Sunday, 28 June 2015

North v South Charity Match at Tunnel Barn Farm

Quite a long time ago I put my name down for this match, and I must admit after last weeks dire match on Lodge I felt like not bothering to go just to get my ass kicked. However, I soon got my head back on and there was no way I was going to let the organisers down at the last minute, I'd just have to get on and do the best. This venue is one I have only fished many years ago in mid winter, and with not that much experience in fishing for F1's in summer I was not expecting anything special, but still I got as much info as I could. I picked up Glenn at 6:20am and we ate the remainder of my BBQ food from yesterday for breakfast on route.

We arrived in good time, registered and then had a quick look around some of the pools, very varied with some pegs 6m wide and others 18m, there were a few fish topping but it wasn't mental. We managed to get into the draw queue fairly early (which helps when there are 120 people fishing!) and both Glenn and myself found ourselves on extension pool; Glenn on 12 in a very narrow peg with a couple of empty pegs either side, and myself on peg 38, which was nearly 17m wide. I was told by Des Shipp it was a good area, but to my right where there were lots of reeds and some gaps looked better. As you can see in the photo it was a bare bank but with trees above, I couldn't reach the far bank with pole and I couldn't lob a method feeder across, I was disappointed with this as the far bank was part of my plan to catch late on.

Rigs today, a 0.4g PC pencil float with 0.12 to 16 B911 for top set plus one for soft pellet, a duplicate rig also did for 6m where I planned to fish worm and caster as it was just a few inches deeper. a 4x12 PB carp 4 for fishing shallow over the 6m line and this also was used for margin to my left, and also a 4x10 rig for right hand margin and 16m as far as I could go, again same depth!

As I was setting up the peg on my right was filled by Paul Yates, he's a fairly local angler, fished the venue a fair bit he told me, and was part of the teams of 4 w/l team that won year before last fishing with Des. OK so he's a bit good, when I told him I'd hadn't fished for F1's in summer he said "happy days!" Well if he was trying to psyche me out he was doing a good job lol! In all fairness this was going to be now very hard for me to compete, but that just spurred me on.

To start the match I began on the top set plus one, feeding small balls of micros with a 4mm expander on the hook, it seemed Paul started similarly. Instantly where I fed started fizzing and I was soon into my first F1 which jumped and snapped my hook length in the landing net. Back in and another bite, and that set the pattern for the first hour of my match where I had a bite every drop in and it was just a case of trying to hit as main as possible, it was all F1's and a few small skimmers, all the while I was throwing a w/c slop out to 6m. Paul was really struggling at this stage and had hardly anything. Another 30 mins and then things stopped in close, so out I went on the worm line shallow. Nothing not a bite, out deep and I had a F1, and a few more but then it got really iffy. The fish were there, it was fizzing, but I couldn't catch shallow and deep was very hard work. I tried back in close but that was dead, and I started to feed the margins with gbait and a closer line with casters.

The middle hours for me were poor, and I couldn't work out anything, meanwhile Paul had now started catching F1's on a top set and they were all a decent size and he soon caught me up. I tried dumping a bit of w/c in and that was a no go, although after about 15 mins I did get 4 F1's in as many chucks, then they were gone again. Across I fed meat, but I never had a bite across. I was watching Paul and I could see he was feeding very little, so I started feeding just 4 4mm pellets at ten and two o'clock. Very soon the right side started to fizz and I started to catch a few F1's again, and they were a better stamp. Again they soon got unsettled and I had to search around. Paul was struggling a bit in the last hour and I went looking for carp in the last 30 mins, I managed 1 on meat on my original pellet line, and 1 5 mins before the end on worm over gbait in my LH margin.

I knew Paul had beat me but I thought I'd beat those to my left I could see but my section went around the other side of the island too. Ade Crawley was the next Southern angler to my left and he had a bit of a struggle after a few early fish. The scales had to come all the way from peg 1, and by the time they got to me the top weight in my section was 80lb, with the three to my left weighing 50lb, 26lb and 32lb next to me, I then stuck 70lb on the scales to go second but Paul eclipsed that with an ounce shy of 90lb. To be honest I didn't feel I did too bad against him, he did me catching those big F1's, as it turned out he was fishing 4mm meat, and only fed a few pieces over a few lies on his top set, well done.

