Anyways, I thought I would give it a go, especially as I have entered the teams of 3 series Vic is running over the coming few months. I needed have a look really, maybe learn a bit....
I duly woke up at 6:30, less than 2 hours after getting to bed, and was tempted to roll over and get some more zzzz's. Alas I ventured to the bathroom, then onto the kitchen and a cuppa to start the day.
I loaded the car and ate a banana, my enthusiasm was still lacking, but the tiredness had taken the back burner.
So with no preparation of note, well I had bought some maggot and caster on Friday along with taking my KSD rigs out of my box and chucking in a few Sedges rigs. Coupled with removing 3 keepnets from the bag and removing 6 pints of 8mm pellet from the bait holdall. I was semi-ready.
I made the 20 minute drive after leaving home at 8:20, I paid my monies and stood around waiting for the draw, in a world of my own (sleepyland), I noted how quiet it was....Giffy Ware wasn't fishing.
So everyone (all 28) paid up and the draw was made, I had wanted peg 32, don't know why, but that area was my fancy, maybe it is because I have never, from memory, been drawn further up than peg 10 on the left side or 38 on the right.
I picked my peg, I was maybe 10th to draw, and out came peg 5. Not too bad.
Peg 5...Avalon Match Lake
I hadn't really arrived wanting to target the carp, in fact if I didn't get one on the tip after the first 20 mins I wouldn't bother as it was the skimmers I wanted to catch, along with some other silvers. Hopefully to qualify for the club's silvers winner final.
I set up a 3m whip to fish up to 2ft deep, but mostly around 18" would work. 0.14 to 0.10 to a size 16 B611 hook. The float was a small canal type waggler as the wind was due to pick up.
A banded 6mm pellet rig, just in case the carp were a pest and needing catching. This was for 6m out to my left slightly. 0.20-0.16 to a size 16 B911 hook. Size 20 solid middy elastic.
A 0.6g NG Decker was set up for 13m at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. This was on 0.14 to 0.12 to a size 18 B911F1 hook, elastic was 10/12 middy solid on a puller.
I also set up a 0.4g NG Silverfish caner float to fish over the same 13m lines and the whip line. Line was as on the 0.6g rig.
I also had a small groundbait feeder to fish across with banded 6mm pellet on the hook, but this was only a 'I am bored' tactic.
For bait I had 1pt of each caster and maggot, some 6mm pellet, 3pts of micro and some 2, 4 and 6mm expanders for the hook. I would have bought worm, but my wormery now resembles a kindergarten for dendras....all the worms are babies with no large ones in sight (how do they breed with no fully grown ones?).
I also mixed up some groundbait, mostly a fishmeal based mix with added gros gardons, which has lots of hemp in.
After a bit of a chat with a couple of guys, the all in sounded. I immediately potted a couple pots of damp micros at the 13m line to my right, and 6 balls of groundbait were potted at the 10 o'clock line at 13m. I also fed a couple pots of 6mm pellets at 6 mtrs hoping to draw the carp away from my slivers.
I lobbed the feeder out towards the boards and started to lose feed my whip line, planning on sticking it out on the tip until the rudd were visible on the short line.
It took 10 mins and no indications on the feeder to make me try the whip, and straight away I was swinging in fish, only small rudd and roach upto 3oz, but it kept me ticking over.
I pretty much stuck on the whip for the remainder of the match, catching rudd and roach to 8oz along with the odd rogue perch. I also lost a carp on the whip.
After 4 hours I had around 6lb I think, though I did spend around half hour faffing over the long lines, with no rewards.
So things were not exactly happing at a rapid pace, and I had bumped a good few fish, shedding the hook, possibly perch, but defo the odd decent roach on the whip...would they cost me?
We did have a great shower and strong winds as we approach the last 3rd of the match, it almost went dark....
Word had it that it had fished hard, especially for the silvers, and that most were struggling.
I had a look over the micros line at around 3pm and despite the bubbling I never had a touch on soft pellet, maggot or caster. So a look over the groundbait, where there was no bubbles, produced a skimmer of around a pound. No more were forth coming, so I re-fed both lines and returned to the whip, continuing to catch small silvers.
With about an hour left my long lines were showing more activity, so I had another look over my micro line, and after 2 minutes I was into a fish, but it was a carp around 4lb, which was netted after a spirited battle. I did hook another 10 minutes later, but it broke my hooklength as I shipped back un-fussed if I landed it. I spent another 15mins waiting for a decent skimmer or maybe a tench, but none were around.
So for the last 15 mins or so I carried on with the whip, infact I missed the keepnet with a 3oz rudd on the whistle.....this would come back to haunt me wouldn't it?
Anyways the all out sounded and some guys had already left, some were in the process of packing up as DNW's and most remarked how slow it had been. When asked by some of the guys, I stated that I had 1 carp of around 4lb and maybe 9lb of silvers, which wasn't too bad they told me.
I packed my kit away and waited for the weigh in, Keith Clapp obviously won overall, admitting to 100lb, but the 2nd and 3rd spots were less obvious and rumour had it Eric Fouracre had caught a couple slab bream and had over 12lb of silvers, he along with Jamie Cook, looked good for the top 2 silvers (only 1 pay out in silvers).
As I was 2nd or 3rd to weigh, Phil Clapp said he had about 10lb of silvers and was hoping to get to the silvers final......so I plonked my carp on the scales, 4lb 6oz. Next my silvers.....10lb 6oz (remember the bumped fish and that 3oz rudd....).
I followed the scales round and noted the amount of DNW's and low weights, with 40lb winning until we got to peg 20, Keith had fished the conker method to a gap in the vegetation to amass 98lb 7oz of carp for an easy win (didn't get 100lb though,,,lol).
On with the weigh in, Vic Bush on corner peg 24 had 45lb 3oz, Jason King on p26 had 48lb 10oz.
Eric on peg 29 weighed his silvers for 13lb 3oz, including a couple proper bream. Jamie's silvers went 12lb 5oz from peg 33 pushed me into 3rd silvers, but as he and Eric had qualified for the silvers final, I needed more than Phil Clapp to qualify.
Dick Hurford on p37 weighed 52lb 7oz to take overall second, then came peg 38, time for Phil to weigh in. His carp went 5lb 10oz, then his silvers weighed 10lb 9oz.....bugger that dropped rudd....bugger bugger.
Ah well, he qualified for the final, I will have to go again next time out
Back to the hut for the results and presentation, it was a memorial match also, so Keith got a trophy.
1st was Keith Clapp, 98lb 7oz from peg 20
2nd was Dick Hurford, 52lb 7oz from peg 37 (all winners final qualifier)
3rd was Jason King, 48lb 10oz from peg 26
Silvers: Eric Fouracre, 13lb 3oz from peg 29
Section winners: Vic Bush, Will Puddy (after a maths error...lol) and P. Manning.
So all in all a difficult match for 27 of the 28. But pretty fair.
On reflection I feel I should have won the silvers overall, as I probably bumped a couple pounds of fish and maybe spent too long on the long lines for not-present skimmers.
If I had fished for the carp, I think I would have done ok, as there seemed plenty across towards the island, but I didn't fancy them.
I did learn a few things and am looking towards the series that starts in a couple weeks.
Next up for me is possibly a Clevedon match on Trinity Woodlands this sunday, if not the the following week I am down Avalon again for the teams of 3 series.
Take Care and Tight Lines