Sorry for the late post, I was very tired Sunday and out with work mates last night. I will try to be on time next week Mr Ewers!
I was helping out Tony Rixon's Avon Angling team at Viaduct on Sunday, and I do not know why but we were the last team to draw! I was all ready to go in some nice new shiny Preston Drifish 10 waterproofs and was hoping for a decent draw. I felt my day would be decided by the peg I drew and so this was going to be very important. I have always wanted to draw peg 85 or 86 on Carey, but as you will know by now that pleasure went to Mike Nicholls and Des Shipp, instead I was stuck on 10 on Spring. I reckon that it is now 3 times I have drawn this peg and it's nothing special for carp or skimmers and has no island chuck. For company on peg 9 was venue and all round carp bagger Andy Lloyd and to my left was the Gimp and next to him was Vince Shipp. I did tell the Gimp that virtually every time I was pegged next to him he managed to break a pole section, perhaps he would be OK today.
The info I could glean from regulars was that as I was effectively fishing to win I should try corn on the wag, but gbait on the pole could add a few pounds if some skimmers turned up. So I set up a 4AAA wag with 0.12 to 18B611, a straight lead with 0.15 to 16 PR36 for hair rigged corn, and the pole line had a 0.3grm Inter float with 0.9 to a 20. On the whistle I cupped in 6 balls of gbait on the pole and then went out on the wag with corn. It was a slow start but after about 40 minutes and a couple of dips on the float I netted a 2lb skimmer. That was nearly the best around me at this stage, but I was already playing catch up to Vince who had caught one carp on the pole which later was to weigh 20lb 3oz, lump or what! I spooked off a carp on the wag and so I shallowed up a tad and this stopped the indications! I decided to try the lead and did get a couple of liners to prove something was out there, so I cast short of my feed. As I waited and nothing happened I decided to tie up a spare hook length and it did the trick as the reel handle was soon spinning round. A brief bit of playing the carp around the back of the Monk Drain was a concern but soon a pretty 7lb common was in the net. The carp was landed at 12 O'clock, 3.5 hours to go..... but just like on the Poppy match the rest of the match was pants!
The carp that were in my peg must have spooked, because not long after I caught my carp Andy Lloyd had his one (and only) carp and I could get no liners! I dropped onto the pole line to rack up the skimmers, and caught two roach and then hooked a carp which went left, right, and then off towards Middle lake as the 0.9 easily snapped. The Gimp who had being slaying the silvers (1 roach!) then lost a carp on the pole and that signalled the end of carp action as neither Andy or myself had a liner or indication for the rest of the day. The Gimp did manage to catch 14oz in the end with a late flurry of roach, but my 9lb 10oz was once again enough to duff him up. Oh yes, the Gimp did manage to negotiate the match without breaking his pole, but when he was putting it away he some managed to break about 2 inches off a butt section, PMSL or what!!!!! Andy had just the one carp and weighed a bit less than me, but Vince had manage to add 12oz of bits to his "twenty"! The normal pegs produced, but not that many fish, Neil "when ever I see him he's on a flyer" Mercer took 5 carp and some perch from lily pad peg 8 for 62lb and 2nd overall. Ryan Shipp had some carp and lost some lumps from peg 14 (down the edge by the bushes) and peg 18 had 50lb+ on the wag.
As you will know Des Shipp won (a common phrase it seems to me) and the Westerleigh team took home the spoils, well done lads you've got carp fishing sorted. The full results are on Tony's blog which you've probably already seen!
Right, one last thing which requires your feedback please! A friend of mine who mainly fishes carp venues has asked me what decent 16 metre pole he should buy. Currently he uses a Maver and it's not good at 16m and the no4 /5 section keeps breaking (another common phrase lol). Now I can extol the virtues of the Preston Poles but he would like to have a broad view, so could you please post a comment on here as to what you think is the best 16m pole (especially if you use it you can say why). Forget the Tournament because the budget is £1500 max.
Feck me it's getting cold out there, could be tricky for all on Sunday if the snow turns up!