Back in December I was asked by Mike Nicholls if I would fish this second round match for his team. I was happy to say yes as I knew it was a free weekend, although at that stage I didn't know what lake I would be on. After the first round I found out I would be on Campbell lake.
Gordon Cannings was another of the team and he picked me up and we had brekkie in Canards Well, shame it was cold. We talked that this was gonna be all about the draw bag today, and the strong Northerly wind would also make things tricky. Bela Bakos did the team draw and it didn't look that bad on paper, but it must have been toilet paper lol! I was on peg 130 which did have a few carp on the first round, though the main shoal was in 132 and 130. However, talking to Gary O'Shea who'd fished a match there on Thursday he said the fish had moved up to peg 128. Where would they be today, well we would all know soon enough.
I only bothered setting up two rods, a lead rod, and a waggler rod, although the sun and ripple meant seeing a float would be very difficult. However, I was happy to be on this bank and be able to fish a wag as the wind was off my back. For the lads opposite it was gonna be rough, and Mat Parsons on 111 and Rob Jones on 110 looked cold before the match began. I thought I had an empty peg as nobody had arrived on 129, but then along came fishery owner Steve Long. On peg 131 was Dan Squires another Viaduct regular and good angler. Dan did set up the pole, but Steve only went with the two rods like me. (Am I padding this out a little?)
When the match began I started on the straight lead with popped up bread, two casts on that without an indication and 30 mins had passed. I saw that anglers in 115 and 116 had caught carp, and Gary O'Shea on 119 had a carp on the pole. I tried some sweetcorn on the lead, but after the hour I had not had any indications and neither had anyone around me. Dan Squires had taken a few roach on the wag and as I had been feeding casters and maggots I decided it was time to get on it myself. I was on 0.12 to to an 18, too heavy roach but it had been set up with carp in mind, but I did get a few bites and roach but it was slow. As nothing was being caught on the carp front around me I switched to 0.10 to a 20. This improved the number of bites but I wasn't going to get a decent weight.
Dan managed to hook a carp on the waggler and he did well to land an 8lb fish on 0.08! I stuck with the waggler for a couple of hours, I found double pinkie was the best hook bait, but did catch on single maggot and caster. There's not a lot more I can really say about my day, I kept trying casting the wag long with double mag looking for a carp, tried the lead again once, and would come back in on the roach and get a few. It was sadly obvious the carp were in the middle of the lake and they did move from 116/115 down to 113, and the anglers on my bank on 126, 127 and 128 had them late.
The scales arrived and weighed peg 132 in first 6oz, Dan did well to catch 14lb, my weight was 4lb 6oz and then Steve Long had 2lb 2oz. (Steve really gave the lead a good go, as he did lose a foul hooked carp on the wag). The 3 anglers opposite also struggled and I beat two of them but Matty did me by 2oz. That meant I had 5 points for the team as I was never going to beat anyone past the spit. Gary O'Shea won our lake with 125lb of carp dobbing bread on the pole, I think Adrian Jeffery came 2nd with 60lb+.
On the team front it hadn't gone well, Mike had 2lb, Bela Blanked, Gordon had foul hooked a 17lb carp on Carey, and Leon Hubbard had 8lb I think, on Lodge but that was good on there today!
Nick Ewers who seems to have a habit of drawing on the carp in the early rounds of this league did it again and won the match off peg 86, think he had 130lb+
Well I knew I couldn't keep drawing on the fish, and today was always likely to happen. However, I think I'll give "aquatic bingo" a miss next weekend as the weather looks like staying cold all week. If you are venturing out then the very best of luck.