Well I arrived in sensible time, avoiding branches and flooded parts of roads on my trip over to Somerton to find that there were less than the expected amount of vehicles, a few guys hadn't bothered fishing (the pools for the last round paid before rnd 1) plus there were a few of us that would not want to go to our pegs in the conditions we faced. I left my kit in the car and headed for the draw after a natter to a couple guys.
Midway down the line I was for the draw and in my mitt stuck peg 87, along the Cary bank of Cary Lake with the wind coming into my from the 2 o'clock direction, carrying various sized bits of wood and trees.....oh and Trig's EVA bag went sailing up from one corner of the lake to the opposite pre-match.
My pre-match was not great, I decided to set up a little feeder plus a couple topkits with just 3 sections, which in itself was tricky to hold in the wind. But the forecast was for the wind to almost stop. I don't trust weather forecasts enough to believe that.
I took the bungees off the trolley and stood the rod bags up, turned around to grab my side tray and noticed it had blown over the otter fence...so I had to climb over and get that.
The next things to blow away for me was a bait tub of casters and my tub of prawns. Then my topkits went for a wander, then the 3 sections tried to make the same trip along the bank.
|Viaduct Cary peg 87|
I had Dave Chidzoy to my right and nobody around to my left until peg 94 which was off in the 11 o'clock direction from me. So a 3-peg section. I had my double or quits pound with Dave after he beat me in an earlier round. I could see Tony Rixon on peg 97 opposite me with loads of room.
My rigs were a DT F1/Silver for topkit, it was a 0.3g float and had 0.10 hooklength to a size 20 F1 hook. My 2nd rig was the same but in 0.4g.
The all-on sounded and I cupped 4 balls of groundbait to my right, 1 to the left and threw a few casters close. Starting on the feeder it took 20 minutes before I caught a roach of 1oz. No blank. Thankfully. A few more little roach followed and a 3oz skimmer, but it wasn't hectic. The only person catching seemed to be Tony over on 97.
After 45 minutes I went on the pole, started on the topkit, no bites, no surprise, so that was generally knocked on the head for the day. Switching between to two 'longer' lines I managed to pick up the odd roach to 3oz and after a couple hours I had about 25 roach and one 3oz skimmer.
It was about then that the winds dropped, but the rain was still cold and I could barely feel my hands, which is unlike me.
Dave had decided to get the rest of his pole out and set up a line around 13m out, so I decided to see how he fared as I didn't think the wind would stay light.
Well I continued to pick up roach on the 2 pole lines (and odd look on feeder), but over the space of 30 minutes or so Dave had 6 skimmers for around 2lb. So it was off my box and the sections to 13m came out. I used the topkit rig to plumb around in front and once happy I potted in 2 decent balls of groundbait with a few dead maggots and pinkies in.
I came back on the shorter 'long' lines and had a couple roach before trying the 13m line and I had indications immediately and I began to put the odd skimmer in the net, nothing bigger than 4oz, plus a few roach. But it was a positive sign,
The last couple of hours was pretty much spent long, but I wasn't getting as many fish as Dave I didn't think, but by topping up regularly, resting it for 5 minutes, then dropping back in I kept a few fish coming, but I just needed a decent fish of 2lb+ to help. I did bump a better fish and came back with a scale and slime, and the odd one fell off as they do, but it was a pleasant couple of hours catching a few small skimmers.
But at the all-out I figured Dave had double what I had. Tony had caught for most of the day, but wasn't in our section, peg 94 hadn't caught as much as us I didn't think.
I estimated Mr Chidzoy to have 11-12lb and me around 4.5-5lb perhaps.
It didn't take long to pack up and soon enough Matt was doing the weigh in. Gary O'Shea had 10lb of roach from peg 85. Trig had the same weight from p74 while Nicky Ewers (24lb) and Joe McMahon (15lb) were on pegs 77 and 78 respectively.
Dave weight 10lb something, while my guesstimate was well out when I put 9lb 9oz on the scales, so that 30 minutes I watched Dave fishing long before I got my sections out of the bag probably cost me a bit of weight perhaps, but you never know.
Back to the car-park, after giving Dave his £2, it seemed it hadn't fished too bad with Nicky Ewers and Vince Brown (lodge p59) both having the top weight on the day with Tony's 18lb 3rd best.
Vince fed a couple pints of caster to catch his, as Trig did in earlier rounds, and again the fish came on later in the day for him.
1st = Vince Brown, p59. 28-08
1st = Nicky Ewers, p77 28-08
3rd Tony Rixon, p97, 18-00
4th Joe McMahon, p78, 15-07
1st, Craig 'Trig' Edmunds, 7pts (drop a 3)
2nd, John Fuidge, 8pts (drop a 7, better weight)
3rd, Steve Jackson, 8pts (drop a 7, less weight)
4th, Gary O'Shea, 9pts (one of five on 9pts, better dropper/weight combo)
Me well I finished down in 34th, which given at least a couple of my draws and it being my 1st attempt I am not too dissatisfied with to be honest and I shall most likely give it another bash in 2018.
A couple of pick-ups along the way did soften the blows from earlier rounds
Well done to the framers, especially the man-of-the-moment, Mr Edmunds. He cannot do much wrong and he has proven what a quality angler he is.
Next up I have a knock-up Xmas match on Trinity Wildmarsh on Saturday, it will be hard, very hard I would expect, but it is Christmas and should be a giggle.
Until then, take care and have fun.