After more heavy rain in the night I was hoping the match on the river would be switched to Dillington. On walking into the Crown for the draw this was the case, the bad news was that this wouldn't count as a Hollowlegs match. We had to use the river peg numbers to draw and after getting peg 86 I was really glad this wasn't on the river as this is a crap peg! After checking the hastily drawn map, I was next to the willow where the stream comes in, a peg I never done any good from, still fish swim don't they?
The pond was higher than normal and very coloured, my peg was quite awkward and I had to sit in the water and there were quite a few submerged reeds just visible in front of me. Shipping the pole back would be difficult and using 11.5 metres I would have to break the pole down twice. I set up a 0.6 gram rig with the usual 0.12mm hooklength and 18 B611 hook, blue hydro completed the set up as this would hopefully subdue any bonus fish. My groundbait was the same mix as yesterday, Van Den Eynde Supermatch and Supercup in equal quantities.
On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 11.5 metres which was hard work with the high bank and some chopped worm and casters at the same length but towards the willow. I started over the groundbait and first put in had a small perch on double red maggot, so as in the past I switched to caster straight away to try and pick out the roach. My mate Andy was on the other side of the willow and he started getting odd small fish. Dunner was on my left and he too was catching. The switch to caster paid off and I started getting some lovely roach and by the end of the first hour I had thirteen fish. Using this figure I set my target at 70 fish.
I couldn't see much happening around the rest of the lake so I got my head down, during the second hour I had seventeen fish although some of these were small roach and perch. Hour three was even better and I had another twenty fish and I was pretty sure I was ahead of both Andy and Alan. Despite awful weather being forecast we were fairly lucky and only had the odd shower.
The chub were conspicuous in their absence which I think was down to the coloured water and from the inactivity around the rest of the pond I thought I must be in with a chance, although I'm never one to count my chickens. Hour four and things slowed up for me and I suffered a spell of bumping fish and I lost a couple in the submerged reeds in front of me. Andy had slowed right up although Dunner had started to catch more consistently and I counted him having four fish to my one at some stages.
I was feeding mainly hemp and caster at 11.5 metres along with a few maggots, I did try over the chopped worm line a couple of times but no bites were forthcoming. I didn't spend too long over it though as I was conscious of Alan's increasing catch rate. Coming a metre short saw me net some more roach and with half an hour to go I had overtaken my target and was now on 80 fish which I thought might give me double figures.
The last part of the match was difficult for me as I had a real job to see the float due to the light and I only had four more fish. I packed up and followed the scales along our bank and was surprised when after the first few pegs were weighed, the top weight was Les Braunton with 4lbs. Then came the danger man, and when Alan's fish pulled the scales around to 8lb I was sure I had more than that, or had I overestimated? Andy asked what I thought I had and I admitted to 6lb, he raised an eyebrow and when I pulled my net out it was clear this was a long way off. My weight was called out at 15lb 6oz and I was well chuffed.
Alan Dunn's 8lb roach net that earned him the runner's up spot
The scales from the other bank came back and the top weight over there was the ever consistent Justin with 6lb 12oz, so I'd won again and picked up another £60 plus a fiver from Janders and a nugget from Andy. I can't believe how good this venue has been to me, that's the last seven matches on the trot I've won here and eight in total, long may it last.
Andy who was obviously overjoyed at handing over another pound!
Next weekend it's the Chris Patten memorial match on the Isle, Chris loved the river and died at a young age. It should be a good match, weather permitting, and thirty anglers have been invited, it's one I'd love to win.