and there was talk of the fishery match record being broken, I did not do that, but my 172lb 5oz was my best ever weight at the venue by some way, I guess I had around 60 carp, I did not see the bigger stamp fish that are in this lake and to be fair most people had the same stamp. My nets showed that I caught 98lb in the first 3 hours and 74lb in the last 3. The match was won by Pete Sivell with a new record of 195lb, fair play to Pete he has increased his catch off this peg every time. I had to give him a pound too, but luckily I passed him the one I gained from Andy Curry! As for my neighbours well Derek had 126lb and Paul 88lb so a good days fishing!

1st Pete Sivell 195lb peg 28 again pellet and paste
2nd Tim Ford 172lb
3rd John Paige 131lb peg 12 Dabinett pellet
4th Derek Culip 126lb
The next two weights were also over 100lb, with veteran Rich Coles having 102lb from peg 1. The average weight was 96lb on Dabinett, and I did say that if Gary Cross had tried harder and weighed in more than 47lb we could have hit the 100lb average!

On Yarlington 92lb was top and there was and 88lb and 75lb. Pellet shallow was best but paste had the 75lb weight.

Well that was a nice day, and it was great to be back on the bank again. Next week I have the last round of Tony Rixon's float only series, Tony has told me that if I get a section win on this match then I will be in top 3 for sure. However, my last time at Viaduct in the series saw me have a disaster and that was my only match there this year, gonna need a lot of luck then! Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Thank F*** It's Friday!

I have taken the phone call from the BRI today, and they have told me the best possible news. The cancer has not spread from the rectum, phew, do I feel relieved about that.

As the cancer itself is rather bulky and very low down I have been advised they cannot operate to remove it just yet. So I now have to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink the little bastard!

Not sure how the treatment will affect my fishing, but hopefully I'll be able to get out and about as much as possible. As I said to couple of people this experience puts things into perspective, so perhaps I won't be that bothered by messing up pegs from now on!

Thanks to everyone for the positive vibes and support, I really cannot put into words how it has helped me over the last week or two.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Shit Happens

I think I ought to put on my blog what most people will already know, that is that I have cancer. There, I've said it because I have no issue talking about it with anyone.

I have actually seen the little bastard lump of cancer which resides in my arse, saw it on camera yesterday in the BRI hospital. Wednesday 18th Aug I have a CT scan, Thursday an MRI scan and after these I will know if the cancer is just in the one place or spread further. Until then I remain positive.

I don't mind admitting that when I was first told by the Doctor I was bricking it, and going home to tell the wife and kids was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and I was in floods of tears. I also felt sorry for the kids because I had to cancel our two week holiday to Kos (my planned RnR). Since that day (Mon 9th August) I have felt better and better every day in my mind and am just getting on with life as normal. If I see you on the bank I want to have a laugh and joke, wind ups as normal, because fishing is the one thing that has always taken me to a different place for a few hours, switching the rest of the world off so to speak. I do not want sympathy or people to fear the worse, because I am not!

I don't intend to turn this blog into a cancer site, but I will advise what I am up to as it may help people in the future who have to face the same thing. Up until now the hospital staff have been superb, support from friends and family has been amazing, in fact blown me away and put me in the right frame of mind.

I've booked in for the open at Cider Farm this Sunday and hopefully I'll get in amongst the carp and rain or shine bag up!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

December 1990

Dec 1st saw me on the banks of the Avon at Frys for the Commercial House Xmas match. I was drawn up in the 50's, what I call opposite the lily pad pegs on Jackies, an area that could through up bream. However, on this day the river was clear and I wasn't sure they would feed and so I settled on a crowquill approach. Using a 22 to 1.8lb Tectan I loosefed maggot and hemp I caught dace, roach, perch and small skimmers for 6lb 5oz and a section win. However, bream had fed in many pegs and I should have spent some time on the feeder, but the trouble is I love catching on the float!

