You may be surprised by the title of this post with the winter league being on the canal this weekend. I had decided not to fish the canals this year as they are so busy with people I just don't think I can take the "toilet breaks" I need. I was not going to fish at all this weekend, but then rang on Friday and booked in to the open, whilst the other lakes were taken up by the teams of 4 league.
I had tried to gather a bit of info leading up to the match and went with an open mind to fish for either silvers or carp depending on the peg, and Mat Toomes was very helpful. When I pulled peg 130 I didn't get very good vibes, in fact Tony Rixon said in his opinion it was no good for carp or silvers! Still fish can swim and peg 132 had produced 100lb the day before so the fish were in the area. When I rolled up on my peg I had a look at the anglers on my bank and it was not too bad, Phil Cardwell peg 132, Lee Wherret 129, then Dick Bull, Ray Haywood and Andy Neal...... I've been in easier sections lol!
I set up a waggler for use with 8mm meat, with 18 PR36 to 0.14. A straight lead with 18 PR36 to 0.,and 2 pole rigs; one was a 6x10 pencil jobby with 0.14 to 16 B911 for meat, and the other had the same float with 16 Drennan Carp to 0.12 for caster. I was feeling a bit more confident about things as 30 mins before the start carp were showing in my peg and the empty peg 131. So come the the whistle I fed some meat and caster at 16 mtrs 2 0'oclock, some caster down the edge and then cast out the wag and meat. It wasn't long before I had my first carp, in fact I had 5 casts and hooked and landed 4 carp! Phil Cardwell was also catching on the wag. At this stage I had fed nothing, the carp were clearly in my peg and I just hoped they would stay.
After the first hour I reckoned to have 28lb, it then went very quiet and the wind picked up in my face and I was not able to feed meat as far as I would have liked. I cast the lead out and had a pull round first chuck but the fish came off halfway in. Next chuck on the lead produced a couple of small liners and I had enough of that and went back on the wag. First cast and fish on, and it was a good 8lb fish. Up until the start of the third hour I stayed with the wag, getting indications on most casts, some were liners as I lost a few foulers and landed one that was hooked in the tail. I knew the carp were there, but they seemed to have gone off the feed a bit. Time to try the pole and so I shipped out a piece of meat to 16 mtrs and within 30 seconds I was into a carp! Lee Wherret who was fishing for silvers said he was glad he was not fishing for carp today! Cupping in 4 pieces of meat and some casters after each fish I took another 4 carp here in no time at all, and they were big up to 10lb, and also had a tench. The pole died and so it was back to the wag for a few more. I then had 2 more carp on the pole but no more bite,s and for the last 30 mins of the match I didn't catch but missed 2 bites on the wag. I had really struggled to fish the last hour as my right shoulder blade area was really cramping up for some reason.
I could see I had beaten those around me, but Ray Haywood up on peg 126 had 20 carp which was more than I though I had. I was right but it was close! My carp weighed 122lb and I had 2 tench for 4lb+
1st Ray Haywood 130lb
2nd ME 126lb 13oz
I actually don't know what was 3rd cos the results weren't given out, I was just handed my winnings, but I know Phil Cardwell had 80lb on 132.
Paul Faires on peg 110 won the silvers with 18lb 8oz, and Lee next to me was 2nd with 18lb 2oz. Paul caught on wag feeding casters, Lee caught on pole over gbait!
Well I must say I had much better day than I thought I would have done, and was chuffed with the result as well as the fishing. It does help to draw on them at this time of the year of course! I was a bit rusty I know, and I missed too many bites on the wag I feel, but I'm not worried about that at all. Now have to change all the gear back over for the the Avon on Sunday lol!