I arrived up at the fishery at about 8:30, paid on and went for my breakfast. After last weekends horrific weather I was looking forward to a days fishing where I’d be able to fish how I wanted to and hopefully catch a few. The fishery owners had recently stocked some small mirrors, ranging 3-8oz, hopefully these would perk up the older residents and get them feeding!
The draw came at 9am and there were 40 booked on, a vast increase on last week. With Cedar holding 80 pegs it meant it would be every other peg in so we would all still have plenty of room. I dipped into the bag and peg 47 had stuck to my hand. I wasn’t too down heartened by this as a few weeks ago I drew 48 and had about 20lb. As I was walking to the car I had a quick word with Chappy and the last thing he said to me was, ‘don’t feed, don’t even put a cup on!’’
I got to my peg and for company I had Ray Singh on peg 45, Tim ??? on peg 49 and Mal Bailey on 51. I definitely had to my work cut out (as always!) to get anything from this match.
Bait for the day I had a tub of corn from last week which I’d frozen. I read an article by Paul Coyle, he said he often fishes with defrosted corn as it seems softer and the fish tend to have a go at it a bit more. Plus it’s cheaper as you can use the same tin of corn for weeks! I also had half a pint of white maggots and a handful of reds.
I set up my usual 3 rigs. A 4x10 and a 4x12 Malman Cedar, both on 0.12 mainline to an 0.10 hooklength and size 20 B611. Both these rigs were on match kits with 8 latex elastic. Shotting for these rigs was typically shirt button with number 11’s with 12’s and 13’s dotting it right down. I also set up a track rig but hopefully wouldn’t need to use it. I also didn’t get any pole pots out!
I plumbed up in front of the sedges and found a good depth of 2.5-3ft, this depth was consistent right across the bank and with a spare peg either side it meant I could go pretty far down the bank if I needed to.
Weather wise it was very nice in contrast to the previous week, the sun was out and would blind me for the whole match and there was also a steady ripple on the water running from right to left. Usually the ripple gives the fish a bit more confidence as I think the shadow of the pole can put them off a bit as the water is fairly shallow and pretty clear at the minute too!
Time was called at 10:15 and I shipped out with the 4x10 rig with single red maggot, I tucked the float right into the sedge on my right, just before the marker tree at 14m. The float was well dotted down and the ripples were making it a bit difficult to see. However I didn’t need to see the float as within a few seconds my light 8 elastic was streaming out of the tip! After a brief tussle the first fish was in the net, an F1 of about a 1lb. I quickly shipped back out to same spot, the ripples had died down now so I could see a lot easier. The float once again dipped, I missed it, it dipped again and a gudgeon was soon in the net! I went out a third time and snared another gudgeon so I decided to try corn instead as I didn’t want to catch bloody gudgeon all day!
I managed a couple of the small stockies and 2 or 3 more F1’s before the swim was dieing a bit. I’d also changed to a 10 latex elastic as my 8 was dragging me all over the place. I thought I’d persevere for 5 more minutes before writing the swim off and starting up a new line further along the bank. My perseverance paid off, my change in elastic also! I lifted into what felt a good fish, but rather than a healthy scrap the fish came up pretty much straight away, a common of about 5lb hooked in its chin!
For the rest of the match I carried on in the same vein, by the half way point I estimated to having about 13lb, if I could keep this up I’d be on for a good weight and 28lb won the match a week ago so I thought it might put me somewhere. Ray and Tim to my immediate left and right were getting the odd fish but I felt I had the upper hand. Mal Bailey on 51 was fairing better than those two and probably had a similar weight to myself.
I kept on with the corn for the remainder of the match picking up 2 or 3 fish off one line then waiting 10-15 minutes on a new line before I got an indication. At one point I set up a new line at 15m to my left and managed to pick off 3 fish for about 7lb. With half an hour to go I had a few more stockies but it was slow going. By my estimations I had 25lb in the net, now seeing as 28lb won the previous week I thought I’d done well but needed one or two more fish to seal the deal!
