The final match of the year came around and with a very cold day! Today was our club Christmas match. With 3 man sections it was all to play for! Also with a giant Christmas feed thrown in at the end of the match it got the numbers up with 29 in attendance, probably the best attendance of the year! It’s amazing what a free lunch can do!
We were fishing on Cedar up at the Oaks and had pegs 18 to 56, this meant we could have the three man section in a row and then a gap before the next section. This wasn’t ideal at this time of year but it seemed the only way to peg it fairly, plus it would mean you could see both your competitors!
As it happened I drew peg 56, which although the end of our match, the next match started on peg 57 and it later materialised that I would be bang in the middle of 5 in a row! Far from what you needed today when it was going to be a grueller! To rub salt into the wounds, this end peg meant I also had to weigh in!
For company I had Terry on 55 and Martin Whit on 54, we soon struck up a three way quid to add to the bragging rights!
I only set up two rigs, one for fishing at the base of the far slope in five and a bit foot of water. The other rig was for fishing in 3ft of water on the sloping shelf. Both these rigs were 0.4g Garbolino DC13H floats, which I don’t particularly like but they’d have to do, these were on 0.12 mainline, 0.10 hooklength’s and size 20 Gamakatsu pellet and paste hooks. The rigs were finished with doubled 5 elastics. Bait was also simple today with some micros, some black swim stim, some 4mm expanders and a few maggots.
The all in was called at 10am and we were only fishing five hours today due to it being dark at 4 o clock nowadays! I expected it to be hard but as the match panned out, it was harder than I’d have expected. The first hour or two were OK, I put a few F1’s and a couple of small Barbel in the net, as well as losing a few fish. At one point it was more like Tel and I were seeing who could lose the most fish rather than catch them! After this initial spell of fish, it went dead, and to spark a response I fed a handful of maggots onto the island to try batter the small fish to build up a weight, I think I had a dozen in the last three hours where as Martin and Tel were catching far more, even though they were only tiny. I need to learn that when it’s cold, dumping in bait to “spark a response” very rarely works, I’d have been better off doing the softly softly approach and feeding a few maggots every put out!
Well the match drew to an end, and I must admit the last few hours were a bit tedious, the only thing that kept my spirits up was the prospect of a hot meal!
I was first to weigh in and managed a not so impressive, 9lb11oz, I was instantly a quid down to Tel when he weighed 13lb odd, Martin cemented my misery when he plonked 16lb odd onto the scales which turned out good enough for 3rd on the day! Jonesy won the match from around peg 50 with 20lb. So it had fished hard but we’d all had a good laugh!
Back in the warmth in the cafe, the Christmas dinner went down a storm, a huge plateful of everything you could imagine! (As well as sampling all three puddings.......and mince pies.....and Christmas cake.....) I only had the one chocolate mint though as I had my tea waiting for me at home....
Thanks must go to Mary for the splendid meal, it was much appreciated by all, shame we don’t do this after every match!