After a few beers on the Saturday and not getting to bed until 2 I was feeling a little worse for wear when I woke up at 7am. I decided it was probably best to go the back way along the country roads and avoid the motorway just in case I got stopped. I arrived at the fishery and had my breakfast which didn’t go down too well and then paid on. There were 52 fishing today and it was decided that 5 man sections would be fished with £50 per section and two sections of six that would be fishing for £60. The top prizes were more than worth winning today, 1st place - £500, 2nd place - £300 and 3rd place - £200, put that with the £50 section and it was well worth pulling your finger out.
Come the draw I picked out peg 47, I’ve fished 47 and 48 before; I had 20lb odd from 48 for no where and 36lb odd for 4th a few weeks ago from 47 so wasn’t too down heartened although other areas were fishing better than this over the last couple of weeks. I was just glad I wasn’t in the 30’s along the back straight, I can’t stand it there!
I drove round to my peg and started to set up, with the draw being a little late we had until 10:15 before time was called. I set up my normal rigs, a 4x10 Malman Cedar and a 4x12. These were both on 0.12 Ultima, 0.10 hooklength to a Middy 63-13 size 22. Elastics were 8 latex. I also had a rig for down the track, I used a 0.7g float, a bit heavy but with the wind thrashing through I put an 18 inch lash on.
For bait I had a pint of reds and some corn. At the all in I shipped out with the 4x12 to the sedge straight in front, let the float settle and then held the back shot. I had to wait maybe 20 minutes before I got my first indication, the ripples on the surface were proving a little too much in order to read the float correctly. I finally manage to hook a fish, it ran me ragged for a couple of minutes but I took my time and was soon rewarded with a Barbel of 2lb. I went back out an instantly hooked another fish, this fought the same as the first fish but after a brief tussle we departed company and it was still one Barbel on its lonesome. I went back out and managed 3 F1’s, another Barbel and a lovely chub of about a pound. All in all at the end of the first hour I had about 9-10lb. I was pretty pleased as I’d only seen people nicking the odd fish so felt I was ahead. I then couldn’t get a bite anywhere, four hours I sat there struggling against the wind but no reward. I did however manage another small Barbel and an F1 right at the death and felt I had about 12lb. Martin up on 45 had been catching on the bomb, something I should have done rather than being so lazy! I could see Chappy round the corner and I’d seen him catch a few although they were all small fish. I knew I’d been beaten for the section but was still fairly pleased come the weigh in.
I managed 14lb; Martin sacked up on the bomb and had 33lb odd for 4th in the match. Chappy and Pimmy both had 26lb odd so I was well beaten but did manage to beat Tupper Ware and the bloke on 48 who only had 7lb odd.
There was a presentation do on at the local pub so after a quick pack up I was glad to be in the warmth and out of the wind. Everyone who weighed in received a prize; I managed a bottle of red and 6 cans of lager for coming 25th out of 52. I cannot remember the top 3 but I’m sure they’ll be in the paper next week. Afterwards there was a raffle with hundreds of pounds worth of prizes. With £20’s worth of tickets in front of me I didn’t have a single number, although once all the prizes had gone they raffled off all the money that was raised from ticket sales and I managed to come away with £50 so not a bad day at the office after all!
This will more than likely be my last fishing trip of 2008, it’s been an up and down season, I’ve achieved a few goals but there’s still plenty more up for grabs next season. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank those that have helped me this year, my results have improved greatly as a result of this and I’ve made some good friends too, as well as strengthening some friendships I already had.
So happy Christmas everyone and may next year be full of fish!