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.