The following day and it was back on the Avon for the Portcullis Xmas match at Crane and Swineford. I had one of the shortest walks when I pulled out the boys hole! I decided to fish exactly the same method as the day before (since bream had disappeared from this ares by now) and ended with an improved 7lb 15oz. Whilst that got me a prize it was not good enough for any coin, as the pegs by the cattle grid produced 12lb and 14lb of roach on the stick with caster. If I recall correctly the heavier weight was caught by Mark Harper, and it was a lesson in the quality caster could produce. But did I learn the lesson, no, I put it down to the pegs and would stick to maggots and hemp for a while longer!

1990 must have been a very dry year, because I have recorded on the 3rd Dec that a hose pipe ban was still enforced in Bristol, and that Chew Valley lake was only half full. On Saturday 8th December I fished the Silver Dace Xmas match, again this was from Crane to Swineford, and I drew 2 pegs into the cornfield (walking upstream). It was a cold day and it snowed all day, but it didn't pitch, and my match was awful with just a solitary 1lb 7oz chub to show for my efforts, although I did lose 2 chub to a 10lb+ pike! I walked a bit that day, and saw Leigh Nutland catch 30lb of chub of the "beach" peg on the waggler, and an angler had 40lb of bream in the middle of the cornfield. My next day on the Bathampton Xmas was even worse, I could only manage 2 roach and 1 gudgeon from peg 217 at Kelston straight.

I had only 2 Xmas matches left now to try to put some decent fish in the net, and next up was the Bristol Sensas Xmas match fished from Chequers to Jack Whites. I drew at Chequers, opposite the concrete outflow on Frys. I was not happy with this draw as I wanted to be at Jack Whites on a big fish peg. It was freezing on this morning and for the first 2 hours of the match the rod rings were freezing. Fishing once again with crowquill hemp and maggot I was amazed to catch 7lb 4oz of all roach, virtually unheard of in such conditions. Although this won me the section the river had fished well at Jackies, with bream weights of up to 30lb, chub weights of up to 18lb and there was even a 12lb carp caught. Looking back I never gave myself a chance of big fish in these matches by not fishing the feeder, but perhaps I benefited in the long run by working at catching on the float.

The last Xmas match was at Bristol docks and I drew at "halfpenny Bridge" OK where the f%ck that I asked! After finding someone to follow I was told it was only worth fishing for dace. I imagine I put together a rig on the day for this but I don't know what sort, but I used a 20 to 1.1lb bayer. I fished at 7 metres but went to 10 metres of pole to control the float. By loose feeding just maggot I caught for 3 1/2 hours, but then the flow picked up tremendously and the fish went with it. I'm guessing I framed as I picked up £41 but I did not record my position. On the day 30lb of roach won the match from the then famous lightship.

I did not fish the following weekend, as I went to Nottingham for a Xmas piss up with Paul Benson, Kev Winstone and Nick Tutty. I remember regretting wearing a white shirt one night when drinking Murphys, as I spilt loads down me! It was also rather funny on Xmas eve when the B&B owner came into our room to fix a blocked sink, unfortunately for him this was about 2 minutes after Nick Tutty had taken a dump. He came out of the bathroom glassy eyed and struggling for breath, but he was a good spirit and saw the funny side!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Float only series round 6 Avalon

A sound breakfast in the Shipham cafe to start the day and I wondered if it would be the highlight of the day. I had read on the talk angling forum match results that a few fisheries had not fished so well on Saturday, strong winds and rain showers were sure to have cooled things down. As I was waiting for the draw I noticed Craig Edmunds, Shaun Townsend and Martin Reyatt wearing shiny new Bathampton T shirts with Maver on them. Seems Bathampton have also got a Maver sponsorship along with the Veals team, and after last weeks Superleague on the Huntspill Veals have the bragging rights as Bathampton came plumb last and Maver are scratching their heads "what have we done!"

