I woke up at 7am Sunday morning feeling tired, I had not been at the beer the night before but simply had woken up a number of times in the night by the noise of the wind. The forecast was for strong winds all day and so being pole only it was going to be hard work unless I drew a sheltered peg, and I guessed there would be two in my section peg 27 and 36. Glenn Bailey was driving today and he had to avoid the potholes as he had a big crack in his windscreen, the crack did not get bigger so well done drive!
The talk at the draw was that peg 27 would be good as you'd be able to present the rigs properly, the bridge pegs would be very windy. After a breakfast I had to wait for D section anglers to draw and watch who drew the flyers in B section, Glenn had 6 which can be very good, but had been tough the day before. My turn came and I pulled out peg 30 which is in a poor area and as a result has two empty pegs either side. Tony Rixon drew 27 (so was next to me) and Mark Bromsgrove drew sheltered peg 36. Arriving at my peg I was quite pleased by the space I had, and also the fact that although the wind was strong I'd be able to fish the far bank if it didn't get much worse.
I set up 3 rigs today, an old Preston float design (like the Preston yellow) which was 4x14 and was to be used for fishing at 11mtrs across just down the far shelf in about 3ft of water, a 16 B911 to 0.128 Exceed would do for most hookbaits. A 4x12 Durafloat with the same terminal tackle was used for the margins, and 0.75g job for silvers deep was also set up but I never had a bite on it. I had to decided to start the match fishing across as I was concerned the wind might get so bad I would not be able to fish it later, I fed a mix of micros and corn here. I fed the same mix (but a lot more of each, about 30 pieces of corn) in the margins left and right. Gbait was fed in two spots but as I said it didn't work. Shipping across with a piece of corn on the wind was buffeting the pole, I was using corn in the hope of anchoring the bait as the wind was blowing from right to left and pushing the water through. It didn't take me long to get a bite and a carp of around a 1lb, but it was proving tricky to keep the rig still. After the first hour I had 6 carp to 2lb and had lost 3 foulers.
The second hour was about the same as the first, and to give you some idea of the strength of the wind I fed across using my cupping kit rather than a toss pot. Meanwhile Tony on 27 was sat in the calm but he was a good few fish behind me already. From what I could see it was fishing hard, certainly Mat Toomes and Shawn Kitteridge had very little and the lads on the bridge pegs were no better. Due to this I decided to persevere fishing across in the wind, and in third hour I had probably 7 carp but then indications and bites really slowed and I gave it a rest. The margin to my right (by the pallet in peg 29) didn't produce anything all match, but at 5mtrs to my left I sneaked out 2 small carp in as many casts. The wind then began to ease down and continued to do so, my bites across were now hard to get, but as the tow was now reduced I changed to a soft pellet hookbait and fed only micros via a toss pot and I started catching the small carp again. The last hour and my peg was now flat calm and the far bank line went to pot with just the odd tiny skimmer and an F1. I did manage 3 more carp down my margin though, with the last 2 coming in the last 10 mins.
I knew I beaten all the anglers I could see but I did not know how pegs 36 and 38 had faired, Tony reckoned I had 80lb, I didn't think so. The scales turned up (after a very long time!) and Shawn (standing in for Dave Wride) only had 7lb, then Tony weighed 37lb. My fish went just over 60lb which was certainly a lot more than I had expected before the match started. Mark Bromsgrove on peg 36 had the top silvers weight and in total 47lb and the lad on 38 weighed about 50lb (which he had most of in the last 2 hours) and so I had won the section. Mike Owen won the match from peg 7 with about 80lb, Glenn did not fair so well on peg 6 and had 25lb.
A good day today, and whilst we can never be sure, I think that what went my way was there were some fish in my peg to begin with, fishing corn and a heavier float with thicker tip helped presentation. Also the guys on the bridge pegs were not fishing the far bank early on (due to the wind) and maybe a few fish swam past them up to me and I stopped them from going into Tony's peg. I didn't feed much bait, less than half a tin of corn and about a 1/3 of a pint of micro, and the catty stayed in the bag (Tony, lol!). Three more matches to go in the league but in both carp and silvers there are anglers with three section wins. Full results on Chris Fox's blog.