After coming down from the high of my holiday I was soon on my travels again, a business trip to Munich. Although not a long time away it gave me time to have a think about what to do the weekend coming, weather was looking dodgy but I was going. I think it was on Friday Mark Harper put out a team whatsapp request for anyone to fish a team match at Todber Manor, but I was in a meeting and never saw the request until later and by that time Mark had filled the place. It was going to be Hillview for me then.
I got some prep done Saturday morning, to be fair I didn't have to do that much as the last commercial I fished was here, so a bit of hook tying really, Sunday opens on Hillview are usually on the canals. Had a good Saturday afternoon / evening drinking cider with good mates, had way too much fun, and was laughing all the way home walking back, I was though glad to be home early at 9pm (went out at 3pm).
I was feeling OK when the alarm went off at 7am, the early finish the night before definitely a good idea. Getting ready I had a message from Aaron Britnell to ask if I was still going to the match, this was because the weather (wind especially) was awful again. According to the weather forecast the 45mph winds and rain would be gone by 11am, so I was happy with that. It was certainly mild out too.
I got up to the fishery had one of Keith's breakfasts, paid my pools and then was told the match was on the lakes as there was a club match on the canals. Luckily I had taken a couple of made up lead rods just in case this happened, but I couldn't be sure I had the right pole rigs to cope with the depth, we would see on the bank! Aaron had no bait, well he had meat but no meat cutter, I think his travelling partner Mat Sheppard baled him out lol. The lakes had been fished on the open the day before, and they had been really tough, but I thought the water had to have warmed up a bit overnight. Draw done I pulled out peg 9 on Moorhen, 29lb had come off it the day before.
The wind was awful, on the bank it was blowing straight up the lake, so left to right for me. My peg was the last one on this bank so a nice bit of room down to my right. Lucky angler on the top bank all on his own with the wind in his face was Aaron, see him in the piccy dressed in camouflage and about to give me the finger, and then asked for a pound side bet, accepted.
My peg does not have an island chuck, but as I set up a few carp could be seen boshing in front of me. Though the lad behind me on Heron said they were doing that yesterday and nobody caught them. I took this picture of the view from my peg, about five minutes later a strom passed over very gusty winds and heavy rain. I really did not want to get the pole out at all.
Once the storm had passed I set up, well took out, a tip rod which had a maggot feeder attached to it, with 16 GPM to 0.15 AccuPower. After a while I got the guts to get the pole out, but only the top sets and 3 sections. Plumbed up in front and found the bottom of the shelf, which was just past top set plus two sections. 4x16 Des Shipp float, think it was an F1 pellet, has a wire stem, 18 GPM to 0.12 AccuPower. Only one other rig, a 4x12 Des Shipp F1 maggot float for fishing down towards pallet on peg 10 in about 2 1/2 feet of water, again 18 to 0.12.
The match started at 10:30 and I fed some maggots on the pole in front to my left, and pellets to my right, but I was starting on the maggot feeder such was the wind. Well that was one of my better decisions as I had a lovely 3 1/2lb F1 on my very first cast. Next cast a longer wait and a pull round but nothing there. Next cast a 5 min wait and 1lb F1. Well I could go on, because it was a bite every chuck out, including two or three fish that grabbed the maggots on the drop. Think I had about 90 minutes of this, when all indications just stopped. I tried casting around to see if they had moved, but I could not relocate them, so I had to pick up the pole. Still 35lb in the net was a great start.
I had only fed the pole lines about 4 times in between the feeder fishing, I couldn't throw bait as it wouldn't have got any where near the right place. I dropped in on the maggot line with double red maggot and I had about 6 inches of line on the bottom to try to keep the bait still. It was tough hanging on to the float and for 10 mins I was struggling, and was about to give it up when I had a 2lb F1. Back in and I hooked a decent fish, turned out to be a near 7lb common carp. Two more F1 and one off the pellet line and then the bites stopped here.
From what I could tell I was doing well at this stage, but with other anglers now starting to catch on their pole lines I needed to keep putting fish in the net. I went to the pallet and the float buried as soon as it settled, and I had five F1s here fairly quickly and then they were gone. The longer pole lines were really poor and tried forcing the pellet line (as it had only yielded one fish) but it never produced which surprised me. I was thinking about trying the feeder again, but with the angler to my left and one behind me now catching well on the pole I thought I had to work out the pole lines. I could get the odd bite in the deep water, but the pallet line was better but always had to be rested. With about 40 mins to go I hooked a carp by the pallet and this fish went under the pallet in the blink of an eye and it was goodbye rig. It was also goodbye fish as it never produced again. The guy on my left was now flying on his top set plus two and I was relieved when I went out there and had a run of bites, ending the match with a chub my only silver.
I reckoned on having 80lb, but it's not easy to keep track of lots of F1's so we would see. Aaron appeared to have struggled (or so I thought) and that meant he should be giving me the pound side bet. When the scales came round I was the very last person to be weighed in, there were two 100lb+ weights on Heron which I knew I could not beat, and the guy to my left had weighed 90lb so I thought my chance for money was over. My first net weighed 50lb, and then my second 44lb 8oz, and so I had done enough to win my lake and just get the £40 section money. Aaron had 71lb which I was amazed at, but he still had to give me a quid lol.
Weigh sheet below. The top two anglers had both caught nearly all carp and being that much bigger than F1s that made the difference.
Well I have got to say that was a very enjoyable weekend, and once again Hillview did me proud with lots of bites and plenty of fish.