Finally I pulled a peg on the Top lake and it was peg 10 which meant nothing to me, Tony explained it was a flyer with a tree and corner to fish in, then he said no it isn't that's peg 11! Still this peg had produced 50lb+ last float only series and so I was fairly buoyant, unlike Glenn who had pulled peg 25 where he struggled from before. When I got to my peg I found Brian Shanks on peg 11 and he was going to be hard to beat off this peg, Timmy Clarke was on peg 12 in the opposite corner to Brian, and I had both of these pegs in my section just to make things harder! I decided to set up one shallow pellet wag, and one deep wag, both with 0.20mm to 16 PR38. On the pole I just set up a paste rig to fish at 14.5 metres, with 0.18 to my usual size 10 Drennan Nu Hook.

On the whistle I potted in a mixture of 6 and 8mm pellets at 14.5 metres and loose fed 8mms to the island. As with last week I hoped for an early fish or two on the pole while letting the wag swim develop. This was the wrong thing today, as after 25 minutes I had not had one bubble or indication, whilst Brian had taken 2 carp on the wag and a couple of other carp on the wag had been caught. I changed to the wag and about 4th chuck I hit a carp for all of 3 seconds and then was left with nothing on the line. Strange one this, the hook length had parted, but the float and shot had also come off for some reason? Another 20 mins on the wag brought nothing, and then I noticed some fizzing on the pole and dropped back in on it with paste. First chuck back in and an 8oz skimmer and then the fizzing had subsided. After 10 mins I thought I might have to go back to the wag, but then a proper bite resulted in a 10lb common, off the mark! Next drop in and after a short wait I had a 3lb common, and then next chuck a 7lb common. Of course the fish then disappeared and in the next 3 hours all I did was loose one more carp on the wag which again snapped 0.20 immeadiately!

The middle of the match was dire for all except Timmy Clarke, I resorted to trying to hit the water boatman with the end of my pole, while Brian said he was trying to fire a pellet into his toss pot! Glenn had rang to tell me he was on one skimmer and that it was rock hard! Chris Fox 2 up from me was having a rant, justifiably, because he had yards of line in the water opposite him and he was losing loads of gear. I'll say it again, the middle of the match really was a bore, but we all did our best to keep a bit of banter up, Timmy Clarke helped most of all by losing more than he was landing, even Anton tried to help him but said it was like watching Benny Hill!

I had kept trying different feeding patterns on both pole and wag to no avail, but with an hour to go there was a bit of a fizz on the pole line again. I got a few liners on this but then had what looked like a proper bite, but when I struck I connected with the fish about a foot below the surface, fouler? Well it didn't charge off, it just plodded forcefully around and I soon realised I was attached a lump. After about 15 mins of me pulling as hard as I could (even Anton Page opposite thought I was gonna break my no 4 section) I landed what turned out to be a 16lb 4oz common, hooked just outside the mouth. As I pulled the lump out of the water my old faithful Drennan Team England landing net pole snapped at the ferrule, sad to see that pole go. Thankfully Adrian Bishop at the next peg kindly lent me a pole and next put in I was into another carp about 5lb. The pole line went dead then and for the last 10 mins I chucked the pellet wag, and last cast it went under and this time I landed a 7lb fish after the whistle.

Unfortunately I was not going to get any dosh as Brian had taken several carp in the last hour fishing to the bottom bank margin and he won the section (and framed) with 60lb, Timmy Clarke had 52lb (for section default) and my six carp weighed 48lb. We were the top 3 on the lake by some way and the rest of it was tripe. Hard to say I enjoyed today, and once again I was annoyingly just 1 fish away from picking up, still the 16lb fish was a highlight and the biggest fish I have landed on my Preston 2G10 pole. The other lake was also hard but it produced first and second overall in Dean Malin and Josh Garrett. See Tony's blog for the full result as I decided to leave before the results to get home before 8pm for a change!