Glenn had 48lb from his narrow peg and we decided to get on our way home and leave the baggers to their spoils. I do not have the results, they will come up on Facebook later I guess, but I do know that the North won on the day. Well done.

Nice venue this, I had more bites here in an hour than I have for a long time, certainly takes a bit of working out, and I wish I hadn't bothered with the worms, and fished hard pellet shallow. Also needed to take 4mm meat lol!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Viaduct Spring League Final Round

First of all I must make mention of something I forgot on my last post (I was very tired), on the last day at Viaduct when I pleasure fished on Match Lake I had Glenn watching for me for a while. I didn't take a lot of notice of where he sat, and when I landed a fish I shipped the landing net pole behind me and whack, hit him right on the bridge of his nose. It drew blood as it cut him. I had to mention this so he can prove to his good wife Jayne that he didn't get it fighting, lol!

Back to today, sigh...

After drawing on Lodge lake for my last 4 matches (drawing, 69, 57, 71 and 53) I just had to be in luck and get on Campbell surely (wanted to avoid Carey as that is a struggle at the mo) after all some lucky so and so's have been on there all the time. Some (Bob Gullick 115) even managed to draw the same peg three times lol! Anyway, I was chatting to a few lads and Des Shipp was giving some tips on how to fish Tunnel Barn Farm and I forgot where I was and Glenn was left to unload the car. Into the coffee tin and out comes.... FIFTY (EFFING) FIVE! 55, I don't believe it what have I done to deserve this (sobs tears tantrums etc) and I was unusually for me a bit peed off, well we all have our limits. I know Trigger has won the section off this peg but he is a far better carp angler than I, and since I was already out of the running there was only the section to fish for.

I took an age to drag my kit to my peg and nobody was feeling the love on my bank, Dave Roper was on 53 and that's the second time he's drawn that peg. Trig was on 71 (my home last round) and felt he couldn't win the title from that peg. I set up a straight lead for banded pellet, a rig for banded pellet at 14.5m, a meat rig for 6m, and a rig for the margin at 11.5m next to the reeds. I started on the long pole and fed 6mm pellet by catty to try and catch anything that swims, starting get tiny plucks from small roach and skimmers on 6mm pellet, so put a 8mm in the band. I soon hooked a carp but it was fouled and I pulled out of it. Never saw another carp on this line, just little skimbobs.

Out on the straight lead then as Welshy next door had taken 2 skimmers and a carp on it, my tip didn't move for 30 mins so I rang my Dad to wish him happy Fathers Day, and as we were talking the rod went round. I played the carp steadily, but as it was just coming into netting range the hook pulled, sigh. Next chuck and another pull round and this time an 8lb carp was landed. Next chuck and what looked like a big liner, I left it but the rod banged off again and I was attached to a fouler on the lead that soon came off, sigh. The commotion was enough for the carp to move off.

Ninety minutes in I think I got my 2nd carp on the tip but it was a one off. As usual the middle of the match was very poor with no bites to be had anywhere other than another small skimmer on the meat line. With two hours to go I put groundbait / pellet mush in the margin, gave it 15 mins and then dropped in over it with meat and I didn't have to wait long to see the elastic ripped out. Carp number 3 was landed and was another decent size fish. Sadly I only had 1 more carp in the margin and another on the straight lead, and so my day had ended with failure once again. As the weigh in was started at 57 I would have a long wait to weigh in, and I decided to dry the nets and chucked back 35lb which would have been last in the section. Trev Senior won my section on peg 60 with some last hour margin fish, two of which weighed together went over 30lb. Welshy next to me had 49lb and was last but 1 in section, and Dave on 53 had 53lb I think.

I've now spent 30 hours on Lodge, and each time I have had to sit and watch others (especially 64, 66 and 68) empty it, as I said I'm sure better anglers would have done better than me on my draws, but they've done for me. Glenn was in with a shout of doing well in the league, but he missed out on the top berth by 1 point.

