Today I was at Monks with my partner Dave to have another go at the Maver match, We have swapped sections today and I was on A that was all of lake one and the good side of lake two, so was well up for this match and confident of putting a good weight together.
We lined up to draw and were first in the queue. Dave nominated me to draw out the pegs, I pulled out 93 from the B section bucket for Dave, not a great draw but better than most. Then in I went for my peg from the A section bucket and out came……. Now wait for it……… 23 on Lake one!!!!! The peg most would sell there soul to the devil for. Now I consider lake one to be the fairest and you can win from anywhere but when you put in every peg on the lake the four end pegs (23 is one of them) are difficult to beat.
I got to the peg and as per usual at Monks the wind was blowing, and a cross wind at that. When setting up the pole it bent alarmingly even at 9 meters, so I had a dilemma. Do I still fish shallow like I normally do but at only around 6-7 meters, or opt for the most popular tactic on the lakes pellet/paste on the deck. After weighing it up with a good chop on the water I decided the fish will still feed close in shallow so will go with that.
So I knocked up a bit of groundbait to ball in at the start like I normally do, and set up 3 shallow rigs, all Drennan Carp 4 dibbers, attached to 0.14 trace and a size 14 Drennan carp eyed hook. I set up a on the deck and margin rig too just in case. 3 keepnets were put in today as we had a maximum weight of 60lb in each net, putting a fish in each net in turn so as to spread the weight
At the off the groundbait went in at 6 meters, and started feeding 6mm pellet over the top, I gave it 15 minutes down the edge while the main swim settled, this only produced one bite which I missed. So out with the shallow rig it was set about a foot deep, I after about another 15 minutes I had my first carp of about a pound, a few more followed and after a hour I had 17. Things got even better by the second hour and I was up to 45! What worked best was feeding about 10 pellets then immediately slapping the rig down on the water until I got a bite, tapping the pole got me a few too but didn’t work as well. By the third hour I was on about 60 fish for I recon about 80lb so was doing very well indeed.
Then disaster struck, I just stopped catching! Half a hour went by without a bite, I stuck on pole sections to go out further, and various other tricks but only had a few more by the forth hour. I had to decide on a change of tactics for the last hour as the wind had picked up and conditions were very difficult, so it was out with the on the deck rig and a 6mm expander was put on the hook, I continued to feed it as if I was fishing shallow but less frequently, With the on the deck rig I started to pick up a few fish, a mixture of barbel and small carp, this was working OK and I caught slow but steady for the rest of the match hooking a good sized F1 of about 3lb on the whistle, ending up with about 70 carp and about 15 barbel.
The scales turned up and 79lb was the best weight so far, I was sure I had over a ton and was not disappointed with my 112lb. the rest of the lake was weighed in and next best was 96lb, giving me the lake and section win. Strange as it seems the last four matches I have fished on lake one I have won with, 113lb, 112lb, 113lb, and today with 112lb!
Dave on lake 3 had not had such a good day as me but still caught a few and had 46lb for a section 3rd so we didn’t qualify for the final, but I had a few quid to collect but wasn’t sure where I was overall, word was the best weight off of lake 3 was 106lb, but the bad new was lake 2 had thrown up a few good weight and I ended up forth overall on the day picking up £90 (now time for a moan).
This isn’t a lot really when you consider it cost £20 plus £10 on the day to enter each round and if you don’t go into the £10 pool you go away with nothing. With 100 fishing deducting the £7 peg fee that is £1300 from each match going to Maver/AT, I’m not sure of the number of qualifiers but work it out, are they really paying out the amount they should be?
On a positive note get yourself a copy of Southern Angler to see a certain handsome chap fishing the pellet waggler on page 6-7.