Some weeks ago Emma Drysdale was looking for a stand in for this round of the spring league, though given the weather summer league would be more appropriate, anyway I said I would help out. It was a pleasant drive to the fishery and I got my car parked in space near Carey, and then Des Shipp parked next to me, hope I wouldn't draw next to him too I thought. Paid my pools, loaded the trolley and into the draw queue, poor Ron Hardiman is having a bit of Lodgeitis, and he drew there again today on 55, not good and I know what it's like to draw there 5 time out of 6, so he has some way to go as its 3 out of 4 for Ron. I picked a good one today in 115 on Campbell, a peg I have had before and hoped I could improve on previous results.
My section started at 110 where Lee Wherret was perched, Phil Hardwick was on 111, Nicky ewers 112, Leon Hubbard 113 and Paddy Curry on 114. Tough section then, though on my right on highly fancied 116 was the one and only Craig "Trig" Edmonds, everyone said be prepared for a hiding, lol.
Rigs today were a mugging rig, shallow slapper, 4x12 for hard pellet on the deck which could be used at 5m and 15m, and another 4x12 for the deep margin on the left. I did set up a lead rod but never used it. The view of my peg is pretty standard, there a bit of fluff about but not so bad as I had last match, but some folk today had the fluff really bad, almost unfishable in a few pegs.
My left hand margin looked like this, and was very easy to fish but it is deep and so I would feed 8mm pellet here. I fished to the clear bit on the point.
When the match began I had a cheeky look at 5m on hard pellet, but never had a twitch here, though Leon Hubbard had a carp and skimmer doing this. Trig soon mugged a carp out long, though we couldn't really see the fish from this side of the lake at this stage so I went with the mugging rig but fed 6mm pellets to try to catch shallow. Probably about 10 mins of doing this I had a carp, it tore off and I assumed it was fouled, but it stayed on somehow and eventually got it back in to the top set. I looked down at the pulla bung and no elastic, shit, fish was still on so the knot was lodged in the other end of the bung. I had no choice but to grab the elastic at the other end and pull the fish towards me. Sadly after 10 mins of faffing the fish snapped me as I had the elastic too tight, the fish was hooked in the mouth and was large, so bad start and never had that happen before. I got back out shallow and hooked another which was fouled and came off. There were very few indications but finally I got one in the net at about 7lb. Lost another fouler and that was it for the first hour. I decided to try the deep rig over the same line and had an immediate bite and another carp about 6lb, a skimmer and no more bites on this, other than liners so I went back out shallow. Caught nothing shallow!
Two hours gone and I was on 2 carp and Trig was on 4, everyone to my left was struggling except for Lee I heard. Paddy and Trig had tried the lead and caught nothing, so I couldn't see the need to try it. I was going nowhere and could not find any way to get bites. Nearing three hours in Trig caught one shallow on a slapping rig, then he caught another, and another. I went back out an on the slapper but I didn't get one, clearly I didn't know what I was doing wrong as Trig carried on catching. In desperation, and because I had seen Leon catch in his margin, I gave my margin a go. After about 10 mins a few small bubbles popped up and the float went down, I hit a small carp about 5lb. Trig said if I had caught that early I could do a big weight. Well that put the mockers on it, and no more bites.
The rest of the match saw Trig continue to fill his nets with carp, shallow, then in his RH margin, it was quite awesome to watch, though I did try to concentrate on my own fishing it was tricky as I was getting pulverised. With about 80 mins I had to be last in the section, then the 5m line started to show signs of life with a few blows now and again. Trouble was I couldn't hook the buggers in the mouth, argh! I think I lost four and then landed a fouler, then with about 40 mins to go I landed four in no time all hooked in the gob. I had a few skimmers and a couple more carp all on this line till the end of the match, sadly I never had another bite in the margin, which was a shock to me. That said Paddy on 114 never had a fish in his margin, but Leon on 113 reckoned he might have had 100lb in his margin in the last hour. Match over I thought I had 75lb, and guessed Trig had at least 200lb more than me.
I had to wait a long time for the scales to arrive, and had a walk down the section, it was between Lee and Leon for first in section as both were admitting to 130lb, the rest like me had struggled. The scales got to Trig, and they stayed there a long time, he weighed 304lb, a weight which I can only dream of catching, big well done.
My turn, and 7lb of skimmers were added to my 77lb of carp for a total of 84lb+. Paddy had 53lb, Leon 137lb (but he went 3lb over in one net), Nick Ewers chucked back 50lb, Phil had 44lb of carp and 35lb of skimmers on meat, then Lee had 140lb. Third in section, not a disaster for Emma but not great either.
So, what did I do wrong, or more to the point what did Trig do right? Who knows, I don't, but it is the little things in fishing that can make all the difference and can make bites, feeding and presentation. I'd like to think his peg was worth more than mine on the day, but I doubt had we swapped pegs the result would be much different. He is a different class and it shows that if you put the effort in you can do well. The only surprise was he did not win, that went to Sam Powell who had 325lb from peg 85 on Carey.
OK that's it from me, no fishing next weekend and so I hope you all have a good one, oh, and try not to draw next to Trig! PMSL