Well done league winner Craig Edmunds who managed to beat 3 people in his section (he beat the same pegs as I did last time) and that was good enough to win him the league over Giles Cochrane who only beat 2 people in his section today. Andy Neal won the knockout with 200lb+ from Lodge peg 66. Winner of today's match by a clear (or not so clear) margin was Chris Davis with 338lb, err no 254lb as he lost 84lb due to losing a whole net being over the limit! Chris was on 135, well done mate.

Enough typing, it's hard enough fishing a load of toilet and then having to recall it all lol!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Viaduct Thursday Cost Cutter

I woke up Thursday morning with Glenn telling me I snored like a cow, I reminded him he snored like a chainsaw! I was still full from last night and didn't go for a cooked breakfast, and I don't think a jalfrezi was the best choice of curry for my bowels!

Today's match was going to be on Campbell and (oh no) Lodge... Surely I couldn't draw on Lodge for the 4th match running? That said I wouldn't mind if I could draw on 64 or 66 where the majority of carp seem to be at present. Into the queue and either side of me were Tony Rixon and Craig Edmunds (a rose between two thorns), they both drew Campbell and I drew Lodge again, but in a corner, peg 53. I invited Steve Long to give me the benefit of his knowledge, he said to fish a wag to the bank and long to my left on the pole under a tree, he did say I needed a carp angler on peg 73 to catch / lose a few to push them out down to me. Andy Gard settled in peg 73, and if you didn't know Andy fishes for silvers mostly on a top set.

I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it, as I couldn't really see myself competing in either the overall or silvers pools. Gabriel Skarba said my peg was "toilet", but there have been a few 80lbs of it. I set up a 3AAA wag with 0.21 to 14 PR38 for 8mm pellet, a 4x10 rig for the margin to my left for hard pellet, and a paste rig for up to the tree if I wanted to be silly! I began the match on the waggler and after 10 mins I had a fish on and off, probably fouled. 15 mins later and I hooked one that tore off to the tree and despite me giving nothing it got there and the 0.21 snapped. That was the end of the waggler fish, and what I would do was wait until I saw one by the posts and hope it would swim out to my feed, but most of the time they didn't. I couldn't have fished by the posts as I would have lost everything to the snags.

After an hour I was blanking and Martyn Woodington up on 66 had 6 carp, the writing was on the wall. After 2 hours I was still blanking! I tried to cheer myself up by singing stupid stuff and amusing Andy, though I think i may have gone mad in the sun! 2 1/2 hours in and I had a small skimmer on pellet in the margin, hooray time to go for a walk.

Back at my peg after eating a bacon sarnie and chatting to Glenn, Mike and Woody I went back for some more thrashing. Within minutes I hooked a carp in the margin on the pole it swam out into the middle and found an underwater branch and put my hook in there..... Drop back in and get another carp and last this one at about 8lb. That was the end of that! My paste line at 11m against the tree started fizzing with an hour to go, and I had 2 skimmers and 1 carp from here. I did lose another carp that had a sat nav set for home (being the roots of the tree) and as I threw my pole back we both had a mini tug of war before the hook came free. Match over, DNW as did peg 55 and 56.

However, I was determined to catch a carp on the waggler and decided to stay until I did so! I didn't have to wait more than 10 mins to hook one and I was giving it the real heave ho, Andy though the rod was going to break lol! Eventually landed a very healthy looking 10lb+ common carp. OK maybe I'll have another cast, 10 mins later I hooked another but literally as I pulled the rod up Behind me I watched the line head toward the tree in the blink of an eye and the underwater torpedo skillfully found a branch which snapped my main line. OK I surrender!

Woody did well on 66 to win our lake with 170lb, interestingly he caught straight in front and not by the tree. Gary O' Shea was top on campbell and caught on most baits on the pole.

Last night of holiday and 3 cans at the lodge to drown my sorrows before a few more up town. That was enough to get me eating lots of cheese with Glenn back at the lodge. I was a tad dehydrated in the morning...

I did fish for a bit on Match lake on Friday, couldn't catch deep on meat. Went shallow with pellet and slapping and caught skimmers F1 and a few carp before the scum got stuck in front of me and I packed it in. Gordon next to me caught on the bottom, weird!  We all said our goodbyes after another great week, good company, good laughs and plenty of fish, I was knackered lol!

