After missing the first two proper club matches of the year I was looking forward to today, after having had nearly 60lb out a few weeks ago I was hoping for a similar days sport! I couldn’t have been more wrong though, I got to the fishery just after 8am with a bit of a sore head from the night before and was faced with rather strong, particularly cold winds, thankfully I had an extra jacket in my bag because it was going to be a cold one! The frost the night before probably wouldn’t help matters either!
After forcing my breakfast down I loaded my gear onto the barrow and awaited the draw, the wind had definitely got stronger and it was freezing! Everyone was hoping for any peg that wasn’t down the bottom end, although these pegs have done well on our last matches, they’re completely in the shade and the wind would be blowing in your face all day.
The draw eventually got underway and I drew peg 25. Which not only is in the deep dark woods so I’d be freezing, I’d have the wind in my face all day and to top things off its the furthest peg away from the car park, especially when you walk the wrong way around the lake! The long grass made it a nightmare to push my barrow and by the time I got to my peg I was ready for a kip and to be honest, wasn’t really in the mood!
It took me an age to set up and for the first time in a very, very long time I wasn’t ready by the start of the match. I’d plumbed up down my left edge but it was all over the place and seeing as I had to fish maybe ten metres to the platform it was very difficult holding the pole still enough in the wind so I got this rig somewhere near and if it settled down later then I could fine tune it. I did the same with my across rig to fish to the end of the island but the wind was coming from every conceivable direction so I put this to rest with my edge rig. My final rig, and only rig that was actually ready was a 0.75g BGT Blue on 0.16 mainline to an 0.12 hooklength and size 18 Gamakatsu Pellet and Paste hook. This rig was the full length of my top kit and even this rig was slightly struggling with the tow, I had some 1g rigs in my box but I thought the smaller one would do. This rig was finished with a soft set 12 elastic and pull bung. I plumber up and I could fish this rig from 4-10metres as it was very uniform, ideally I’d start at 10m at the bottom of the far shelf but it would be wind dependant! I also had a small Preston method set up which I would start with after feeding my other line.
Bait today I had micros and 4mm’s for feed and some 4 and 6mm expanders. I also had a bit of corn to use as a change bait.
At the all in I finished off setting up and then chucked the method out, and again, and again. And again, the wind was swirling all over the place and even though only a short chuck of 14m to the island I was really struggling and was throwing it all over the place. I sacked this off and went on my deep rig at 10m where I’d fed a golf ball of micros to kick start. Although I got a small F1 first put in it was very difficult holding the pole at that length so I decided to do what I should have done at the start, fish short! At least by fishing short I could present a bait correctly, not get over frustrated and hopefully still put a few fish in the net.
I fed a line on my top 5 and was starting to calm down after a disastrous start! Thankfully the fish were there, I was catching a fish almost every put in, though I was waiting a while for a bite, by lifting and dropping the rig I was tempting small stockies, smaller barbel and smaller still gudgeon into the net. Although not manic I seemed to be doing OK from what I could see, Tony Koz on 23 was catching similar to myself and had put a few fish in the net whilst I was messing about at the start too! John on 27 was also getting a few down the edge but was getting pestered by bits.
As it looked like I was doing OK I just battled on fishing here and tried to get my head down, I’d started feeding a few hard 4mm pellets every put in by now instead of the balls of micros and it seemed to be working a little bit better. John had decided to give it a go across and managed 3 or four fish one after another before getting “blown off”. Stu had come for a walk round and had said everyone else was doing crap so I knew to keep plugging away. I did try across and managed a small chub first put in and a small F1 on the second before the wind got too much again and forced me back onto the 5m line.
It was a case of sticking at it for the rest of the match at 5m and although I did try across for the last ten minutes it was to no avail.
John, myself and Tony had all caught fairly steadily throughout the match and although I thought I’d beaten John I reckoned that Tony had done me though it would have been tight between the three of us.
At the weigh in they started from either end, up to John, Rab was winning with 24-14, John managed 17lb and then it was my turn. Although I had two nets in they were by no means full, I just like to split my fish half a match in each net. The tight so and so’s on scales gave me 22-15, though I could have sworn it was nearer 23lb! Tony was next and as he lifted his net out I knew he’d done me, he weighed 27lb odd and took the match.
So a frustrating day for all due to the weather but I managed 4th overall and a section win, if I’d have had my head screwed on at the start I could have probably pushed a bit higher up the frame but it wasn’t to be!
The top 5 looked like this, very close with just over 5lb separating the top weights.
1st T.Koz peg23 27lb 05ozs
2nd S.Armitage peg18 25lb 12ozs
3rd R.Ogilvie peg34 24lb 14ozs
4th S.Lupton peg25 22lb 15ozs
5th B.Sinclair peg15 22lb 00ozs
Next week were at Raker Lakes on Horseshoe pond, I’ve never even seen the place so it could be interesting!