With most of the peeps having a breakfast on site I arrived to a full car park, but squeezed in and sorted my kit. I ended up chatting to a few guys, which went on a touch longer and the 8am draw was shuffled back a bit due to breakfasts and the fishing times would be 10am until 3:30pm.
Whilst yabbering I mentioned that as there looked like a decent few footy matches on tele later on, and if I should draw 'a-less-than-preferred' peg then I would get to see at least 1 of them.
I wanted to be on the match lake, not that I expected it to win, I said one of the end 4 pegs on speci to take the honours, but it can be more selective on where the fish are playing ball. While lake 3 would be consistent, with only 10 guys on there it would be the gaps between them that could hamper catches, my theories anyway. So one from pegs 15, 19 and 21 were hoped for.
I was called in to do the golden peg draw, 21 and 40 were duly chosen. Both had a chance.
The draw was called and me and Eric Fouracre, plus match secretary Mark Hembery were left for the last 3 tickets, These were, looking at the spaces on the sheet, 15, 19 and 33, all very good pegs, so at this point I was pleased. I picked 1st and had p15, Eric had 19 and Mark was in the near corner of the speci lake, all fancied pegs.
I got to my peg in quick time and sorted the bait, micros, groundbait, 4mm pellets, 6mm pellet plus a few maggots, casters, expanders and a handful of prawns, only small amounts of each, but a selection that gave me options.
4 rigs, 1 for banded pellet at 14m off in the 10 o'clock direction, 1 for expanders over micro at 13m in the 11 o'clock direction and one of maggots in front at 11m. Lastly a rig to fish close to the empty pegs 14 and 16. I fished to my left mostly as the peg sloped up from left to right and I didn't fancy the shallower areas, in hindsight maybe I should have had an area to my right.
I had John Fuidge on peg 13 as my nearest neighbour and Phil Hembery was down on 18, I had some room, but I did feel a little too much.
|Peg 15, Landsend (slightly left, in the areas I fished)|
The all-in was called and it was out to the longest line and a banded 6mm pellet went in over half a dozen 4mm and sprinkle of groundbait. I watched John and his cupping of bait to different areas. I missed a bite after 20 seconds, but a few seconds later I had another and after a spirited tussle a 4lb mirror was safely in the keepnet, so I hadn't blanked, priority one succeeded.
10 minutes later I was playing my 2nd carp from the same spot, a little bigger at around 7lb.
So with 30 minutes gone I had around 10lb in the net, I fancied 50lb to do well on this lake.
Things died for a while for me, I could see odd carp getting caught, only Eric catching better than the rest down on peg 19. We moved into the 2nd hour and I was soon playing another fish on the banded pellet line, this time a golden tench, well it was more like a koi-tench given it's colourations. But at 3lb or so it was a welcome bonus. There was a lot of ghosties mulling around the island and I altered a rig to try and mug a few, but this was fruitless, they were just mooching around for not any particular reason it seemed. At one point John had half a dozen around his pole tip, he couldn't see them but when I shouted to tell him, his float dipped and he promptly foul hooked, and lost, one of them.
So the 3rd hour was well underway when I managed my 3rd and 4th carp, both in quick succession and both about 4lb each, one from the banded pellet line, one from the micros on 4mm expander.
I also managed a big skimmer, but also lost one which would no doubt unsettle things. A couple or 3 foul hooked carp were quickly hooked and lost. So with 2 hours to go I was on 4 carp for maybe 20lb and my skimmer and tench for 5lb. Eric was doing well and other than him it was John on peg 13 who'd had a couple carp and a few silvers, who looked to be doing alright. I called to Eric to see if anyone else had much and he said not. But Ziggy had been on a wander and said Jamie Parkhouse on peg 32 was on 70lb and had a near 20lber and a massive F1, plus a few other had 30lb maybe on the speci lake. We were nor sure how lake 3 was fishing.
With 90 minutes to go I had another big skimmer on my soft pellet line, then another carp. My 6th and final carp was hooked not long after, on the hard pellet, before it totally switched off for me in the last period of the match. Actually from 2:15pm until the 3:30pm all-out I had a nice perch from under peg 14 and a few roach on maggots. All the while Eric was getting a few carp, plus silvers from across and I guess down the edge to his right, he even mugged 3 in the last 15 minutes from the point of the island, swinging maggots to the bunch of fish cruising that area. He'd defo won the lake.
John on peg 13 managed a big skimmer and 2 carp, finishing on 4 decent sized carp and 5lb or so of silvers he said.
So with the match over I packed up and went up to chat to John, discussing the pegs and how we fished. He thought he had 24lb of carp and his silvers. I thought I had similar in carp, maybe just over 26lb and 8lb or so of silvers.
The scales arrived after a while and the sheet showed Jamie Parkhouse had 82lb off p32, Jason King 60-odd off peg 31 and 20lb was best off this lake at this point. Jamie's silvers included a 6lb 6oz F1...!! and he'd had 10-02 and was sitting top of that tree. He also had an 18lb carp, very nice.
John weighed, 5lb 8oz of silvers and 26lb 8oz carp gave him 32lb. Next was me to weigh and my silvers went on the scales first and I managed a level 10lb before my 6 carp topped my net to 43lb 6oz. Eric weighed next and had 10-15 of silvers which added to his carp pushed him into 2nd spot with a total of 75lb 8oz.
I went on my way to load the car and had a natter with Brian Gatis, Jason King and Mark Watkins.
Soon enough Lake 3 was weighed and the results done. I had managed top silvers by default and 4th on the day, with Nick Selway winning Lake 3 from peg 41 with 37lb.
1st, Jamie Parkhouse, peg 32. 82lb 2oz
2nd, Eric Fouracre, peg 19. 75lb 8oz
3rd, Jason King, peg 31. 62lb 6oz
4th, Lee Williams, peg 15. 43lb 6oz
5th, Nick Selway, peg 41. 37lb 4oz
1st, Eric Fouracre, 10lb 15oz
2nd, Jamie Parkhouse, 10lb 2oz
3rd, Lee Williams, 10lb
|Weights (ignore section/silvers notes)|
So the venue had fished reasonable, and the pegs expected to do well did produce. In hindsight I should have got my head down and fished for silvers on maggots for the last hour or so, and that lost skimmer cost me at least 2lb on my silvers tally, but I believe Eric lost a couple, everyone loses fish and it is all about those landed that matters.
But I am pleased with how I fished, not sure if I could have had any more by trying other stuff, but you can end up faffing too much and everything goes awry, and the bonus of a double-default silvers pick-up was handy. An enjoyable day really.
Not sure if I am fishing next weekend, no plans as it stands.