Back at Viaduct Sunday, and praying I do not draw Lodge for the the 5th straight match!

Viaduct Short Pole Match Campbell

I woke up feeling OK on Wednesday (just tired) no hangover as I had no room for beer after the carvery! I always look forward to this match as it is something quite different and in the past it has been a good day. I was in the draw queue about halfway and fancied drawing 110 as there seemed  to be fish blowing there close in. I drew the right bank but the opposite end, 119, Steve Long said great peg you need to fish 16m to the end bank and gave me a wry smile! I was happy enough with the peg and was looking forward to the match.

There was plenty of time to get set up and so I was able to make a couple of new rigs on the bank. I wasn't going to pin my faith all on paste today, so whilst I did set that up for 6m I planned to start on a 4x12 rig with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet. A 0.2g rig with 0.18 to 12 PR478 for meat angled to my right, and a 4x12 for the margin to my right. I could get in tight but the bottom just a steep slope so I opted to fish at the bottom.

I started feeding a small pot of 6mm pellet at 6m and pot of meat to my right, loose feeding 6mm pellets in the margin. My first drop in at 6m with a 6mm pellet in the band was nailed by a carp, and 10 mins later carp number 2 was netted. Opposite Steve Tucker on 123, Glenn on 124 and Dan White on 125 were also into fish. It then slowed and I added only 1 more carp and a tiny skimmer at the end of the first hour. An early look on the meat was called for, and just as I shipped out bubbles came up, I dropped the float on top and was soon netting a 6lb carp. A skimmer flew out of the water soon after the carp but that was my lot for the meat. In fact all my lines were dead as a dodo, frustrating especially when I could see carp on the end bank!

Glenn was baggin on the paste and his neighbours were also doing well. I had to give the paste a proper go and so gave the 6m line a big pot of pellets. It did improve as I started to get indications but it was slow, I think I had 2 carp, a tench and a skimmer, before I hooked another carp and as I was playing it on my top set the line broke half way up the rig, weird! With the margin not working at all I decided to make more noise and feed 8mm pellets in big handfuls, in the hope to draw the carp away from there distant lare. Whether it was this this move or the time of day I don't know, but with 2 hours to go I started to get the odd carp here. For a while it was easy and I caught on the bottom of the shelf, but then things went iffy and I then had some by going shallow and tighter in. However, this then died and I had to go back deep, but I suffered a few foulers. Going shallow just didn't work again, so carried on feeding it but went on the meat line, I had 2 proper bites here and both were fouled and I lost them, grrrr!

I carried on in the margin and got the odd fish but no where near fast enough, my last fish landed 5 mins before the end was a beast which I had at first assumed was a fouler. It was my biggest fish for a while and went 15lb 12oz. After the match I thought I had 110lb, the scales came up from 110 and the top weight on my bank was Mike West with 113lb so it would be close. My silvers went 12lb and my carp 111lb for 123lb in total. This was good enough to come 4th on the day, but despite this I picked up no money as my section was split across the lake and there were no default payouts. All the money went to Glenn with 193lb, Steve Tucker 170lb+ and 2nd in silvers, Dan White 160lb silvers and my section winner.

I'm sure a viaduct regular would have challenged those weights off my peg, I obviously didn't get the feeding right and that's crucial here. A good day though and I really enjoyed it.

We had a nice curry that evening and quite a few beers, it was nice to meet up with my old mate Mark Jefferies (former work colleague, ex team captain and my best man) who sadly does not fish anymore. Gordon Cannings joined us for the holiday and he's an ex Silver Dace team mate. At the pub we saw some morris dancers, and one of them looked just like Mike Nicholls, but I saw that bloke by a round at the bar so it couldn't have been Mike lol!

Tuesday Open Acorn Fishery

I had joined Mike, Glenn, Martyn and Geoff at Viaduct on Monday evening for beer and grub, it was good to be back in the Lodge again which really is like home from home. Apparently Glenn and Geoff had nearly ate a pound of Cheddar between them the night before, might have been the cider with no name they drank that gave them a strange appetite!

