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!