After a stressful few days at work I was really glad of the long weekend, that said when I woke up Saturday morning I felt pretty knackered and for a few minutes not really up for fishing. Of course after a cuppa and a look out the window the world seemed brighter. Drove down to the fishery with Glenn Bailey who had won at Avalon on Thursday, and we had a nice easy drive down no bank holiday traffic. It was my first time back at Viaduct since a poor day in the winter, but of course the weights were now much higher, though I must say I am not built for bagging huge weights! I said to Glenn I hardly every draw on Carey Lake, but if I did today I would try to fish for the skimmers. A good turnout of 40 anglers and we were spread over Campbell and Carey, so where would I draw? Well I avoided Carey again, and spookily I drew peg 123 on Campbell which is where my Sub Alan Oram drew on the league match!
Glenn drew peg 135 on the car park bank of Campbell and he quite fancied it. As for my peg it had been fishing well recently, and Gary O'Shea told me that on Thursday Ian Parsons had a 150lb on it. When I got to the peg the wind was blowing right in my face, and it was troublesome all day. With this in mind I set up my pole to only fish 11.5m out. Now most locals (Viaduct Slayers) here fish 14.5 to 16m normally, but I have fished this peg before and managed to catch short. At 11.5m I set up a 0.2g PC float (rugby ball job) with 0.16 to 18 PR36 for banded pellet, A 4x14 PB Carp 3 for meat at 5m with 0.14 to 14 PR478, and lastly on the pole a 4x12 PB Carp 3 for the left hand margin at 11m. I did also set up a straight lead to fish to the pallet on 122.
On the whistle I fed about 100 6mm pellets at 11.5m, a good dose of pellets in the margin, and I fed some 11mm pellets to the pallet. The young lad next to me was called Mark Wynne (hope I spelt that right) and he started short for the skimmers. I shipped out with a 6mm in the band and the float cocked and within seconds I hooked a carp. In fact I had 3 carp in 3 drops in no time at all. All I did was top up with a kinder pot of 6mm, trying to keep them on the deck. After the first hour I had 7 carp and I hadn't lost a fish! Mark had 3 carp, but opposite on 118 Dan White had taken a few carp on his slapping method.
The long pole line went iffy and so it was time to chuck the lead, I must admit I was struggling to feed to the pallet as the wind was a nightmare, my firs cast on the lead was off the mark too! Next chuck and a small 3lb carp. I tried it again and I had a couple of liners and then the rod went off, this fish boiled on the bank and then felt like it was in or through a snag and I lost it. That was enough of the lead for me! Back on the long pole and decent skimmer led me to thinking the carp were absent, so I fed another decent amount of pellet. I did catch another couple of carp but then things went a bit bandy when I lost two foul hookers and then bites dried up. A look in the margin where I had been loose feeding 6mm pellet all the time produced one tiny skimmer. The meat line was also devoid of any fish.
After a good first 90 mins I now had a tough time, an mid match was a struggle with the odd carp and skimmer, meanwhile Mark next me hit a purple patch on the lead cast over his long pole line and went ahead of me. Another look in the margin produced a good skimmer, a tench and I pulled out of skimmer, but I needed carp as silvers were no good to me now (I thought). I fed heavier down the margin with the catty and with 2 hours to go tried it again, and for an hour it was absolutely solid with bites coming instantly. It really slowed, probably cos I milked it a bit too much but I felt I had brought myself back into contention, and with 1 hour to go I dropped in my 3rd net for carp. A couple more carp out long was good, but my meat line only produced 1 tench. I did manage some more carp and tench in the margin, including a couple of doubles. My last fish a tench of 2lb came just before the whistle. Mark next to me hooked a carp about 10 seconds after the whistle as he tried to slap as the wind had dropped, he put it back of course. I reckoned I had about 150lb but I do struggle sometimes to judge the weight of big carp!
I had no idea had Carey had fished but I could see that Dan opposite had finished really well and Mark Poppleton seemed to have caught in his margin on 114 nearly all day. When the scaled up from Glenn it was obvious that end of Campbell had fished poor, Mark next to me weighed 165lb 12oz, and I was really not sure if I had that much. My silvers went nearly 18lb and my first carp net about 45lb, which was about 10lb less than I had on my clicker! Luckily for me the other two nets had a little bit more, and my final weight was 166lb 12oz. Yep exactly 1lb more than Mark, which was dead handy as that put me 4th overall and last in the main frame,
Final result (without exact weights sorry, as had to dash off as it was Glenn's Dad's birthday)
1st Ben Haag 200lb+ peg 80
2nd Dan White 180lb+ peg 118
3rd Mark Poppleton 171lb peg 114
4th ME 166lb 12oz.
I think the silvers was won by Nigel Bartlett on Carey, only about 31lb which is low compared to late. In fact I was only a couple of pounds off getting 3rd in the silvers.
Well I enjoyed that today, a good bit of pole fishing and I seemed to get the feeding right with not too many foul hookers, pulled out of a couple of fish though which cost me 3rd, but everyone looses a few. Today I found a 6mm in the band to be far superior to an 8mm, that may have been the slower fall that helped?