I wasn't entirely sure wether I should have fished this Sunday and actually where I should have fished, I'll explain. Some weeks ago Matty Toomes asked if I would stand in for him on the Viaduct WL and I said I would, I hadn't realised it was the same date as the Bob Warden Memorial on the K&A canal, and I had said I would fish that! I ended up fishing for Matty and paid my entrance for Bob's match as it is for charity. I then went down with man flu on Thursday and felt awful Friday and most of Saturday and was thinking I shouldn't go fishing.. but I did.
The team I was fishing for was team flip flop and when I got to the venue team mate and also a stand in Dean Malin was present but there was no sign of the others. Paul Elms, Anton Page and a decidedly green looking Craig Edmunds finally arrived and then disappeared again and left me to draw the peg. I put myself on peg 2 on Spring which seemed to be a decent one, although I received such varied info on where to chuck etc, it made me laugh. I would have a nice easy day here because on peg 1 was Andy Power and peg 3 Alex Murray, they tend to catch a few! Although Alex cast his first scud waggler up the tree when setting up and left about 15 yards of line trailing, lol! Peg 2 has a chuck to the island, it is a long way though and I didn't have the right rod to chuck to it, so borrowed a 12ft carbon active from Bela Bakos who was on the crabtree peg. I attached an 0.18 hook length to 16 PR38 and that was the rod done. I set up a mini feeder rod with a small groundbait feeder with 0.12 to 16, a 0.4grm PB Silver 5 with 0.10 to 18 PR412 and a roach rig which I never had much of a go on.
On the shout for all in I fed 5 balls of groundbait out to 14.5mtr ( they said fish 16mtr but currently I have a dodgy left elbow joint and didn't fancy it.) then had 5 chucks on a feeder cast near to the aerator to put some bait in. I then chucked the lead towards the island with meat on the hook. Forty five minutes in and one small liner was all I had and it was boring, so I went on the pole with single red maggot. I started off catching 4oz skimmers and odd roach and tried double maggot and casters on the hook. Over the next hour it was slow but I did manage to take 2 net skimmers. This line then went totally dead and I fed a ball of groundbait and picked up the gbait feeder. I tried double maggot on the hook and just like the pole I had bites straight away with two 4 to 6oz skimmers. Then I missed a couple of bites which I was sure were roach so I went on to three red maggots and a 1lb skimmer obliged. This line went the same way as the pole and I had to come off it, but at that moment 3 people on the far side were playing carp so I chucked the lead to island again...it never moved! At this stage I was on a par with Alex but the Power had taken 1 carp but lost 3 munters that tried to snap his pole under the bridge and left him snagged up.
The last couple of hours of the match were tough and it seemed the skimmers had switched off, except for Steve Segar on peg 24 who had a few on double 8mm meat on the lead. I had a run of roach on the pole including a 10oz fish but then it all went dead and I chucked the lead again for the last 25 mins... it never moved! Andy Power netted another carp after the whistle and Alex Murray had earlier landed a lump on the scud and lost a couple so I was well beaten either side. On peg 4 Dave Roper had won the lake with 7 carp we thought. My net of bits went 8lb 8oz which beat about 5 people in the section and turned out to be par for the team on the day. I know I should have fished the lead longer or set up a big wag, but to be honest I thought I had a chance of some skimmers and silvers money and enjoyed getting some bites and watching the resident Kingfisher catching fish.
The match was won by my old team mate Nicky Ewers with I think 119lb from peg 123, all on the lead or wag with meat or corn.
My gear really needs sorting out at the mo, where I am keeping it currently is mouse invested, and when I was mixing my groundbait up today I noticed it was all over the platform, there were two large holes in the bowl! The rest of my gear is damp and going mouldy and needs drying out or chucking away, once I move I can sort things I hope. Next Sunday I will be hoping for third time lucky (third week on a commercial) down at Landsend Speci lake where I am guesting for Mike Nicholls and am having a lift with Bela.