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!