During the week I felt my stomach was healed to such an extent that I could go out fishing again. I took the plunge and booked into the Gary Wall memorial at Landsend, with a plan to fish short for silvers. The weather forecast looked awful but it wasn't going to put me off.
I was picked up by Paul Elms, though his other usual travelling partner Craig Edmunds was missing. Trig had invited Phil Harding into a lift in Paul's van not knowing I was already invited, so Trig travelled down with Phil in the end. I had my first cooked breakfast in Shipham since the new owners took over, and it was a good un! Belly full we made our way to the venue, the banter in the hut at Landsend was classic with Trig giving Phil some stick about, well quite a lot. I was laughing as much as I have done for months. The draw got underway and I found myself on peg 7, I seem to draw this one peg a fair bit. Paul kindly took my gear to my peg and then I did my best not to go ass over tit on the slightly tilted and very slippery platform! Rig wise I had a fair few set up in the box from ones I had tied back in May, so I tried to cover a few bases. To be honest I was going to fish for silvers at 5 metres and hope I could catch there for most of the day, so rigs were a 6x10 pencil float, with 0.14 to 18PR36 for banded pellet, 0.3 grm inter with 0.14 to 16 B911 for soft pellet, a paste rig, and a 4x10 Durofloat for down by the platform on peg 8.
I started the match by feeding around 30 4mm pellets at 5m and nothing anywhere else. Dropping in with the soft pellet I wondered if a roach would snaffle it on the way down or what silver might show.... none did and I hooked a small carp about 2lb. By the end of the first hour I had taken 5 small carp and 1 skimmer here by feeding very little. I was concerned at the lack of silvers but thought I might as well catch what I could. Bites then went iffy and I upped the feed a little to half a kinder pot and the peg fizzed and the bites faded badly. Without many bites I switched to the paste rig and whilst it was slow I did take a couple of carp and a 2 nice skimmers on it. The next two hours were very poor with me swapping between the various rigs trying to get a bite in the fizz but with paste the best, and starting to feed down by the pallet (but since I only took 2 roach there no more of that).
The forecasted rain had now turned up and I was thinking about going for a walk to watch Tom Thick on 18 who was bagging, but in the end I thought no I'm here and fishing, so keep going. I knew I was never going to coin since I couldn't catch silvers and was not going to fish across for carp, although I did try across for 10 mins and soon realised it was too much for me. I did however open up a new line at 7 mtr with 4mm pellet which provided an instant small carp and skimmer and then fizzzzzz!!!!!! With 90 mins left I went to 11m and tried again with 4mm pellet and the soft pellet rig, this was pretty good for the last hour, with a few more carp and a couple of skimmers, it was a nice way to end the match. Just to say I only hooked 2 roach on the soft pellet rig all day which was good because for some reason I could not get a bite on banded pellet.
I weighed in 11lb of skimmers and 52lb of carp for 63lb odd, and that only beat Leon Hubbard who DNW. Not that I was in any way concerned by my result, I was just happy to be out fishing, and to be honest I felt knackered so I got the workout I needed, hopefully my wounds will not have been affected, nurse will tell me tomorrow!
The match was won easily by Tom Thick with 197lb, a lot across to the point and the a lot down the margin in the last hour or so all on 8mm pellet. Tom won despite appearing to have only the one float with him, he actually went down to Trig after about 2 hours to try to ponce some!! Trig had 129lb on 19 and him and Tom were at each other all day long, I was thoroughly entertained, lol! Top silvers on match lake was Tom Magnal on peg 21 with 40lb of skimmers on meat. Thanks to Paul for taking my gear back to the van, and him and Trig for carrying it to my shed! Oh yes Trig came home with us as Phil packed up early and went home!
It was really nice to be back catching a few fish, I know I am very rusty and it will take a long time yet to get fit and back to grips with it all. Next week it is the Commercial House on the Bristol Avon, for which I will need a disabled draw and hopefully not much tackle required, so please let it rain!