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!