Tuesday morning and off to Acorn, my last visit here was I think last summer when I had a torrid time on the straight and just couldn't catch. I really hoped I would be improving on that, and also that my recent poor drawing would stop this week. The carp were spawning and I guessed that would knock the fishing but should be the same for everyone. I watched as one after another the "regulars" drew what I considered good pegs, my turn, 18 on the straight not where I wanted to be. However, I was cheered up when I was told Lance Tucker had taken 50lb from it on Sunday and won his section. Of the holiday makers only Mike got a noted peg (see his blog) and we weren't expecting great things.

For company today I had bridge expert Mike Chapman on bridge peg 21, and on peg 17 Dave Blakemore. I set up a paste rig for down by peg 19 pallet, a paste rig for down the track, and two pellet rigs for across on on top the ledge and one the second ledge. 0.14 to18 PR36 was used for pellet rigs as I was going to feed 4mm pellets and put either 6 or 8mm in the band. When the match started I cupped decent amounts of pellets on the paste lines, but was less generous across. Starting on the second ledge I expected to get some indications, but 15 mins in and nothing, and despite trying here a number of times this line was abandoned. Going right across I was soon rewarded with a carp hooked in the mouth, but by the end of the first 90 mins all I had added to that was 3 foulers I had landed. I'd not actually lost that many as there were few indications, and my neighbours at this stage had not had a carp, it was not fishing well! The paste lines never responded, and I feel I messed up the pallet line and should have loosefed lightly here. My next 2 1/2 hours were tortuous, I couldn't get indications for ages, and Dave then had a few carp on the method feeder. I went for a walk....

I saw Glenn up on 23 as he'd been catching well, he had a lovely gap to fish in, I moaned a lot and went back to my peg. I started to get indications right over but I was not hooking anything, I made a paste rig up for over (copying Glenn) and the float went under about 25 times and only once did I catch a fish. I took this rig off and put on another pellet rig (with a little Preston dibber) and just a few minutes before the 5th hour the peg transformed. I was now getting bites and they were sometimes hooking themselves, and it was a fish every put in, it was a great hour. Sadly it slowed and despite resting it the swim went back to as it was before and I only had 2 or 3 carp in the last hour. Meanwhile Gabriel Skarba had caught well for the last 2 hours over and had beaten me.

When the scales arrived Glenn was leading with 78lb, I had my carp split into two nets, 1 net was the fish from just the 5th hour, and that went 33lb. The 2nd net from the other 5 hours weighed at 22lb! As it turned out my 55lb was enough to come 4th on the day as many of the noted pegs failed to produce. I'm not sure I can remember a match like that, the 5th hour was so good it made up for the rest. Well done to Glenn for winning, Gabe was 2nd with 71lb, and Paul Faires 3rd with 62lb.

Dinner at Brent Knoll carvery was excellent and I was glad I had an elasticated band on my trousers!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Float Only Series Round 2 Landsend Fishery

I woke up Sunday morning feeling very tired with 3 bad night's sleep on the trot, I actually ached where I think I'm not getting enough down time. As I was loading the car I had to go back and unlock the shed twice as I left things in there, to be honest I felt like a snail without shell, sluggish!

Drove down on my own as Glenn was staying at Viaduct for the annual fishing holiday, I'm joining the lads Monday night as I have to go in to work on Monday. I got to the fishery before 9am (the draw was 9:30) but Glenn and co were already there, they were complaining that Mike Nicholls had woke them up early! I had a quick walk around Speci lake which looked lifeless, and then onto match where many more carp were showing themselves and I'd be happy with a peg on here! I got into the draw queue about half way along and dipped in the white bucket, staring back at me was 27 on Speci Lake. I said to Tony is that another bad peg I've drawn, and he replied yes that's why its got 2 empty pegs either side. Oh pox! However, I did get a few good comments which gave me hope, and my section was at this end of the lake and went like this; 38 Chris Davis, 40 Paul Elmes, 25 Mike Nicholls, me 27 and Chris Fox 25. Three bloggers all in a row, and I said to Chris Fox he was in trouble as I was drawing poo!

Mike below setting up, he came up to see me before the match started and nearly fell over on my pole. I think he was still suffering from the beer the night before!

My view, the water looks an odd colour and you can see the far bank vegetation.

