My first match back on a commercial since my last debacle at Shiplate fishery and I hoped things would be better this time round. I was travelling on my own today as Glenn prefers Acorn to Landsend (can't blame him he has framed there nearly every visit using paste) and I was also alone at home as the rest of the family went off to Westbay for a week.
I try not to go to a match single minded, but I did fancy fishing for silvers today but had plenty of pellets etc in case I drew on a carp peg. I really wanted to avoid drawing lake 3 but when I got to the bucket that was all that was left in and the last four of us in the queue headed to the same lake, I was on end peg 55. Walking past Alan Oram on peg 41, and Anton Page on peg 42 I knew my work would be cut out to even win any section coin, and then there was Andy Gard and Nigel Bartlett who were fishing silvers!!! The info I could get pointed to me being better off fishing for carp although not enough form to win from it. Opposite me on peg 58 was fellow blogger Ken Raynor, and he was happy with his draw.
Setting up didn't take long, a 4x10 durafloat 10 for worms etc, for the margin to my right over groundbait, a paste rig for 11mtr at 1 o'clock, and 2 banded pellet rigs for up and down the point on the end bank at 14.5m. I started the match potting pellet in at 11m, some on the point and that was it. First drop in on the paste and I missed a bite, next chuck a 4lb fish was netted, next chuck a 2lb fish. The swim was fizzing and things looked good, but then it went tits up with me getting what looked like proper bites but more often than not a fouler was hooked and lost, only a little 1lb fish was netted by the end of the first hour. Ken was having a slow start too, but not losing as many as I was! I did manage a few more fish on the paste in the 2nd hour mostly 2lb fish but an 8lber was a bonus. This line then really dried up and so I moved over to the point. Starting shallow I had a fish after about 5 mins of trying, another after about 10 mins but then I went deep. This produced more indications than shallow but you never knew if you were going to foul one or get it in the mouth, again the fish I caught were on the small side.
Half way through I started putting groundbait in the margin to my right under a tree, and as seems to happen to me I then struggled mid match for any fish what so ever. Ken was probably slightly ahead of me as he had better fish, but he was also beating me on hooking up on far bank snags, lol, lots of effing was going on!
Numerous attempts over the gbait resulted in only 3 small skimmers, I kept piling the bait in but a carp never did venture in my margin. The point seem to dry up and so I tried the paste line again, and after some variation of feeding I started to get bites again, and all of a sudden I had 5 in 5 chucks. I took the odd fish then till the end of the match with 8 fish in the last hour (but they weighed less than 15lb!). Ken hardly caught a fish in the last 2 hours, the fish just disappeared from his swim.
I knew I hadn't done enough today as I could hear Alan, Anton and Clint Wijtiola were bagging at the other end. It turned out the bigger fish were at the other end of the lake, as Anton had 130lb, Clint 99lb (both from margin over gbait) and Alan 89lb. My net of small carp went 67lb which was 4th on the lake after the carp slayers, but I had enjoyed my day, just a shame the carp weren't all 4lb a piece!
Craig Edmunds won (again) from unfancied peg 9 on match lake (the bloke is a legend), he caught mainly on meat but also some on pellet, that is what Mat Toomes told me (he was on peg 11 with a stiff neck). Anton came 2nd and after him... see Tony's blog! Would you believe that Nige Bartlett won the silvers with 25lb of small roach and Andy came 2nd with 18lb, surprised the other lakes did not show more silvers.
Back to the river next week with the first round of the commercial house, need a bit of preparation for this match!