After many false starts I finally booked in and fished a match! I joined the Tony Rixon mid week brigade for a bash at Acorn. We were on the "dog bone" lake, and as it was my first time on this lake I had no idea where to draw. Fair play to Tony, he was kind enough to tell me earlier in the week about the depth and the best baits etc, and I made a few rigs up at home on Tuesday in prep.
I drew peg 11 (which was permanent peg 4) and this put me in the wide part of a bowl. To my right John "The Gimp" Bradford was sat on grass and not a platform peg, and I was told that this would upset my margin line which is normally brilliant! On the opposite bank and to my left was Dean Malin, the only angler on that bank, he was soon plumbing up mid lake. I picked a spot at 11mtrs straight in front, and another at 2 o'clock. The rig used here was a 4x12 carbon stem, fibre bristle slim job, coupled with 0.12 to 18 B911. I shotted it with 3no 8 stotz bulk and 2 no10 stotz droppers. I had 2 margin swims left and right and had a 4x10 rig for this, but I never had any bites in the margins!
To start the match I fed about 50 micros and 12 maggots on both far lines. Starting in front of me I had no bites or indications and after 15 mins dropped in at 2 o'clock and caught a 6oz perch. A couple of minutes later and a 1lb carp was netted. During the next 90 mins I took 6 carp, with 2 of them coming from straight in front. I was using double maggot on the hook, and one red and one white was what I used most. At this stage I was beating those around me, but then the peg went completely dead! I reckon I never had another fish for 2 hours.
With 2 hours to go I had a carp from the 2 o'clock swim, I had stopped feeding micros here and was just potting in around 12 to 16 maggots every now and then. From here on the peg just got better and the carp settled in on my maggots and I had a bite every drop in until the end of the match. I lost only 3 or 4 fish, foulers, and missed very few bites and the last two hours were very nearly perfect for me. I resisted upping the feed and just kept the same amount of maggots going in after every fish. I did try the swim straight in front of me occasionally for a couple of mins but it was no good.
My final tally was around 26 carp and they weighed 80lb 6oz good enough for 2nd overall. Martin Lenaghan was the winner off the opposite end peg with 89lb 3oz, he told me he had a lot of small carp (and some 5lb fish) and caught steady all day. For the full result please Tony's blog, save me typing too much more!
During the day my left elbow became sore and was very painful at the end, not sure if the stitches have got infected but will find out tomorrow as they are supposed to be taken out. Just another thing to cope with, hey ho! It was great to get back out on the bank, and coming 2nd was a bonus, I cannot believe how knackered I feel right now so I've got to go fishing some more to build my strength up I reckon!