I decided to try to get back fishing on Sundays again, and I was lucky enough to get in as a guest on this match. Glenn Bailey was doing the honours driving, but to be fair I don't think our gear will fit in my car anymore, this is because I now have a Space Station Compact box and Preston trolley. We got to Shipham cafe at 8:50, it was rammed with campers and we were waiting until 9:25 for the grub! A rush down the roads and we got the venue with a few minutes to spare. I had no idea where I wanted to draw, but not ever having drawn the main lake before I would be happy to give that a go. As it turned out Glenn drew main lake peg 2 whilst I ended up on Hawthorn peg 6 so I wouldn't be fishing for silvers today.
Neighbours for the day were Leon Hubbard on peg 4 and Glen Calvert on peg 7. Talk was the end pegs were the ones to beat on this lake, but Adrian Jeffery was on peg 9 on the aerator and he had the same peg on this match last year and I think had a ton. The far bank of my peg looked the part, but plumbing up I was not impressed as there was only a few inches of depth next to the bare bank. The bottom seemed to shelve of quickly to about 2 1/2 foot where I plumbed a swim with a 4x10 durofloat with 0.16 to 16 PR36. A shallow rig with the same hook and line strength was set up for here too. If you look closely at the photo you will see an immature Moorhen, it and lots of other wildfowl were a constant pest today!
I set up two more rigs one for paste in the left hand margin, and one for fishing dead maggot down the right margin, but as I only had 3 crucians on paste, and an eel and a perch on the maggot, end of! I did not set up any rigs for the middle deep water as I expected to be fishing up in the water today. As you can see the margin on the left had had a trim by the fishery owner, these reeds though occupy the top shelf and then there is a steep drop to at least 4 feet of water.
To start the match I potted some 6mm pellet in two places across, put a big pot in my left margin and that was it for now. Starting on my 4x10 float on a banded 8mm pellet I soon had a 12oz carp in the net and there were signs of fish in the right hand swim I fed but not my left. I took a 3lb carp and then suffered a couple of foulers, so on with the shallow rig but no bites at all. After the first hour I had 4 carp and that seemed to be doing OK, I'd mainly been toss potting bait in but switched to the catty. However, the second hour was awful and I didn't catch a carp and I kept snagging up on the bottom. Glen next to me was now on the same number of fish as me, but Leon still struggling on 2 carp. The paste anglers weren't catching either and so I carried on fishing across, all the while feeding 6mm pellet in the LH margin by hand,
During the next 3 hours I just kept working the float and mainly fished between 6" and 9" deep. Carp would often show themselves right against the bank but it was not possible to catch them here. I fished over my original deep line and just past it, and kept lifting and dropping. Slapping wasn't really possible due to the foliage. I did get a few carp from the left hand far bank swim and it helped to be able to switch between the two. I tried altering the feed amounts and regularity, and it seemed that a change did sometimes catch a fish, but never a second! I got quite a few fish ahead of Glen, but then he fished another part of his peg across and had a run of fish, and then he had another run down his margin. I managed to pick up 4 carp from the margin, I caught these fishing between 1 and 2 feet deep. I should say that across all lines I found that a Sonubait 6mm bandum to be the best hookbait today. I should say mid match I had to go to the shop as I could not find my drinks and was gasping. (When I got home tonight I put my gear away and found my drinks lol!)
At the end of the match I thought I had 19 carp for about 50 to 60lb, and Glen reckoned he had 50lb but I had more. As the scales came down Gordon Cannings on end peg 15 had top weight with 63lb, Glen then weighed 58lb 12oz and I followed up with 71lb 7oz which was the top weight on the lake. Leon had struggled and ended with 29lb. Just tosay I fed about 4 pints of pellet today.
As it turned out my weight was good enough for 5th on the day (first out of the money) and I was beaten by 4 anglers on the main lake, Tom Magnall 101lb, Glenn Bailey 100lb (the owner told him that was the best weight in a match off that peg), Shaun Townsend 87lb and Eddie Wynne 74lb. I lost probably 8 to 10 foulers today but not a lot you can do about that, and I was more than happy to pick up the section money. Rich Lacey won the silvers with just 10lb, this was again from the main lake, and the same section as the top 2 overall, meaning Pete Notton won that section by lots of defaults with just 4lb 10oz!
That was a hard working day and I enjoyed it even though those far bank carp and wildfowl were at times a tad frustrating, and to get another bit of coin was really happy days.