3:15 came around and with it ‘TIME’ just I hooked into a big F1 of about 2lb. This meant I had 27lb by estimation. I’d had a great day I just hoped it was good enough as those around me had all struggled apart from Mal Bailey on 51 who was admitting to 25lb including a 4lb Barbel on time!
Whilst packing up my gear it was obvious I’d done well as most people on the point were all at my peg asking me questions on how I’d fished, where I’d fished, how much feed? Gareth came round to weigh in our half of the lake, Ray Singh put 15lb on the scales, next up was my peg, I dragged the keepnet out and realised I had perhaps under estimated! As Gareth said ‘F***ing Bagged Up!’ the scales went round to 36lb 8oz! I’d done a lot better than I thought! Tim to my right weighed 19lb so I beaten both my neighbours, put together!
Next up was Mal Bailey, he’d also under estimated and put 38lb 10oz on the scales, his big barbel had pushed him into the lead. Further round the bank there were two weights of 37lb. Chappy weighed in 34lb 4oz so my fish on time had also edged just in front him!
Back in the café I realised I’d come 4th overall out of 40 anglers so I was chuffed to bits! Chappy remarked that he was going to stop telling me what to do as it was now having detrimental effects on his final position. They were also only paying out top 4 so it meant he had to put up with a section ;o)
I got £50 for coming 4th which would nicely pay for my weekends fishing! I’ll also see my name up in lights for the first time, or at least in the Anglers Mail!
Mal Bailey (Garbolino Elton) 38-10-0
Bert Lockwood (Bob-Co) 37-12-0
Steve Sharples (Oaks) 37-10-0
Steve Lupton (Oaks) 36-8-0
John Chapman (Garbolino Elton) 34-4-0
Mick Grant (Oaks) 33-10-0
Sunday came around very quickly and I was full of confidence after the previous day and couldn’t wait to get back out on the bank. I got there nice and early again so not to be rushed. By the time of the draw there were 47 booked on! At the end of the match I heard the match organiser say that someone had said ‘why’ve you put this peg in? It was in yesterday!’ to which he replied ‘well there are only 80 pegs on the lake so where do you want me to get me some more from?’’ The joys of being a match organiser I suppose!
This time around I drew peg 31, a crap draw and the day before most people along that bank didn’t even weigh in! I looked on it positively though and thought I’d try make the most of a bad draw!
I set up the same as yesterday yet I set up two 4x10 rigs as the wind was non existent, there was even a ripple on the surface which might make my day even worse! On setting up my setting rigs I went out with the rig I used the day before with a new hooklength on and found the sedge line was perhaps only 18 inches deep! I did manage to find one spot that was just over 2ft but not a big area! I also had an aerator to my left so plumber up down here. It was one extreme to another, this line was well over 6ft; my top kit was only just long enough for the rig!
In short I didn’t have a bite for the first two hours. I foul hooked a carp and lost and then had 6 bites which I managed to turn into fish, 4 stockies, an F1 and an Ide. Steve Sharples on jackpot peg 29 weighed in 35lb dead by using his foul hooking technique ;o) and John Fallows on 33 managed 17lb odd. I weighed in 6lb dead purely because on a Sunday they do a draw from a bag and whatever weight comes out if you had it you win some coin. Anyway 33lb 11oz was drawn from the bag so nobody won again.
Final result looked like this and I was disappointed as I wanted to show that the previous day wasn’t a fluke but at this time of year you need to take it whilst you can. On the Saturday I was clearly on a few fish yet the Sunday I clearly wasn’t. Not to worry still an enjoyable weekend and I’ll be back again next week!
Mark Calvert (Garbolino Elton) 38-10-0
Steve Sharples (Oaks) 35-0-0
Anthony Stock (Oaks) 34-10-0
Adie Mitchell (Harrogate Angling) 24-12-0
Bert Poole (Oaks), Chris Hall (Oaks) and Dave Pimlott (Garbolino Elton) all 24-4-0
On a lighter note I got a text off Gordon saying he’d found my blog and asked who had taken the photo in the top corner, was it a professional? So to repay the favour here is a picture that I took of Gordon down in Whiteacres, ‘Say Cheese!’
Gorgeous Gordie - The Pensioners Pin Up