I was guesting in the league today and was travelling once again with Glenn Bailey. We were a little jaded after spending most of the previous day drinking beer (Cider for Glenn) whilst watching the T20 cricket finals at Edgbaston. I really enjoyed the day and the semis were both tied leading to a cracking 1 over smash off!
I was really hoping for a draw on campbell and despite being near the back end of the queue managed to pick out 119. I have had this peg once before about 6 years ago, then I had 50lb of tench, but today I thought would be all about carp. Glen had drawn corner peg 73 on Lodge and was also going to have hopefully a carp day. For company today I had Dave Evans on peg 118 and Gary Etheridge on peg 121, so no pretty faces but good anglers lol! I saw two main options, paste at 9mtrs using a 0.2grm Hill Billy float with 0.18 Exceed to a size 10 Drennan Carp hook, and banded pellet to the end bank with two rigs one for 6" deep on a dibber and 4x10 Durafloat 10 for on the deck. A rather positive approach but I just thought that would be best.
On the whistle I cupped a pot of 6mm pellets out at 9 mtrs and another pot of the same at 16mtr to the end bank. I was feeding against the little point trying to stay away from the tree in the corner which looked like trouble! Out on the paste and it was a slow start for me, Dave next door had 5 carp in as many casts to my 1 but then he suffered foulers and it slowed. I think I had 3 carp after the first hour, and had lost 3 foulers, which whilst not great I wasn't worried about. I took another couple on paste and then went to the end bank with the deck rig. On my first 6 drops the float went under and I missed all of them, lucky 7 worked and out came a fouled 1lb carp. So out went the shallow rig but this never produced a bite, and I took the deck rig and shallowed this up a tad and then hooked a carp and lost it in the tree! A couple of carp later and the indications stopped, and in truth I stayed on this too long.
Back on the paste and it was still very slow and I just seemed to get a bite out of the blue, I had mainly fed Mike Nicholls style (through a pot) but started to up the feed to try to improve things, it made no difference. Two hours to go I had a decent run of fish off the end bank but also lost a couple in the reeds / tree. I wasn't having the best of days, losing to many and having foulers, but the last hour saw me land 5 carp all 6lb to 8lb on the paste. However, and I do not know why I did this, but I landed a carp of approx 7lb after the whistle and put it in my silvers net!!! So I then tried to retrieve the carp and put in one of my other nets, this all went well until the carp decided to flip and go back in the lake, what a twat! Still Neil Mercer made me laugh out loud when he decided to jump into the lake. Neil hadn't decided to take a dip for the fun of it, his keepnet had fallen in and the only way he could retrieve it was to jump in after it. I gave him 6.8 for the dive.
I knew Gary Etheridge had soundly beaten me from peg 121 (he had 153lb) but thought it would be close between the rest of the section. I weighed 117lb and Dave next door had 107lb after a good late run of margin fish.As Gary would frame there was a chance of the default section coin, but that went to Bob Gullick who had 124lb on peg 126, so the lost carp could have cost me, double twat! Tom Magnol next to Bob had a fantastic start to the match catching carp shallow, but they drifted off and he was 3rd with 155lb. Anton Page must have fished a very good match to win from Carey peg 77, he had 191lb of carp shallow on the pole and pellet, fishing 16 to 17mtrs out. Timmy Clarke on peg 112 was 2nd with 169lb and in the process gave a lesson to Tony Rixon in the art of paste fishing (see Tony's blog!) lol!
I sum today up as a missed opportunity, I think the peg was worth 150lb, although Andy Lloyd did say to me the peg is never as good as it can be when they peg 121. I think I needed to swap between my two lines more regularly, when instead I was trying to get one line working well. A good days fishing though and the ability to learn from it makes it always worthwhile. Got the county champs on Saturday next week at Landsend, let's see who turns up, and then the Commercial House on the Avon at Keynsham on Sunday, need to make some rigs!