I woke up Thursday morning a little jaded after too much food and drink and too little sleep, and remembered I was no longer in my twenties!
A normal match today so the rods were put into the holdall in case waggler or more likely lead were required. The original weather forecast of heavy rain changed to showers, but although it was a very muggy day we saw no rain at all. The nets outside the lodge had dried nicely from the day before.
Peg 124 was no into day, but Scott Russell was on peg 121 which I was slightly disappointed with as I never seem to draw these corner pegs with the end bank empty. For that reason I left the rods in the holdall and concentrated on the pole. I was made aware that the peg can be good for silvers, and I would be very happy to catch them all day, so a 4x12 rig with 0.14 to 18 PR36 was set up for fishing in front of me and at an angle to my left. A paste rig for the margin, and a banded pellet rig for the margin was all I set up, meat was not going to be used today! I only fished 10m today in front, and in the margin about 9m up to where some reeds have fallen into the water. I fed a small amount of 6mm pellet on the long lines and a big pot of 6 and 8mm pellets in the margin. Starting long both swims were fizzing and after about 10 mins I hooked a carp, hmmm, is 30 pellets too many for silvers!!! I actually soon abandoned the swim in front of me as for whatever reason I struggled to catch on it, where as the angled swim produced on and off all day.
Glenn Bailey rang me from Carey 78, probably half way through the match, and happily told me he was sat on nearly 100lb of big carp. I was rather less chirpy (Glenn said I was moaning!!) and reckoned I had 35lb of carp and 10lb of silvers and said I did not know what I was doing wrong! Part of my being down was that Scott Russell was emptying the lake on peg 121, and catching in his margins, again I could not catch in the margin having had a perch and a skimmer. Scot was feeding 8mm pellet so at least I was on the right bait. The second half of the match improved, especially the last 90 mins. The angled swim started to produce more skimmers and carp, with a couple of the carp being 12 to 14lb. The margin also switched on late but I caught on hard 8mm pellet here, paste was a waste of time. Was it a co-incidence that Scott's margins died when I caught???? I thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of hours but thought I was out of the running as Scott had beat me and every time I was playing a fish it seemed Mike Nicholls and Woody were playing fish.
The scales arrived at my peg from 135 and 100lb was top, my silvers went 34lb and my carp 119lb for a total of 153lb. Scott weighed 190lb to win the match but as it turned out I came 2nd, yay! Mike Nicholls and Woody had lost a lot of fish as it turned out, and Glenn stopped catching, just shows how sometimes we get a false impression.
We went back to the lodge, drank a couple of ciders, showered, drank some more ciders and had some pub grub. Going to bed at 1am I was glad I was not fishing a match on the Friday!
Waking up Friday I took a view out of the lodge and noticed a common tern feeding on small fish, a rare bird in this part of the world.
The rest of the lads were fishing a match on the match lake, but I needed to get home early afternoon so I sat on peg 41 to pleasure fish whilst the guys fished around me. I stuck to a short pole to avoid causing any issues, with Woody on 42 and Glenn on 40 being my immediate neighbours. I took a mixture of F1's, skimmers, small carp and small tench on soft pellet. Feeding small amounts was best for me, as was changing where I fished, I reckon I had about 40lb in the end. I was however well entertained by first Glenn who was having a few issues with his pellet waggler catching as many things on the island as he did carp, then Woody gave it a go and made Glenn look good, lol! Once we got Woody onto the right size waggler (so he could reach the island) he started to catch a few, as well as the odd tree. I think there were a couple of wagglers floating around the lake, but to be fair in the end both Glenn and Woody had it well sorted.
As I started to pack up Mark Tanner had me in stitches as he was covered, or at least the lake, his line and reels were covered with willow fluff, or "white stuff" as he called it. As you can see from the picture below it all ended up in front of Mark, and the air was blue! Mike and Glenn now started catching on paste, but as I bid farewell the margins seemed to be sparking into life. It was sad to leave the lads as I had really had a great time with them; great fishing and a great laugh in great company. Four better blokes you could not wish to spend time with.