I was looking forward to having a weekend of fishing and staying local by fishing Windmill Fishery. The whole site was being ued for the South Glos show, and to coincide with they were running a silvers match Saturday and Carp Sunday, with £300 top prize each day and with £100 for 8th it was worth a good go. I spent a lot of prep in the week and had everything sorted with plenty of rigs, hooks tied, new elastics etc.
Arrived at the venue Sat at 7:30 am, had to buy a couple of rolls from one of the wagons on site for breakfast and after Terry read out the rules for all to hear it was time to draw. I drew peg 32 which is in the corner and is the deep part of the lake, not where I wanted to be at all. However, others were telling me it would be good as I would have the wind off my back and would be able to feed easily, hmmm. As this was a silvers match I wanted to have a number of options to try to keep fishing coming for the full 6 hours. Two rigs for fishing casters left and right on a top set, where it was 4 feet deep (one rig deep, one shallow), two 0.5gm PB inter 4 for fishing top set plus two and further where the bottom was flat, one with a band one without. Also a shallow rig which was never used.
I started the match fishing the caster as this was expected to be the banker, loose feeding casters and catching through the water, all the while I fed some 4mm pellet by hand to 5m. The caster line was proving very slow, just the odd tiny roach or perch and I had to wait for bites. After about 40 minutes I was only on about 1lb and I was shocked, opposite me in the wind Shaun Townsend was catching a few on the caster. I went out over the pellet line with a 6mm pellet in the band and had a couple of tiny skimmers, then a crucian and a 1lb skimmer. Sadly this line died a death, and the caster lines were only worth one or two small roach before no more bites. I was really struggling as were the lads either side of me, but apparently as you went down the lake it got better and carp were a big problem for people, not for me though, I only hooked 3 in the whole match.
After 2 hours I cupped some gbait in out at 6m to my left and gave that 30 mins to settle. I had hardly a bite for an hour and thirty minutes anywhere on any line! I plopped a bit of chopped worm in tight to some reeds to my right, and this gave me a run of little roach but nothing decent. The rest of the match was just about the odd fish, three or 4 small skimmers over the gbait, and hybrids and roach on caster. I was gutted because I just had nothing in the peg and when the all out was called I knew I'd only be weighing for posterity. I managed 8lb 10oz which beat the lads either side (3lb and a DNW) and that was probably all I beat. Mike Nicholls won with 23lb from peg 10, Trig was 2nd from 18 and Shaun Townsend 3rd just a couple of ounces behind Trig, Shaun had a big skimmer flip out of his landing net too. Full weights and details on the Silverfox blog.
Sunday morning, was a bit slow getting going and that meant I was last to the fishery and a bit late. After the glorious sunny Saturday today was damp and windy, and the wind was expected to get up during the day. Today I drew a peg that can be good, peg 18, what I was told was that if the carp are in the peg I could do a big weight and could even take on Trig who was sat on fancied peg 6. Well I was at the windy end today, but to be fair the wind seemed to be affecting everyone from what I could see. As the wind was not too bad setting up I went with a 4x10 rig at 13m where I had about 20 inches of depth (just past this it was about 8" deep) this was with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet. A shallow rig for slapping was never used. A 0.4g diamond float for fishing meat at top set plus one, and a margin rig which was used but never had a bite on it. Also a lead rod.
On the whistle I cupped in a big pot of meat in close to let that settle and fed about 50 6mm pellets at 13m. I went over this line on the depth rig and waited all of 10 seconds for a bite,soon netted a 7lb carp. Next drop in and another bite but this was a fouler which I pulled out of as it tried to go around the island. I fished this line for the first hour until the wind got too much, and caught a 2oz skimmer and had no other fish, I couldn't believe it. An early look on the meat was no good and as the wind was bad I cast the lead out to the island. I had a number of casts over an hour or more and never had so much as bite or liner, there was no signs of carp. On peg 19 Ray Bazeley had fished a method feeder from the off and he was blanking, other than a humungus swan mussel. I finally nailed a carp on the lead, and a few chucks later had another, but that was it for a while.
Back on the meat and I had a carp, all of 6oz and a 1oz skimmer. After 3 1/2 hours Ray had his firs fish on the method and then another straight after. I saw a couple of carp swirl and went back on the lead, I hooked 4 in 4 casts, but for some reason the last two came off the hook as I got them halfway back. I then went ages with nothing again. A stray carp on the lead, then in the last twenty minutes I had a 8oz carp, 2lb and 4lb carp on the meat. Match over and I was pretty sure I was going to be out of the money again. Ray had already packed up to my left, but to my right on corner peg 16 a Welsh lad had taken a few late carp on the end bank as had Bela Bakos on 13. My weight on the day was 38lb odd and was 6lb off the last money place, so I guess the two lost carp on the lead cost me that place. Clear winner on the day with 91lb was Paul Elms who caught on the method feeder I think from peg 27. Trig was second with 67lb catching most of his fish in one spell on the method, and Shaun was 3rd next to Trig with 57lb, Shaun struggled and caught most of his fish in one spell in the margin but had nothing the last hour.
Well that didn't go to plan at all, and I am disappointed to say the least. Perhaps if I had switched to the method feeder I would have caught some more fish, but watching Ray catching nothing put me off switching to it, mistake I think. The margin was not really any good and I think had the wind not been so bad I could have caught more on the pole long. All if's and but's and I'm left feeling a little deflated but congratulations to the winners.
Nothing next weekend as I prepare for the tackle required to take on the tidal Trent!