This peg is very wide, and even with my box as far forward on the pallet as possible I couldn't get tight into the island with 16m. Although there was so much foliage over there it would be nigh on impossible to push the pole over there. I set up a dobbing / swinging rig which I would use to get close in across, this had 0.16 to 16 PR36. A slapping rig with the same gear, a meat rig for 5m (only gave me 4 roach), and a 4x10 Durafloat for the pallet by peg 26, which I never had a bite on. Before the match started there were a few carp around, although they were hard to spot in amongst all the foliage that was on the water, this had appeared after Foxy had cleared his margins and it was a pain in the arse!

On the all in I had a go with the stalker rig, but all I managed to do was spook 3 carp, and nobody seemed to have any success with this on our lake, but I did fluke an F1. I was feeding 6mm pellets across with a catty and wanted to leave this to get going, but after 35 mins of no more than a couple of roach and watching Foxy fouling 3 or 4 carp across I had to follow. I didn't go tight in to begin with and I soon caught another F1 on a hard pellet, and on the hour I had my first carp out. At this early stage Chris Davis was on a few carp, Foxy had got 1 fouler in and that was it.  The Tourettes had set in with both Chris's as foulers, rigs and top sets were all lost or broke, lol!

My second hour gave me another carp across fairly soon and, and I did spook the odd fish but never fouled any. That was my lot for the second hour and it was obvious this lake was fishing poorly, Mike was on the silvers in close but did get 1 carp. My third hour saw one more carp but then it was even worse and I was into a deadly zone of no bites and no indications, I had to do something. I got off my box and got out some casters, a new rig which had a 0.3g PB Inter 4 with 0.128 exceed to a 16 PR412, my spring silvers rig! I plumbed up and settled on a spot at 14.5m to my left, I potted in some casters and left it for 10 mins. Going out with double caster on I had a couple of small roach and Mike commented I was going to long for them. I then started catching 6oz skimmers slowly but steadily, and when ever I caught a small roach I would pot in a decent amount of casters again. The fishing was not bad for a couple of hours and I did get another F1 and 2 skimmers which were over 1lb. However, the carp started to feed around the lake and when I lost on my caster rig I had to try and catch one as I was slipping down the section. The margin was a waste but going across again I hooked 3 more carp landing 2 before the match ended.

Mike on 25 had 6 carp on paste to the bottom bank and some silvers so it would be close between us. Foxy on 29 had decided he wasn't going to hang around to get last in section and chucked back, he never even said bye! My section was won by Chris Davis with 62lb, next to him Paul Elmes finished strongly and came 2nd with 56lb. Mike then weighed 43lb and I wasn't sure I had that, but... my 5 carp went 31lb, and my silvers 16lb and so my 47lb was middle of the road, no coin today then!

Getting back to the car park it seemed that lake 3 had also fished very hard in places, but match lake had fished much more consistently and produced the top two with Steve Tucker first on peg 1 with 125lb, and Tony Rixon 2nd on peg 18 with 123lb.  Silvers winner was Gordon Cannings with just 22lb from peg 31, and much to my surprise I sneaked in 2nd in the silvers and did get some coin!

That's all for tonight, my arms and shoulders are aching from fishing long all day. A day of rest tomorrow before three matches in three days. I'll do my blog updates when I come back from Viaduct, hopefully with a few good catches and hangovers to write up about!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Viaduct Spring League Round 4

Another trip to Viaduct Fishery or as some people call it "ton up city." Glenn was back from sunning himself in Spain and played the part of taxi driver today, a brekky in Canards Well and arrived at the Fishery in good time. Carp had started spawning on Campbell and Carey the day before and were still going at it when we arrived. No signs on Lodge of Spawning and in fact it looked flat and very quiet, I made no secret of the fact I was sure I could not draw on here for the third round in a row! In the draw queue and I was alongside Leon Hubbard, he surprised me by drawing his peg and offering it to me, but I declined quite quickly as I have always liked to be in charge of my destiny. Leon drew peg 98 on Carey which is usually OK and a very good peg in the section. I then nearly choked when out I pulled peg 71 on Lodge, holy shite! This peg has been last in section on the last two rounds, with last time Dan White struggling on it.

