I was booked into my nephew's christening on Sunday, and so it was off for a Sat match at Viaduct. Having not fished there for a year I guessed I was likely to be pools fodder to the locals unless I had a good draw. I had gleaned as much info as I could from Glenn Bailey, Tony Rixon and Mike Nicholls who have fished Viaduct a fair bit lately. I had an open mind as to fish for carp or silvers depending on where I drew. My home for the day was to be 111. I was told to forget silvers where I was as with both 110 and 112 in I would not have much room, so carp it was then!
Arriving at the peg I could see the odd carp moving / cruising and a few fizzes here and there, I was pleased with this after all the rain we had yesterday. I don't like to set up loads of gear, normally I like to fish positive on just a couple of methods, but as I had heard the carp were not giving themselves up easily I decided to cover many bases. A straight lead and shallow wag for out by the aerator, a 4x12 durafloat with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet at 13mtr, a paste rig for the same line 0.18 direct to size 12 B911, another 4x12 for meat (not a bite again!!) and a paste rig for the margin same as above but shallower! No shallow rig for the pole was set up as I had a plan!
At the start of the match I cupped in about 40 8mm pellets at 13 mtrs, a cupful of 4mms in the margin to my right, and started feeding a few 8mm pellets out by the aerator. I started on the pole with 8mm pellet and I had a great first hour and 15 mins, I think I may have had 40lb in this time mainly carp and the odd skimmer. This line then went funny and it was just the odd fouler. I shallowed the rig up and slapped in the pellet (my plan) and I had 1 skimmer (my plan failed). Back on the deck and I couldn't catch so I thought the aerator would be solid and out went the shallow wag, after 20 mins I was on the lead! I had 2 carp in the first two casts and then nothing for 40 mins. By now Martin Preston on 115 was catching well on the lead, as were the anglers on pegs 128 and 132.
The middle of my match was a torrid affair, just picking up a couple of carp here and there, but I did get a few skimmers. I had tried the paste long for just one carp and also one tench and a carp in the margin, but with 90 mins to go I stuck to the paste rigs for the remainder of the match. By feeding about 8 pellets and a couple of pieces of paste at 13 mtr I had a few carp, but they would back off and so I went into the margin. I caught one or two in the margin and then had to go back to the 13 mtr swim. They wouldn't settle and it was a case of picking them off. I did lose what I think was a fouled double figure fish on the 13 mtr line, it was in the bay between me and 112 in a flash and I thought my pole ws going snap, I hung on for about 2 minutes until the hook pulled, I was kind of relieved!
When the match had finished I though I was not going to get any coin as the guy on 110 had taken more carp than me (on the lead) but they turned out to be smaller than mine. Terry Leney on 112 DNW as he had struggled all day. My silvers went 20lb and the carp 105lb for a total of 125lb 13oz, although I went over the 70lb limit by about 8lb in my first net, when I genuinely thought I had no more than 60lb in it...... I hoped it wouldn't cost me!!!
Martin Preston did win the match with 154lb, on the lead with mainly bread. However, the guy on 132 had 7lb to much in one net and that meant he only weighed 151lb to come 2nd. Third place was another 151lb off peg 128 which was just a tad more than Steve Jackson on 127 who had 63lb (lol). I think I finished 4th and got my section money which I was very happy with. Silvers was won by Nigel Barlett off peg 114 with 40lb of skimmers and roach, Dick Bull had 35lb of tench for 2nd off peg 119.
My thoughts after the match were that I had a chance to do 150lb today, I think I should have swapped about a bit more as that might have kept fish coming a bit steadier, I think the first hour gave me a false dawn. The fish certainly don't seem to want a lot of feed, I only fed 3 pints of 8mm and maybe 1.5 pints of 4mm all day. Anyway, it was a very enjoyable day and looking at the weather forecast for Sunday I'm glad I went today! Viaduct are running a charity match next Saturday 18th June, so if you can fish it get down there.