The weather was mild after a few frosts and cool temps, in fact it was 13 degrees when I left home just after 7am, almost Summery!!
I made it in good time and we were soon onto the draw, an end type peg would be my favoured pick, 15, 16, 25, 29 and 30, with 29 the usual hotspot. I have yet to fish the far bank pegs, usually I am confined to a peg in front of the car park.
I waited until near the end of the queue after last weeks decision to go in early.....I managed peg 20 today, Mr Burgess drew corner peg 16, after I told him he would get a corner, but I was pleased enough with my peg, it is a consistent peg going by previous results on the lake.
Lionel Legge drew to peg most wanted, peg 29 by the in fall and landslip.
I walked my kit around to the peg and set about sorting my kit and bait. For company I had Steve Burgess on peg 16, Lee Waller on 22 and I could see everyone else except Lionel on peg 29. Everyone had a bit of room, Steve with more than most.
|Peg 20 Harescombe Match Lake, left, centre, right.|
3 tops were put together, a rig for 2+1 section at 2 spots, this rig was also suitable for 11m in front, a rig for banded pellet down to my left at topkit length and almost right over at 13m. The last rig was identical to the last but with a non-banded hook for across at 13m and down to my right against the grass. All rigs were 0.2g floats with 0.14>0.10>B911F1 size 18.Baits were 4mm pellets, corn, pinkies, maggots and a few micros, I did have some bread which remained unused. But really I wanted to base my attack around the maggots and corn.
At the all-in I didn't cup any bait in but opted to fish in the 11am direction with single maggot and fed 5 maggots every minute. It was 10 minutes for my 1st bite, this gave me a usual 8oz F1, a few more followed over the following 40 minutes before I lost one off the hook and it died. But I wasn't the only one catching, Steve B was getting a few as was Matt Challenger on the other bank. Keith Ray also had a couple.
I switched to 11m in front and tosspotted some corn and micros here, I had a few indications and bumped a fish, so I cupped in a semi-decent amount of micros and corn here before coming back short on maggots.
All the while I was feeding both edges, pointlessly in hindsight as I never had a fish from either all day. I also feed a half cup of corn and 4mm pellets in front of peg 19 as there seemed to be a good shoal of fish up that way between me and Steve, I say seemed to be, when in fact it was rather aquarium-ish in front of peg 17 and 18!!
So I was back short and picked up a couple skimmers and a gudgeon before a couple F1s were netted, I was still feeding regularly, the 11am direction with pinkies, the 1pm direction with maggot due to it being upwind.
I spent the next hour picking up odd silver and F1 from both 2+1 lines and just before the midway point of the match I was on 12 or so F1's and a 2lb carp along with a smattering of little silvers.
It did start to die away so I looked down by peg 19 on banded 4mm pellet and had a small F1 immediately, this was a false dawn so I went out in front at 11m. A good move as 3 or 4 more F!s to 1lb or so came my way before another lost fish spooked them.
I decide to go across, around 12 inches off the far bank, toss potting maggots and 4mm pellets, this gave me a nice flow of F1's and odd chub and I was doing okay. Although it seemed that Steve Burgess and Will Dearlove (p15) were plenty in front of me, Matt Challenger was also doing well enough and I would suggest the 2 guys on the far end bank would be catching.
1pm signalled a quiet spell for me and over the following 90 minutes I only managed 2 or 3 F1's and a small carp. Plus odd roach, I did try upping the feed and cattied some maggots in the rough vicinity of the far bank and I was soon back over there, which is generally where I stayed for the remainder of the match, only coming on the short lines to give the 13m line a rest.
As the last hour was under way everyone could see Keith Ray plundering his right margin, taking a carp or F1 every drop in, he looked like he could go close to winning, but these F1's can vary from 8o to 3lb+ plus the carp are always a welcome bonus at over 2lb each, running to 4lb or so.
I plodded away picking up a few F1's and skimmers before Will shouted the all-out at 3:30pm.
I finished with around 30 F1's and 2 baby carp plus a couple pounds of silvers, maybe 25lb I thought, I thought that Steve had 50lb+ just ahead of Will and Keith. Matty Challenger also had a late flurry of edge fish, but I wasn't 100% sure how the rest of his match went. To my right, Lee Waller struggled to catch many F1's as he was getting bites from small silvers and odd 4oz skimmer.
I packed my gear up and loaded the car before the weigh in got under way, starting at peg 25 and Ross Sewell had a couple of pounds then Lee Waller struggled his way to 16lb+. Next to weigh was me and my '25lb', my miss-guided estimate weighed 45lb 15oz, next up would surely be the winner, or at least 2nd spot. Steve Burgess, he only had 1 net in and to my surprise he totted up 44lb 4oz moving him to second place, then Will weighed in next and he had put a tidy net of 30lb 8oz. Keith weighed 39lb+ then we saw varying weights between 16 and 39lb until we got to the last one to weigh, Lionel Legge, he reckoned on 30lb, but his neighbour, Chris Szacaks, said he had more that that and so it proved when he totalled 40lb 2oz. This meant I had won on the day despite my array of lean spells.
1st, peg 20, Lee Williams, 45lb 15oz
2nd, peg 16, Steve Burgess, 44lb 4oz
3rd, peg 29, Lionel Legge, 40lb 2oz
4th, peg 6, Matt Challenger, 40lb
5th, peg 30, Chris Szacaks, 39lb 12oz
6th, peg 12, Keith Ray, 39lb 3oz
So at least a day with plenty of bites, I do enjoy these closer contests with lots of bites, I just wish Harescombe was 50 miles closer!! My 1st win of the year under my belt, which is earlier than 2015....onwards and upwards.
No match for me next weekend as it stands, so I may well go and try something different. We shall see.
Until next time, take care.