I first met up with Mike Nicholls, Glenn Bailey, Martyn Woodington and Mark Tanner at Acorn fishery on Tuesday afternoon. I did not want to fish this match as I felt a draw on the island or teens to 20's would make it difficult for me to get to the toilet, and I had a lot of trips to the bog on this day. As you will no doubt already know Glen won this match with 154lb and Mike came second with 130lb. After a lovely carvery in the Brent Knoll pub we drove on down to Viaduct and I got myself settled into the lodge. I decided to take a couple of tablets to help "bung me up" for the next day.
I awoke Wednesday feeling shattered, I'd had quite a number of night trips to the bog and sharing a room with Glenn was like sharing a room with a chainsaw, that man could snore for England! Although I said nothing to anyone I felt good before the draw simply because I was back in amongst the banter again. I wanted a draw at the car park end of the lake as the wind was blowing this way and of course it was closest to the bog. I pulled 124 which was about as far away from where I wanted to be and did get a few laughs, especially when the rest of the "lodgers" drew between 110 and 129. I was in good company though with Tony Rixon on 123 and Ron Hardiman on 125. My intention was to fish for silvers as hauling in carp would be to tiring for me. Obviously with such a short pole match setting up was pretty simple, and I went for a 0.3g PB inter float (slim version which took 6 no 9 stotz) with 0.14 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet. This would do for the full length and with a slight reduction in depth top set+1 at 2 o'clock. A 4x10 Durafloat with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for pellet in the margin (but this never got me anything) and a paste rig with one of my old big H floats with 0.18 to 12 PR478 hook.
To start the match I fed about 20 or 30 6mm pellets on the "long" line, fed some 8mm pellets in the margin and as I turned round to get my pellet rig Tony shouted so much for fishing for silvers...my long line was fizzing with carp, nuts! Out with a 6mm pellet in the band and no joy, so I tried a 8mm pellet and hooked a small carp. Next chuck I hooked another but soon pulled out, however, the line was covered with dark slime and there was a tiny scale on the hook, tench. During the next 90 mins I did catch a tench another carp and a few skimmers, I was ahead of my neighbours but Tony had 3 tench and was beating me on silvers. At this point the silvers really shut up shop and it was a long wait for any bite or indication. I did nick a couple of skimmers from the short line, but missed bites from / bumped little 4oz skimmers. I tried the paste a few times and didn't have a sniff and it was obvious this match was tough for most people.
With about 2 hours to go I started to get fizzing again and as I was getting no silvers action I tried the paste rig again, bugger me if it didn't shoot under and I had a carp. It was also about this time that I realised I had sat on my box all the time, no bog visits, I was amazed! I then spent the last part of the match catching a few carp on paste, whilst those around me on pellet struggled. The carp would come into the feed and I'd catch one, whilst I played the carp I could see other carp fizzing over the feed, but by the time I got a bait back in the fish had gone, I had to refeed and wait 10 to 15 mins. When the match ended I was really happy with my lot as I had enjoyed the day.
Tony weighed 54lb, I weighed 95lb (which included 18lb of silvers) and Ron had 27lb, I think I may remember this day a long time, as beating Mr Rixon off the next peg is a rare event indeed and I am sure he will give me a lesson soon lol! Coming 3rd overall was a real bonus for me as I honestly was just there for the day out, I think be relaxed and doing my own thing on a hard day helped. I was choked up if I'm honest.
Tom Magnal won from peg 114 with 125lb and Glnen came 2nd on paste from peg 131. Tony Rixon won the silvers, he rarely leaves without an envelope.
A curry and a couple of beers was probably a step to far for me, (I had a bad night with bogs and chainsaws), but then again it was worth it as they tasted gert lush!