Another Sunday, another match kindly organised by Tony Rixon, this time at Shiplate fishing both the canals (25 pegs). Travelling down with Glenn we both thought that Hawthorne lake would be the best one to draw today as it has recently had an injection of carp, and there had been some reasonable weights. After the usual cracking Fountain Cafe brekkie we arrived nice and early at Shiplate and took a wander around. Hawthorne was very quiet, we only saw one fish move, but West Lake had lots of fizzing and fishing moving, perhaps West lake would be better? I was getting a bit of stick from a certain angler for being on for a hat trick of wins, no pressure then!
The draw was made and I came away with end peg 1 on Hawthorne, effectively my 3rd corner peg in 3 weeks, although you cannot actually fish into the corner here as a rope runs across the surface. Similar to last week I was given mixed feelings about the peg (last match the bloke packed up on this peg, Pete Sivell had 35lb on it recently.....) but I thought it had to be worth a few fish as it gives you a bit of room. I found myself in the company of 2 carp slayers, Dean Malin on peg 2 and Rod Wotton on peg 3 so it was going to be hard work.
Rig wise I went for a dibber for banded pellet (for tight across) 0.16 to 16PR36, a 4x10 durafloat on 0.16 to 16PR36 (this did my RH margin and also a line across) and a 4x12 Durafloat same stuff, for fishing on the bottom of the shelf at 13mtr. The LH margin looked good above water, but I could not find a decent depth / flat bottom and it was not really targeted. I opened the match by feeding corn into the RH margin and a half a small Preston cup of 4mm pellets and a few grains of corn at 13mtr 11 o'clock and that was it. I went out with a 8mm banded pellet on my 4x12 rig and luckily did not have to wait long for my first bite and a nice 4lb carp. I took a few carp around the 1lb mark and a couple of 2lb fish in the first hour and was toss potting in 4mm pellets. It then went very iffy on this line and I caught a couple of 2oz skimmers, I tried to put some more bait in but this only worked for 1 more carp. Dean then had a good run on corn and I fell behind.
It was time to go across, but rather than feed with the catty just yet I tried toss potting across using the dibber rig. Boils soon showed that the carp were present but I could only hook 1 in about 20 mins of frustration, so I picked up the catty. I still could not catch tight over (it is only a few inches deep) but did catch 2 carp on the dibber just off the far bank up in the water. I dropped in on the margin while I had a think about things and took 2 carp here on hair rigged corn and then nothing (I took 5 all told from the margin all day). Taking the margin rig at the depth it was at, I plumbed across to find where that depth was on the slope, then stuck on an 8mm pellet and the float went under. I started to catch a few here but it was still what I regarded as slow (still feeding by catty) and so I tried feeding a new line in the deep water next to the rope, but never had a bite there. I kept trying the dibber on and off but never caught on it, and then with 2 1/2 hours to go I tried a piece of corn on the margin rig across line and all of a sudden I got bites much quicker and enjoyed a purple patch when both Dean and Rod were not doing so well.
With an hour and a quarter to go the peg shut down completely, I could not get a bite anywhere, in fact Dean and Rod also had the same experience. I did manage to catch 2 carp in the last hour on my 4x12 rig on the originally fed line at 13mtr, the last one with 15 mins to go was my biggest fish of the day at 5lb.
Tony came past to get the scales and I said I had 60lb, he said it would be close between me and Andy Bryant on our lake (but he was miles out on that one). I was first to weigh and I totalled 61lb 13oz. Dean weighed 49lb 9oz, and Rod weighed 2oz more than Dean! Dean said something rather unpleasant when I pointed out he'd been beaten both sides lol! As it turned out I was top weight on Hawthorne, but alas the hat trick was not to be as John the Gimp Bradford slayed the carp on peg 10 on West Lake to win with 70lb 4oz, at the results John said it was the first match he had won for 3 years, so well done and fair play John. I did manage to sneak 2nd overall, just beating Adrian Jeffery by 2oz (told you I'd put that on my blog!) Adrian was next to the Gimp and also had mainly carp plus a few skimmers.
Lastly, my next door neighbour for the previous 2 weeks, Chris Fox, won the silvers (see his blog for how!). The full result is shown on Tony's blog.
Superleague was fished on the river today, I hear that a 30lb+ weight of bream came from peg 14 at Swineford, and team mate Steve Tucker had 27lb on hemp and tares from the mouth of the marina, nice! No fishing for me next weekend but good luck to everyone fishing the big money river match at Newbridge.