Tony Rixon was running this match and I was able to get on it before it sold out. Tony had match lake and John Walters (lake 3) booked and he effectively ran them as two opens with separate payouts on each lake. Whilst this cuts the payout down for the overall winner/s it does spread the dosh and allows for one lake fishing better than the other which can happen. Given a choice I'd prefer Match Lake as I just don't seem to be at the races on lake 3.
I had a breakfast at the fishery and it was as good as the first one a few weeks ago, it's great to start the day knowing your food will be spot on. The draw was at 9:30 and it was all very serene and nice to not be in a rush, I paid my pools to Tony and said at least I won't be on Lodge this week, but he said I could be on 56 lol. When I did get to the draw tin I was confident of being of a peg on match lake, but that was wrong again lol. Peg 58 (I need to stop getting pegs beginning with 50+) on lake 3 was my home and was greeted with "flyer" from most people. It is an end peg on the far end of lake 3,but away from the end bank and I was told to expect the bigger carp, not fishing for silvers today then.
For company today I had Adrian Jeffery opposite on 56 who is good at catching carp but shite at bird watching (he tried telling me a Kestrel was a sparrow hawk) and to my left on 61 was the one and only Tom Magnall. Completely forgot to take some photos today, so I'll do my best to explain the peg. In front is an island which is about 14m away, to my left in the margin about 8m there is a bush growing out over the water, looks good and looks snaggy. To my right in the margin there is a bramble bush which I fished along side of at 13m. I could not find much more than 8" difference in the depth between all my chosen spots. Rigs were all much of a muchness then with 4x12 jobs with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet across, and 0.16 to 14 PR478 for use with meat on the margins and at my starting point of top six. I also set up a shallow rig for the island.
When the match started I fed some 4mm pellets by the island, then meat with a bit of hemp on my other lines, starting on the top six line. It was a biteless 10 or 15 mins by which time most people had a carp or an F1, just as I thought I needed to go across I had a bite and bumped something, carp or F1 I reckon. I dropped back in and missed a fast bite, but then hit the next one and after 5 seconds that fish come off. A third fish frustrating was hooked and came off before I finally landed an F1 and a small carp, but 40 mins in and I was a few carp behind Adrian who was catching short on meat, and Tom had taken a few on the island on pellet.
I went over to the island with a 6mm pellet in the band on my depth rig and I soon had a bite and an F1, in fact I had 4 F1's and 3 crucians across but no sign of any carp and all of a sudden had a decent net of silvers. The island died on me and a quick look back on the top six produced a solitary roach. I decided to have an early look to the left hand margin on meat, and within a minute the float showed signs of fish and I soon had a carp trying to get under the bush, the 15 hollo did its job and a 3lber was netted. Dropped back in expecting another bite but the float never moved. By now there was the odd carp slurping on the far bank and I shipped out the shallow rig with an 8mm in the band. After swinging the rig in twice the slurpers were gone, but I persevered and after 10 mins hooked a carp but as I was shipping back it came off. When I say it came off the whole rig had come off, errrr how did that happen!!! I put on another shallow rig but despite trying a few times I never did get a fish on it. Things were now very quiet and I couldn't get bites or any indications across, time to try the brambles to my right, It was very awkward for me being right handed but after a patient wait the float went under, it was another small carp of about 3lb. I went back in again and had a couple of dips / liners but then no signs at all.
The middle of the match was tough, but Tom started bagging on meat on the other side of the bush and short, I could not replicate that and only had one more carp from next to the bush. I tried feeding a small amount of pellet & meat across to the end of the island and caught an F1, lost two foulers and had a 2lb carp, but that all came in about 30 mins and then that line died. It just seemed there were not many fish up here, or I was feeding it all wrong and spooking them, meanwhile Tom carried on hammering them out. I did manage a couple of carp from the brambles, but it was a very long wait for bites and then nothing there in the last 40 mins. I caught two skimmers back on 6mm pellet across in my last two drops of the match which seemed to sum up the lack of carp in the area. I had been soundly beaten by all and sundry it appeared, with the two anglers below Tom also catching plenty of carp.
Tom won our lake with 102lb, Paul Faires was 2nd off peg 70 with 90lb of carp from his right hand margin, and Bob Gullick had 80lb of Mekong Catfish from peg 41. There were two prizes for silvers and they went to Martin Alexander and Joe McMahon with about 16lb of bits and bobs. I had 34lb of carp and my silvers went 11lb 12oz so silvers money could have been a possibility but I had my carp head on. I spoke to Rod Wootten after and he said the carp seem to be in pegs 61 to 65 at the mo, and that my peg is feast or famine. That said I feel it was worth more than I caught and once I was behind I forced it too much hoping for a good last two hours. A tough match but it was lovely to be at Landsend today, there were so many summer migrant birds singing (mainly warblers) in the bushes close to me and I saw my first swifts of the year, it is a wonderful place to visit let alone fish.