Monday, 27 October 2008

October 26th - Maple Pairs Match, Oaks

Well, where to start? The weather this week leading up to the match had been very poor, high winds, rain and a big drop in temperature. Thankfully the winds weren’t meant to be too bad for the Sunday, it can rain as much it likes but I can’t stand fishing in the wind, as you may have read in last weeks blog! Oh and I managed to get a new number four too so it was all stations go for the last club match of the year!

I arrived at the fishery at 8am to give me time to demolish one of the wonderful full breakfasts! I paid on and then bought my bait for the day, a pint of whites, with a few reds mixed in for a change bait.

Stu and Nige were running a pairs match today, with the top four pairs getting paid out along with the individual winner. They were also running a guess the weight competition for the winning combined weight. Rather than picking pairs before the draw it was decided that your partner was selected from the draw. As I was one of the latter to draw it meant I got to see who my partner was. I drew peg 17, along the back straight, not a bad draw and I fancied a few fish from it. My partner, Paul Whittaker drew peg 51, I had my work cut out, last match him and Alan drew peg 63a and 64 and neither of them weighed in, not to worry though. I’d just have to fish my socks off!

I got to my peg and to be fair I was a bit disappointed whilst setting up. The sedges were miles away! Order for the day was that I had one line at 11 o’ clock towards the dividing bush at 15m and one at 1 o’ clock to the sedges, even at 15m I wasn’t as tight as I’d have liked to have been but I still found a good depth of about 3ft so wasn’t too put off although I knew I was in for a grueller if the wind picked up! My target weight for the day again was 30lb but felt 40lb would be needed to pick up.

I set up two rigs for across and one for down the track at 13m which was the base of the shelf. I used the same rigs as last week on Cedar, carrying on my motto of ‘’fish light, get a bite!’’

Honest John had told me that we were finishing at 3:30 today as it would be dark earlier due to the clocks going back. Maple can often throw up a weight in the last hour so with the clocks going back the last hour was actually not the last hour and we’d have another hour after? If you know what I mean?

At the all in I shipped out to my right sedge, tipped in 6 maggots and then went to my left sedge which I fed with a dozen maggots and aimed for this to be my positive swim. I went 50 minutes without a bite, this was a horrendous, I’d seen a few people catch one or two but not loads so I wasn’t too far behind but desperately needed to find the fish. My first bite came, a foul hooker that came off no sooner had I hooked it, next put out the same happened, I then foul hooked my third in a row, this one I played for a while before the hook eventually pulled!

The middle of the match was strange, the fish started to feed! Or in my peg at least! I changed to my right sedge, tipped in another six maggots and eagerly watched the pimple of a float. After a couple of minutes it dipped and I lifted into what felt like a good fish, I eventually got It out on my light gear, a mirror of about 4lb, just the start I needed! Next put out and not a bite, so I decided to create a new swim, to the right of my left sedge, I repeated the process and caught another good fish of perhaps 5lb. for the next 2 hours I only managed another 4 fish but they were all good uns! I had one that must have been knocking on 7lb. It just goes to show that by using balanced tackle you can get pretty much anything out. After all I was using an 0.10 bottom and a size 20 hook with a soft 10 elastic, it took some time to get them in but who cares? At this time of year you need to make every fish count so I just took my time.

With the last hour and a half looming it went quiet again and I’d only pick up a very odd fish and they were only small F1’s. Half three came and went, but no whistle! We must have been finishing at four as normal! I think I had two more small F1’s in the last half hour and felt I’d had a pretty good day, but what had my partner had?

From peg 1 right around to peg 45 I was winning with a weight of 37lb 12oz, the bloke to my right had 31lb and to my left had 12lb I think. So I had surpassed my 30lb target and wasn't too far off 40lb. Mick Akko spoilt my day when he put 54lb on the scales. My partner had 1lb 15oz so we were going nowhere with our combined weight. I think he needed 20lb to get us a pay out, the pegs either side of him both had 25lb ish so I don’t know where he’d gone wrong?

Back in the cafĂ© I realised I’d come 5th overall and in normal circumstances I’d have walked my section but it wasn’t to be today. Well with the club season over I’m going to fish a few opens and hopefully get on the rivers, it must be 5 or 6 years since I last fished running water! Bring it on!

I’ve been keeping a record of my match weights throughout the year and I think at present my average is just over 24lb. the reason I’ve done this is so that next year I can compare results and see if I’ve improved or not, let’s bloody hope so!

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