After a week of very high temperatures and plenty of sun I was pleased to see the forecast was cooler with the chance of a shower. Glenn was doing the driving duties today and after a good breakfast at Shipham we were at the fishery 45 mins early! We decided to take a walk around the lakes and there seemed to be lots of fish feeding on all lakes, would they still be feeding at 11? Before the draw was done I was handed a little brown envelope from last week at Tunnel, turned out they paid the top 3 in section so I was a tenner better, thanks Bob Gullick for picking it up. Into the coffee tin and I swear Tony Rixon had a smirk on his face as I went to draw (expecting me to draw another pants peg), but I couldn't moan today as I pulled peg 1 on Match lake.
On the way to the peg Rod Wootten told me on the match the day before 96lb had come off my peg, with peg 3 winning the match with I think 150lb. With Craig "Trig" Edmunds on peg 3 it was going to be a tall order to get one over on him, the rest of my section went John Bradford 5, Rich Lacey 6 and Chris Davis 7. I have drawn this peg before and managed to catch over a 100lb on it, and I thought that I would have to do that again. Rigs today 4x12 for slapping /shallow at 14.5m towards the end bank, 4x8 for pellet in tight to the end bank (both on 0.16 to 16 PR36). 0.25 rig for meat in front and down to the bush on my right, and the same but for pellet deep down the shelf of the end bank. The 4x8 rig would also do for my topset in the right hand side.
With the match starting I could keep an eye on Leon Hubbard on peg 24 and Glenn on 22, the wind was whipping up and blowing straight through peg 23 at me, it made things tricky. I threw some 6mm pellet and corn into my margin line, fed some 6mm pellet up to the end bank, but decided to start on meat at 11m. I did this as there had been a lot of blows and I though this might be a good start whilst letting the end bank settle. However, with the wind I couldn't see if there were any blows, but after 20 mins without a bite I was sorry I started here, in fact this line gave up 1 roach all day. I went out on my shallow slapping rig, fishing about 2m from the end bank, I'd like to say this was solid but I never had a single indication. I went in tight to the end bank with pellet and all I had to show for here was a bumped roach. On the hour mark I saved the blank when I spotted a carp over my margin feed, it took the corn hook bait within seconds.
An hour later I was still looking for my next carp! The deep pellet rig over where I slapped got me some indications, I had a skimmer and a carp, the float was going under but I was striking fresh air or the odd fouler. I tried fishing off bottom but I had nothing, back on the deck fouler.
Three hours in and I managed to snare my third carp this time tight in to the end bank on pellet, but let's face it 12lb after 3 hours is shocking and Trig had about 40lb and was winning the section. It was fishing hard down this end of the lake but the other end was a lot better. I was now fishing in wet socks after a torrential downpour, and as I tried to keep things dry (in vain) I decided it was time to give up the pellet. I had some gbait mixed up and I fed a couple of cups to the end bank at 14.5m, put a 14 B911 on, 10 mins fruitless meat fishing and then I put a dendra on and shipped out long. What a transformation, from virtually no signs of fish carp were now showing themselves over the gbait. It wasn't a fish a chuck but it was a bite or a liner every time. These carp are so cute / spooky and just when you think you've got it right back you go to foulers. I caught carp on dendra, double dendra and corn, but it was hard work shipping out regularly to keep the gbait going in.
After another downpour I spied a carp in the margin again, I tried to drop my corn in the vicinity of it's head and about 10 seconds later I was pulling hard to stop the carp either getting under the bush or under my pallet. I won and a 9lb fish was netted. A ghosty came in soon after but I guess it spooked as the float shot under and I lost it out soon after. I spent the last 40 mins fishing long over the gbait, or in the margin if I saw a carp, it was OK but the long line was more frustrating as the carp just wouldn't take the bloody bait! Another lump from the margin and the match was over. Then after the whistle I caught another for the hell of it!
I knew Trig had me well beat but was not sure about the rest of the section, I'd soon find out though as we had to do the weigh in. My total weight was 71lb which was a lot more than I thought I had, Trig then stuffed me with 117lb he'd had a poor middle of the match but as usual had a good last 2 hours on the meat. We ended first and second in section. As we carried on weighing the heavens opened again and with each angler weighed I had more difficulty writing anything on the sheet, in fact I had to explain it all to Steve Evans after so he could re write it.... in the sun!
Tony Rixon won the match from peg 38 with 190lb, see his blog for tactics though I doubt many would have caught that weight from that peg. Not sure who was second but Dan White came 3rd on peg 13 with 162lb and Trig was 4th meaning I got the section money by default. I was like a drowned rat and missed the results as I was still putting the gear away. I think Tony, Trig and Shaun Townsend all are on maximum points, and it will be hard to beat them. Next one in this league is Ivy House in two weeks time, no fishing for me next weekend due to family commitments.