As you will no doubt realise I did not go fishing last weekend, multiple reasons really; garden needed a lot of attention (and still needs more), nothing took my fancy, and lastly I was travelling to France on business on Monday (driving) and didn't want to be tired for the journey. Glad I didn't fish as I was absolutely knackered when I got home past midnight on Weds.
I wasn't really sure where to go this weekend either, and after a few Guinness's with Glenn, Bela and Mike Nicholls we were "all" going to Hill View. It was deemed the best option, given the gale force winds forecasted, as we should be able to catch on short pole and get bites. Well that seemed a more logical choice than Landsend Fishery in high winds.
Glenn acted as chauffeur today, he arrived early and text me to say he was here, and gave me the choice of not going, lol. We loaded his car in the rain and just managed to shut the car doors and boot by filling every inch, don't we carry a lot of kit these days. At the fishery Bela and Mike had already eaten their grub and were ready to go, the place was packed as there was a club match on and also a group of golfers were taking breakfast at Keith's. Thankfully the rain cleared before the draw was done and it was now a case of watching the wind speed increase. I was one of the last people to draw today and I pulled out peg 73 on the 3rd canal which is 4 pegs up from the end peg 69 where Mike Nicholls sat. In between myself and Mike was Sean Clayton who'd DNW the day before on the lakes. Glenn was not far from us on the 2nd canal peg 66, and Bela was on the other end peg on my canal, so Mike and Bela looked favourites.
Rightly or wrongly with the strong wind I decided on a short pole day, my main line was top set plus one at 11 o'clock (down wind) and I set up two rigs to fish here; a 0.4gm for corn / meat, and a 0.2gm for banded pellet. A 0.2gm rig was also set up for the margins with 16 PR478 for meat/corn. 0.13 was used on all rigs.
Looking around me it was a mixture of some anglers like myself going with minimal carbon, and a few with a bit more. I started the match on my long line (lol) and cupped in some pellet and corn, threw some meat to my left margin and corn to my right. Starting on the corn rig I had 2 or 3 indications / missed bites before connecting with a F1, Mike was already getting one a bung. After about 30 mins on the corn I had taken a few more but the rig and bait didn't seem right to me so I switched to banded pellet. Just feeding the fishery 4mm pellets and putting the same in the band brought an improvement but I did have to fish the rig slightly over depth as the canal was towing. To be honest I spent the next 3 hours catching F1s quite steadily, though they seemed to come in bursts of 2 or 3 quickly before a little wait. I wasn't sure but other than Mike I thought I was going well compared to others, Sean was struggling.
There were of course some serious gusts of wind today, once my cap blew straight into my keepnet, bait boxes from anglers on canal 2 ended up on canal 3! The lad to my right had his preston trolley blown halfway into his margin.
Back to my match and I had taken a couple of F1s and small carp from the left margin on meat, but it just wouldn't get going and I spent a lot of time snagging up on roots. The right hand margin was shite and I never had a bite here. I was forced to feed another spot long and fed some 4mm pellet straight in front. This improved matters and the F1s and a few small carp took a liking to the pellet. With an hour to go I was willing the margin to get going as the anglers to my right were all catching well in theirs, the guy to my right also landing a bonus 7lb fish . However, my my margin line did not come to life bar 2 F1s in two drops five mins before the end of the match. The long line also died and I even tried going out to 5m but no joy. During this last hour I sat and watched Sean next to me catch one a bung at 6m, by far his best spell.
I was left feeling frustrated by a poor last hour to 90 mins, and once I saw the weights I knew I'd been close. My fish went 66lb, Sean had 51lb and the guy to my right had 73lb. With two 80lb weights and two more 70's I was cursing my bad spell.
Trevor Chalk won the match with 85lb from peg 79 I think, Mike was 2nd with 82lb, Bela 3rd with 74lb. Glenn behind had 36lb but his canal fished poor and he was not far off the section money.
In hindsight the decision to fish this venue due to the strong wind was a good one, 66lb of F1s and small carp at 4m was a nice day with plenty of bites for 4 hours. Let's hope the weather improves for next weekend, it would be nice to get out on a sunny day, but that doesn't seem likely!