I was hoping that this weekend would be the one where the weather would finally break and spring would arrive, well it wasn't too bad but the thermals were still put to use. I managed to ponce a lift off Bathampton legend Shaun Townsend, a good choice for info as he had won here last week. It was a pleasant trip apart from the warning buzzer that went off every few seconds due to a dodgy handbrake!!!
After a good brekkie at Shipham we arrived at the venue with a bit of time to spare, although Mr Rixon was keen to get our pools money! I was at the back of the draw queue more or less, and when I reached the bucket there were only about 4 pegs left in, luckily I drew the best one left in, 41. This is the first peg on the third lake up the left hand side and has a nice corner and island to fish to, and on the way to the peg I was told I could win the match, win the silvers, and this and that..... yep heard all that before! Here is the view of the corner of my peg, pretty sexy!
Tony Rixon was once again in my section and once again on a much inferior peg on 46, he said I should catch plenty but could get plagued by roach. Setting up today I found myself picking up the usual 0.3grm PB Inter with with a wire stem, this was for 13m in the deep water off the point of the island, with a 16 PR412 to 0.10. A 4x12 PB carp 4 for across to the point and it was the same depth down in the corner, a 16 B911 to 0.12 did for this. I also set up a 4x10 PB carp 4 for up shallow. My neighbours today were opposite on 70 Phil 'Fabio' Harding, and on 42 was Les Williams.
To start the match I fed micros out on the 13m deep line, a mix of casters and micros up by the island (not really an island though it's a spit!) and some corn and pellet down in the corner and in my right hand margin. Shipping out with a soft pellet the float never settled and a little roach was attached, next chuck the same, and then a few missed bites / bumped roach. This was not really the start I wanted, so I fed some soften 4mm pellets in with some more micros to try and find a better fish. Things improved slightly as I started to get the odd hand sized skimmer and the roach were a little bigger, a 12oz carp also put in an appearance. After an hour I was being well beaten by all around, especially Dave Roper on 68 who had landed a couple of double figure carp. I persevered with the deep swim thinking the better F1's and crucians would turn up. An hour later and it was still roach and small skimmers (all swung bar one) and I felt the size of fish was not big enough to do me any good in the silvers. I fed more pellets here and tried my line against the spit with double caster.... the float never cocked and a small roach was hooked, same again and after 3 drops so I put a piece of corn on. An F1 graced the net and I thought here we go, but a long wait on the corn then brought a 6oz roach. This was frustrating for me, but I never realised how tough the fishing was for most and instead of trying to avoid the roach I should have kept on going!
With 2 1/2 hours gone I looked down in the corner on a bit of corn and the float shot straight under with a little 1lb carp, and I took another 3 here fairly quickly before I pulled out of one and then had a 8oz tench and then I gave it a rest. The margin line was useless and never gave me a bite all day, and across at 13m the wind was now quite bad blowing my float away from me and that made catching on soft pellet too hard. I spent the rest of match chasing the small carp in the corner, ending with about 15 of them including a few up in the water, but it was very slow going and I still had the odd roach down here, plus 3 more tiny tench and another F1. I also lost about 5 hook lengths where I got to close to the trees and hooked up in underwater snags!
Fabio had a good go for the carp in the margin, but he never had one (see him striking a pose below!) but he did mug a near 15lb fish with about 30 mins to go!
Tony soon arrived with the scales and I weighed 26lb of carp and 12lb 13oz of silvers for 38lb 12oz, and all in all I thought I had done poorly off this peg, not really getting myself in gear for either silvers or carp. Tony was quick to point out that I had been busy and had a lot better day than him and many others. That was certainly true, but I felt I had fished a poor match. Dave Roper won our lake with 97lb of lumps on either corn or meat, Fabio had 60lb and Les had 8lb. Luckily for me I won the lake silvers and got a pick up for this.
The silvers overall winner had 17lb, and had I just got my head down on those roach and skimmers I would have done that, but there you go I thought 30lb would be needed and I talked myself out of it, lol!
Trigger had a great day on 22 with 220lb (he was top in silvers too) carp deep and then shallow, so spring must be here surely? Shaun did really well on Speci peg 29 to win the lake with 57lb, not a good peg of late and the lake was very hard. Shaun might have caught more but he told us that his casters froze in the water in his baitbox before the match, nobody believed him as there was no frost!
Tony and Mike have the full result of this match. I'm just happy that I keep drawing better pegs than Tony cos he is very hard to beat, next week at Acorn he is in my section again and I fear he may be looking for revenge!