That's my lot for Commercials this year, when I look back it's been the best set of results I've had in Spring and Summer on commercials. I've had some good draws and caught, but also messed some pegs up, so still plenty more to learn. I've caught more fish than ever before on paste, and whilst nowhere near an expert I would like to think I have added this tactic to my armoury and have some confidence in it. A few weeks R n R now I think, and time to get the gear ready for the river, so my next post will probably be in September, in the mean time I wish you tight lines.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Avalon Open

As it is round 5 of the float only next week at Avalon I decided Tony's open at the venue would be a good idea, I'll blame Glenn for giving me that idea. I've been having a few "bottom" problems of late and I found myself having to use the toilets at Avalon. They are very pleasant, but it is not a good idea to go into one to soon after Dean Malin, nuff said. Luckily for me I did not draw a shite peg and was happy with peg 7 which has won a match recently (but it was Gary Wall on paste and he is the master and I am just giving it a go so I could mess this up!).

The wind was not so bad on my side of the lake, but across where Glen had drawn on 39 it was a bit more vicious. I had a plan today, pole and paste early doors and then over to the island for the wag or the feeder depending on the wind. The paste rig was the same as that previously used at Cider Farm, a 3 swan Corby was more than enough to chuck to the island with 0.20 to a 16 PR36. The feeder was a grip mesh type and I would fill it with softened 6mms, same hook and line as wag. I also set up a margin rig but never had a bite (as usual) on that.

On the whistle I cupped in half a big pot of 6mms at 13 metres (I know a lot of people fish out further but I'm happy with that distance) and then fed 8mms by catty to the island regularly. Within about 15 mins bubbles appeared and I had a classic "dip dip" on the float before it buried and a carp of around 5lb was landed. An hour and a half in and I had taken 2 more carp, 2 skimmers and a bream but despite refeeding it had gone really quiet. With visual signs of carp across I had to throw the wag out, and I was expecting some instant action. However, it was not that responsive and I had to get exceptionally tight to get a bite. Four carp graced my net in the next hour and a half and so half way through I was fairly happy with my catch.

I'd like to say I carried on catching steadily, but thinks went pete tong and before I knew it time was running out. First the wag line went dead so I tried the pole for 10 mins, but with no bites and with the carp still on the island I tried the wag again. First chuck and a bite but the fish was in a tree to my right before I could blink, bye bye float. A couple of hook lengths were lost in the vegetation and then I pulled out of fish and another did me in the tree before the swim went quiet. Phil Harding seemed to be catching regularly on the lead so I decided to try the feeder, this produced 3 tiny carp and a 3lb fish, but also I got snapped twice on 0.20! Another try on the wag (because it was obvious to me the big fish in my peg were shallow) and I managed to drop the float (eventually) into the one spot where I seemed to be able to get a bite. I did get a bite and hooked a carp which somehow snagged me immediately, I lost the lot and chucked the rod up the bank. Although there was only the odd bubble showing on the pole line from what I thought were skimmers I decided it was pole and paste for the last 45 mins. I stuck on a big piece of paste to avoid the skimmers but I don't think there were any there because the float went straight under and I landed a 9lb common which I was convinced was foul hooked but wasn't! I had 2 more carp about 8lb and then it was end of match.

As I waited for the scales I knew I was unlikely to coin up, I weighed 9lb 15oz of silvers and with the carp the total went 70lb 14oz, and yes I picked up nowt as Phil won the section with 79lb. With 80lb taking 4th I was just 2 fish off framing, and those lost fish were very costly indeed, as was my decision to not try the pole earlier. Oh well you live and learn, and next week it could be totally different, but I hope the wind doesn't blow to much!

Well done to Gary Wall who once again showed his paste prowess to win convincingly with 165lb from a different peg again. Tony Rixon was 2nd on peg 12 and even he has found the power of the paste to be irresistible, could next years float only become pole and paste only? Well there is more to this paste than meets the eye me thinks, but next week will be the last time I use it this year as that will be the end of my commercial action.