It was nice to wake up to silence...no wind blowing! Also the sun was shining and it looked like the Acorn series was going to finish with the best weather of any round. Glenn was picked up and we were on our way wondering what the draw tin would give us today. The league leaders looked out of sight (especially Pete Bartlett, Mike Nicholls and Tom Thick) but my best hope was to draw them in my section and stuff em up, well you can dream can't you! I pulled out peg 8 which is on the bottom bank and was where Mat Toomes struggled last round for 40lb (and he rang me before the match to remind me I owed him £1 from Viaduct last week, lol!). Rocking up next to me on end peg 9 was Pete Barlett (league over then) and when Mike Nicholls drew peg 6 and Tony Rixon peg 1 this section was looking hard, not to mention Bela "the rat" Bakos on 7 and Chris Fox on 4.
Glenn took my car off to peg 19 and I stood surveying peg 8, which is the biggest bit of open water on the lake, and there were carp shadows everywhere sun bathing. First rig set up was a mugging rig, then a paste rig, a 6x10 rig for meat at 4m and 4x10 durafloat 10 for banded pellet at 14.5m off to the left far bank. All rigs had 0.16 on them. On the whistle I fed a big pot of pellet at 11m for the paste, and a pot across to the 14m line, I fed meat by hand to 4m but will say now it only produced 1 tench all day! Starting on the mugging rig it was not really a mugging day as I could now not see a bloody thing! Bela gave me a clue as to where the fish were and I tried swinging the rig out in the right area, I soon had a 3lb carp in the net. After this I had a few false bites but nothing proper, I tried slapping the rig in but that did not work. A look across at 14m produced nothing, not even a liner, so I potted some more bait in and tried slapping again.
After nearly 2 hours I had 2 carp and 1 tench, Pete next to me had 3 small carp, but Bela and Mike had both had good starts. Bela then gave me the best laugh I have had in ages when he hooked a bit of rubbish on his paste rig, but as he swung it round towards me I could see it was a dead rat, lol!!!! It was a shocking start, the paste was a non starter and it seemed the fish were yet to want to feed, but then all of a sudden I had 5 or 6 fish slapping the rig out in the open water at 13m and thought it was sussed but then it died. Pete started catching shallow at 5m (!!!) and caught steadily here for the rest of the match. I managed to get the fish interested at 14.5m to the far bank, first on the depth rig until foulers became a pain. I went in with my mugging rig (now cut down) but to start had no bites shallow. The fish I was fouling seemed 6" to 9" off bottom, so I took a shot off the depth rig and fished a banded 6mm pellet off the bottom. This worked to a fashion, but then more foulers again, up shallow and a few fish but then nothing.
I put another net in with 2 hours to go in the hope of going on a bagging spree, and the carp were now tearing up the far bank, but could I catch them, well I could foul them, my elastic is now in need of cutting back it bottomed out so many times! It was very frustrating, and I was now regretting not going round to the far bank before the start and trimming back some pesky grasses. That said I could get bites up to a metre from the far bank but most were liners. Bela had a very poor middle of the match but got the fish back at the end, but was complaining he would be last in the section. The match finished and I landed a carp on my shallow rig after the whistle. Pete said I had beat him, but I knew he was wrong, and I could see Mr Rixon had done well off peg 1, Mike on peg 6 said he had 25 carp. When the scales arrived Tony had 1oz less than the ton, Mike had 73lb, then Bela upset Mike by weighing 78lb, my effort went 87lb (36lb in last 2 hours) and Pete cut my ass with 112lb, which I think came second in the match. Pete has really been consistent in this league, and I'll be honest I did not really know him before, but there is no doubting he is a very good angler and a very nice bloke too, congratulations on a great performance. I think I ended the league in 5th place, which ain't bad but the last two matches cost me being top 3, must try harder. I had to leave early as Glenn's Dad is in hospital and he wanted to visit him, so I am not in possession of the overall standings, but sure the other bloggers will have that. Well done to Chris Fox and Paul Faires for running this league, with the changes they are making next year I look forward to fishing it again.