I dragged my kit to the peg and at least I had some decent company with Warren Bates on 69, Phil "Fabio" Harding on peg 70, Martin Preston was on corner peg 73, and on Carey 102 was Trev Senior and on 103 Nicky Ewers who was watching the carp spawn in his margin. I found out a decent weight of skimmers had come off my peg in the UK champs this week, and I decided with my league already over and no chance of coin in the section I was going to try to have a nice day on the pole with skimmers (even though there is no silvers pool). I set up a stalker rig, a pellet rig for deep at 14.5m, both had 0.16 to 16 PR 36, a meat rig for 5m and 4x10 durafloat for the margin on my right by the brambles.

Fabio on the next peg kept us entertained before the match by signing "Strangers in the night", although he only seemed to know a few lines and Adrian Jeffery let him know what he thought of it, lol!

This is the appealing view I had on peg 71, sunny flat and not a carp in sight!

The match didn't start till a few minutes after 11 as nobody from the shop called all in, eventually we all said all in. As I looked in front I saw a carp about 11m out near the surface and so I went out with the stalker rig, I obviously swung it in right as the carp grabbed the 8mm pellet and I was soon playing a decent fish which I landed. Sadly no other carp were visible (at least not in reach) and so I cupped some 6mm pellets in at 14.5m, I shipped out with a 6mm in the band and within a few minutes a proper bite resulted in a near 12lb fish. A good start and I was the only person with a carp on this side of the rope. As ever the indications just stopped and any signs of fish were just the very odd carp that caused a line bite and bow waved away. Glenn was on 62 and he had started well with a couple of big carp and skimmers.

It was probably at least another hour before I caught another carp, I'd tried fishing shallow which did not bring any indication, so I spread the shot on my deep rig and 1 carp grabbed the bait probably a foot off bottom. An hour later I took another carp on this line but on a piece of meat. Nearly half way through and my 4 carp was as good as anyone else I could see, with Fabio on 1 skimmer, and Martin a few silvers. My peg then went from bad to worse, and the only bites or indications I got (until the last 20 mins) were from small silvers and a near 3lb skimmer on meat at 5m, The banter kept us all going, with Glenn snapping a top set, Nick Ewers doing the same behind me although at least he was catching carp in his margin! I'd tried my margin a few times without success, I'd been throwing 6mm pellet there instead of meat as meat seemed not to be working, and with 20 mins to go a look back in there and the float was washed around by a carp and I missed a bite. Dropped it back in and the float buried faster than Lewis Hamilton and this time the elastic came out when I struck. This was another near double figure fish. Back in again and after a few minutes a repeat performance but sadly the carp came up and the line caught a trailing bramble and snapped above the bulk. I got out another rig and was back in the edge with about a 6 mins to go, and with about a minute to go I had landed another carp. I went back in but there was not enough time to get another bite, however Martin Preston did get one and that put us on 6 carp each.

Packing away I was certainly glad that I had brought the sun cream with me today, I thought I might have a chance to get 2nd in the section because it had fished hard, but it turned out that KEv Molton on the monk had 71lb, the lad on 66 had 66lb and Ian Exhall on 68 had a 130lb, Warren had 17lb, Fabio 20lb, and my net went 59lb 3oz. Finally Martin weighed 53lb, so I had beaten 3 and been 1 or 2 fish off second in section. To be honest I was happy with how I fished today, and I nearly pulled a rabbit out of the hat, losing only the 1 fish was certainly a lot different to anglers on other lakes!

I managed to not break anything today (yay) and got a bit of a suntan. Nick Ewers managed 140lb from his margin, he never really fished anywhere else. As expected Campbell and parts of Carey fish really well, with Craig Edmunds winning on peg 88 with 208lb, although the lad on 90 would have beat him but he had 86lb in one net and lost all the weight! Steve Tucker was second with 201lb from peg 112 on Campbell. As far as the league goes it looks like Giles Cochrane is favourite to win with Trigger a clear 2nd place. Glenn won his section today and is lying in joint 3rd place so all to play for. Sadly my 3 pegs on Lodge have done for me, but we can't draw good pegs all the time, surely I'll get a decent peg on the last round?

Landsend float only next week.