A wet and dull start to the day was how it looked when I got out of bed at 7am, so my (not so waterproof) waterproofs were donned before I loaded the car and headed down onto the moors.
10 of us fishing the match after a few guys had decided to switch to fishing an open over at Shiplate, so a little but of room for most.
The 'cover' match secretary for the day was a mix of Adam Caswell (collected money) and Steve Burgess (sorted the pay-outs), though Mr Bush sorts the pegging. We'd pay top 2 overall and 1 silvers pot, which was likely to be a contest between Matt Challenger and John Bradford.
We had Brian Shanks and Matty Taynton fishing today which meant that a few pellet wagglers would be flung to the island, in fact I would suggest 8 out of 10 of us would fish that, or at least try.
The windy wasn't consistent and was doing the usual blow up the lake, so any of the higher pegs would be better for silvers and carp alike, 23 back to around 16 would be good, avoiding 3 or 5 was to be my preference. Peg 11 was the golden peg and typically Adam Caswell drew it.
I held back a bit and was 'rewarded' with peg 3.... bugger. It had very little in the way of wind/ripple and I had the point of the island to fish to, but there didn't seem like many carp were around, though the reeds to my left and right were knocking around. I didn't really fancy it at all.
|Avalon peg 3|
I set up a pellet waggler and 4 pole rigs:
A shallow topkit rig for silvers, a depth rig for silvers at 2+2 and 13m, a margin rig for carp (unused) and a depth rig with carp in mind (unused).
For bait I had 8mm pellets and meat, some corn. Plus some caster, dead-ish maggots and some groundbait. I did have some worm which I didn't plan on using as I expected to catch over groundbait.
At the all in I fed my 13m line, margins and short line.
1st chuck on the waggler and I had a chub of 6oz, then spooked a carp......the next 45 mins was dull, I had a solitary 4lb carp and missed a couple bites. I never picked this up again during the match.
The short and long lines were properly fizzing by now, building my confidence, but this was a false dawn as it seemed like all I had was small silvers in the peg and every bait was taken by these fish, even double dendra wasn't safe.
A switch to a 2g+ rig didn't alter anything so back to the 0.6g which felt better. I soon had a crucian of a couple pound on my short line, but things were slow.
After a couple hours I suppose I had put 4lb of bits in my silvers net but it was tough with no wind on the water in front of me, my 13m was poor, it only produced 3 little skimmers all match.
Corn was the best bait thus far and my 2+2 line.
Not much happened over the next 3 or 4 hours, I plugged away getting the odd skimmer, but it seemed like they wouldn't settle down and feed and I had a few occasions where I 'pricked' the odd skimmer, come off bottom and I don't get any indications just picked up rudd.
Come the last hour I spied some carp down my left edge and although it wasn't worth trying to catch them as I was miles behind Matt and Brian, I would see how they responded to feed. After 15 minutes of tricking bait at them I had them within topkit distance down the edge and taking bait as soon as it hit the water!! The sun had obviously stirred the carp up and my peg looked somewhat better than it had 5hrs previous.
The all out sounded and I knew I had bombed out for carp and most probably silvers, I estimated around 10lb or so of silvers, the lack of ripple had put them off feeding confidently in my peg.
I packed my kit away and waited for the scales to come back along as Vic started in peg 23.
By the time they'd got to me it looked like, from a quick glance, that Lionel Legge had won with Chris Szakacs second. The silvers was going to be won by Matt Challenger with an amazing 61 or 63lb from what I could see.
My 10lb guess went an embarrassing 26lb+.....oops.
1. Lionel Legge (19) 122-7
2. Chris Szakacs (23) 111-1
3. Brian Shanks (7) 102-1...
4. Matt Taynton (5) 79-13
5. Matt Challenger (16) 61-3
6. Steve Burgess (9) 46-10
7. Adam Caswell (11) 41-15
8. Ron Hardiman (13) 33-7
9. Lee Williams (3) 26-4
10. John Bradford (21) 19-12
1. Matt Challenger 61-3
2. Lee Williams 26-4
3. John Bradford 19-12
So really the lack of wind deterred the silvers and the carp arrived down my edge around 4 or 5 hours too late!!
Matt Challenger fished worm and caster at 11m-ish and fed 3pts of caster and 1/2kg of worm, good angling.
Next up for me is Pawlett's Silvers Winners final on Trinity Wildmarsh, I am kinda looking forward to that.
I am off next Weds 8th, Thurs 9th and Friday 10th, so I will prob book into Sedges on the Wednesday and look for a match on the Thursday. Friday will possibly be spent roach fishing up Durleigh, where the fishing at this time of the year is usually bang-on.
Until then, Take Care.