The weather for the day was predicting rain so it was looking like the match was going to be a nightmare, and when I set off in the morning it was raining very heavy. Luckily by the time I arrived at the lake it has stopped and the skies were clearing. Maybe we where going to get a decent day for fishing at last!
I gathered for the draw with Matt Love assisting me. As I was running the match I don’t draw my own peg so got Trevor Little who was at the front of the queue to pull one out for me. I didn’t really fancy 27 or 29 as it would men I will be fishing the pole all day and fancied a day on the waggler. I got lucky and Trevor pulled out peg 35 which gave me an easy island chuck with a light wind behind me. The downside of this peg is that the fish tend not to live in the area in any numbers so it can quite often be a slow start as you feed them in as the match progresses.
We had a guest fishing for the day Nick Costar who was known on the forums as Bag Up. He is also know for being good on the method feeder and after taking a lot of stick on the forum for talking a good match was out to prove he could fish one.
I arrived at the peg and had Tony Clark to my left on peg 36 who was intending to fish the Map rocket (noddy) feeder!
My tactics for the day were going to be the pellet waggler which is no surprise to anybody that knows me. Two Preston 11ft waggler rods were set up both with 4AAA styro wagglers, one set at a foot and the other two foot. Mainline was 4lb Mr Crappie, attached to a 0.16 Fox trace and a 14 Drennan carp hook with a hair rigged bait band attached. I also had a bomb rod set up.
Bait for the match was plenty of 6mm Skretting pellets. With some 8mm if needed for hookbait .
I blew the whistle for the start and immediately started feeding the far side just short of the island with 6mm pellets, the idea was to feed quite heave at the start to create a lot of noise and draw a good number of carp into the swim. I felt 10-12 pellets every 15-20 seconds were about right to start with. It was a very slow start to the match and by continually feeding and casting I eventually hooked my first carp after about 15 minutes. This came off as fast as it was hooked! I was quite rusty on the method and several of my casts ended up in a small overhanging bush and it put up a good fight and claimed my trace 3 times in the first hour. To add to this a family of ducks had moved in and were intercepting my pellets as they hit the water and refused to move!! I did managed to avoid the bush and duck and land 3 carp though.
Tony on peg 36 and Bag UP on 3 were thrashing me at this point catching one a bung and I could see lots of rods bending into fish all over the lake so some good weighs were on the cards today. I managed to get it together for the next 2 hours of the match and put a run of fish together. Even the ducks were looking a bit full by this time and had retired to the island looking fat to digest all the pellets they have eaten. So with 3 hours of the match gone and I had about 35 carp in the net for maybe 40lb and I only managed to hook the far bank bush once but this time it claimed my whole rig.
With 3 hours gone to be honest I was thinking a ton plus weight was out of the question and took the decision to up the feed rate to force the swim and either empty it or kill it! I shortened my trace to 6 inches and proceeded to feed about every 10 seconds with around 10-12 pellets. This resulted in the fish rising high in the water and almost picking pellet off the surface before they started to sink and hung in the surface film. I had lots of carp in the swim now after about half an hour of doing this and proceeded to put a good run together using an 8mm pellet. It was casting high and letting the rig hit the water like a bomb resulted in an instant bite.
So with an hour to go I was on exactly 50 fish mostly on the small side for I guess around 50-60lb. It seemed the more frequently I fed the faster I could catch, so it went feed, cast, hook fish, feed, get fish under rod, feed, net fish, feed, unhook fish then bait hook, feed again then cast etc. ect. This resulted in my target of 70 fish with 15 minutes of the match left, some were a good size too and the best part of 3lb. It was as if the heavy feeding and filled up the smaller fish and the result was a better stamp. Amazingly I had another 11 in the remaining 15 minutes before it was time to call the all out. So 81 fish were in the net for what I guessed was about 90lb maybe more.
With the weigh in underway, Tony to my left had around 70lb, after having a good start to the match but struggling a bit towards the end. I was next and was surprised at the weight of my second net when I tried to lift it out, it turned out I put 117lb on the scales! I doubt this was enough to win and as I went round the lake there were several good weights in the 80s and 90s but no tons yet but I arrived at peg 15 where Matt had put 109 fish in the net. Surprisingly they only went 111lb! Peg 9 was another one to worry about where Russ Evans had had a good day putting 109lb on the scales.
The last to weigh was Bag Up who had been catching all day on the method feeder. It turned out he fished a good match as well as talking one and put 125lb on the scales knocking me down to 2nd place on the day.
All was not lost though as I ended up with the section win and a few quid for 2nd place. This somehow jumped me up the League table into 4th place and a chance of taking 3rd position overall and going away with a few quid after the last round.
I recon bar a disaster the winner will come from the top 2 and if Colin Wood can manage a section win next time he will hold onto 3rd place.
Full Result below
Ist Nick Costar(Bag Up) 125-8 Peg 3
2nd Nick Gilbert 117-3 Peg 35
3rd Matt Love 111-8 Peg 15
4th Russ Evans 109-13 Peg 9
5th Collin Wood 93-1 Peg 20
6th Kevin Pack 89-8 Peg 8
1 Andy Silver 264-9 22
2 Kevin Pack 247-14 22
3 Collin Wood 195-0 19
4 Nick Gilbert 269-10 18
5 Matt Love 223-12 18
6 Ian Carley 203-2 18
7 Mark Hathway 196-14 18
8 Jay Lay 198-14 17
9 Mark Holland 186-9 17
10 Martin Charnock 108-11 16
11 Martin Twine 124-13 14
12 Russ Evans 181-10 13
13 Tony Clark 136-3 13
14 Trevor Little 133-13 13
15 Dennis Price 134-12 12
15 Chris Jones 97-9 12
17 John Haigh 118-0 11
18 Mark Greenway 53-11 6
19 Jim McDowell 61-13 4
20 Mike Jameson 31-6 3