Before I start on about the match in the post title I must go back to Thursday when I fished an open at Windmill Fishery. I haven't written a separate blog post on this match as I didn't have the will to write about it, and then things became busy with the bank holiday. I drew peg 11 on the far end bank, and as people will usually tell you it's one of those pegs that's either really good or really crap. With the wind blowing off my bank to the opposite end I was concerned it would be crap and indeed it was! I managed 3 carp on the long pole and hard pellet deep in the first hour, and I lost 3 foulers. After this I never had a bite on the long pole, had 1 carp and one liner on the lead to the island, and then had not a sign for 2 1/2 hours. Managed 2 carp and a big skimmer on the margin to my right next to some reeds late. I enjoyed the sun, the birds and the butterflies, but the fishing was poor at my end, the next two lads up had just a couple of fish and were blanking for 3 hours, and not till you got halfway up the lake did things improve. John Smith won the match with just 54lb, and 34lb was second I think.
Friday had a lovely day at Bath races, continuing my bad draws I never had a winner, luckily my wife had 3 winners and we didn't lose too much money in the end. Saturday I went for a 6 mile walk with my wife, we took the National Trust Bath Skyline walk, thoroughly recommend it, took us about 3 hours.
Finally Sunday arrived and Glenn Bailey picked me up in the van, it has been a while since we have travelled together after our gear got too big for the cars. We had Mark Jefferies follow us down and we arrived at the fishery in good time. This short pole series is run by the legend Tony Rixon, and today I was standing in for Mike Nicholls so I hoped I could do a good job for him as this was the first match of the series. It was good to see a lot of good friendly faces, young and old no better illustrated than Joe and Martin McMahon lol. I got into the draw queue and was hoping I could get a peg in a corner or with an empty peg next to it as I found in the past these seem to be better in short pole matches here. I drew 24 which was not greeted with much joy, and when I shuffled off to the peg I could see why. It was set back from peg 25 and Dean Malin was on that one, and also peg 23 was in and Martin (Shaun) McMahon was on that one.
I've not fished here for a while but in the past I have found there are three main methods I have done well on, paste, pellet shallow and the margins. With that in mind three rigs did for me for those 3 methods, although I did have a deep rig for pellet too. 16 KKM-B to 0.17 did me for most rigs, heavy as the fish run big here. The maximum you can fish here is top set plus 3 sections, and I plumbed that out straight in front and in the margins I was top set plus two.
My view of the newly landscaped far bank, I had Mark Jefferies opposite me and Tony Rixon was next to him with a couple of empty pegs.
My left hand margin which looked nice above the water, but was a bit deep at 4 feet.
The match began at 10:15 I fed some 6mm pellets on my long line and threw 8mm pellets in the margins. I started on the depth paste rig as I wanted to gauge things, but expected to go shallow soon. After 10 minutes I had a couple of sideways movements and picked up the shallow rig, both Dean and Martin had started shallow and soon enough Dean nailed one. I also was into a carp shallow quickly, but after this it took an age to get another. I was feeding 6mm pellets and altering a 6mm or 8mm in the band. After an hour I was on 2, Dean on 4 and Martin on zero.
I kept trying shallow, slapping, feeding, all the usual tricks, but there were no fish there it seemed, and I was frustrated at being so far short of Dean who looked to be fishing nearly 3m further out than me. I tried feeding a decent pot of pellets long again and tried with the deep pellet rig, it did work in as much as I caught a 6lb carp and lost a fouler but the float was still and no liners also proved that no fish were in the area. I went back shallow as Dean had another and eventually Martin had one shallow. More thrashing, and slapping the long line shallow rig, but it was tough and the middle part of the match was even tougher. I tried soft pellet deep and had two small skimmers, whilst doing this I saw a carp which looked muggable, I risked it and swung the soft pellet at it, luckily I got it spot on and the carp grabbed it before the bulk cut in. A nice fish nearly 9lb. All thoughts of winning any money were gone, Dean was kicking my ass, Tony Rixon had a lot of fish, but Joe McMahon on 6 was emptying it.
I never mugged another fish but I did have a very near miss later on, but it was just a case of changing resting and out of the blue get one. The margins were no good, all I had were a 3lb bream and a 1 1/2lb skimmer from there. F1's were spawning in the margins on and off during the match. Dean was well ahead of me, and whilst never bagging he just managed to get the odd carp shallow, though he too never caught in his margins. When the match finished I had 7 carp and about 5lb of silvers, Martin had 6 carp I think, and Dean said he had 14, but maybe more. My only hope of some coin was getting the section by default if Dean framed, but Russ Peck had 6 or 7 carp and said one was a beast. We had to wait a long time for the scales as they started at peg 28 (Glenn) and go left.
When the scales got to me Russ had 55lb 13oz and Martin had 41lb, I had 50lb as my estimate. My silvers went 5lb+ and my carp 50lb+ to end with 56lb 7oz. Dean then smashed us all up with over 130lb and that got him second in the match and I got the section money.
Joe McMahon did win the match comfortably with I think 240lb, and Dave Lewis won the silvers with 31lb of skimmers on worm. Full results on Tony's blog.
Glenn also managed a default section win (Vince Shipp won his section with 128lb and came 3rd) so the van had a mini double bubble.
It was a lovely hot day today, plenty of wildlife down here, lesser whitethroats, cettis warblers as well as more common heron and swallows. Despite the tough fishing I enjoyed it and Martin and Dean were great company and I laughed more times than the float went under lol!