I put my name down as a reserve for this match a couple of weeks ago and managed to get in on speci lake. After reading Mr Rixon's blog and talking to a few people they all said you need to draw 1 of 4 pegs. I travelled down to the match with Paul Elms and Craig Edmunds. Trig was rather upset as he had woken up from his heavy night out to find someone had clamped his car....PMSL!
After another good brekkie at the Fountain cafe we were on our way. There were some good anglers on Speci Lake, and some equally good drawbags so I thought I would try to get in early for the draw. My plan worked well in that I was in early and some of the flyers were left in, but I drew peg 29 and this is just a bit too far down the lake. All the carp apparently are up further from me with pegs 31 round to 34 expected to dominate. Trig did his usual drawbag stuff and got 31, Ron Crandon was on 32, Kev Moulton 33 and Bob Gullick on 34. With only the top 3 and 1 in silvers paid out on each lake I thought silvers would be a good target but with a chance of carp late on.
I set up a few rigs today, but in the end just two caught me fish, a 0.3gm Preston PB Inter 4 with 0.12 to a 16 for caster / soft pellet in the deep water. The other was a 4x10 bristle jobby that took 1 no8 and 1 no10 stotz, also with 0.12 to 16, and this was for fishing across into about 20" of water.
To start the match I fed casters at 6mtrs, and also right over, soft pellet at 13mtr to my right and 13 mtr straight out. The first hour was dire with no bites at all on the pellet, and 2 tiny roach at 6mtrs. I went across on caster and that was no good as roach were grabbing the bait. I kept potting caster in hoping I could feed off the roach and get some perch or chub, after about 90 mins I hooked a carp from right over, it was about 7lb and at least a start! By this stage Trig was losing about 7-2 to the carp, Kev Moulton was bagging and so was Bob. I tried to make the 6mtr caster line work but after a run of small roach it died so I cupped more casters in! To be honest at this stage the writing was well and truly on the wall, but I just wanted to catch a few fish so kept going.
After about 3 hours I hooked a carp on the 6mtr line and it was on for all of 3 seconds, but then 10 minutes later I hooked another. After a nervy battle I netted a 9lb fish, unfortunately that was it for the 6mtr line! However, the far bank caster line had at least settled down in that I wasn't getting pestered by roach and I could sit there and jig double caster. After the umpteenth lift and drop it went under and I was into a proper lump that must have been 12lb. In the last 90 mins I hooked another 5 carp across landing 4 (pulled out of a ghosty), I also had a small chub and then just before the whistle I had a big perch on. Just as it got to the net the hook pulled and I lunged for the fish and netted it and at the same time the landing net handle snapped! Bye bye perch! I should say I tried the margin and so did Trig but neither of us caught there.
My match had at least been entertaining in the second half, and I had some lovely big commons. In fact my 7 carp went 69lb (last two on the scales went 24lb) and with the bits I had 71lb+ so really not bad. As feared the flyers took the money, with Kev Moulton having 112lb on peg 33, Trig 99lb on 31 and Bob 93lb on 34. Tom Thick was also on this lake, his usual mad self, but struggled off peg 38, and Martin Pettifer won the silvers with 21lb of peg 25. Paul Elms to my left on 27 had 16lb and struggled all day.
I only lost two carp, and when you consider that Trig lost as many as he caught it is easy to see where the carp are happy to live at the moment. Maybe a few came my way late due to the commotion of the ones he lost? On the other side of the lake the carp hardly went past Bob, and Rod Wooten and Mark Poppleton just had 20lb weights.
One last thing, if you were there you would know, but today at times it absolutely hammered down with rain and the temp dropped quickly. I was last to pack up as I had helped with the board, and I could hardly see where to fix my bungees as it was so dark and the rain was that heavy.