After my not very good start to the spring league in the last match I was hoping for better things this time around. At the draw I did think about playing my joker where you get double points but decided against it. Several anglers did including my mate Andy, Janders and Mark Hollister. The draw was announced and none of the anglers who played their jokers drew a flier, everybody wanted peg 1 and Steve Bush drew it. I was happy with my peg, number 11, where Steve was second in the Good Friday match with 18lb odd.
Peg 11 is a corner peg and it looks a dream, there are lily pads all over the place and when I got there carp were crashing about all over the place and could be seen just under the surface. I set up two rigs, both Drennan Carp floats to 0.14mm bottom to size 18 Preston PR21 hooks, one with white hydro for the open water just off the lilies and the other with black hydro for by the lilies. For bait I had corn, caster, hemp, red maggots and Ringer's micro pellets.
On the whistle I cupped in hemp, caster, corn and pellet at 11 metres just off the lilies, at 9 metres to my right towards the corner and at 4 metres to my left by some more lilies. I started at 11 metres with maggot on the hook. Alan 'Picky' Gage opposite me on peg 10 also started out in front in open water after half an hour I hadn't had a bite and Picky had lost one fish. Butch Baker on peg 13 had landed a couple of small carp and Chris Haines next to me had landed one carp. Picky went up into his corner and started catching small carp, the temptation was too much and I picked up my black hydro rig and followed suit. After five minutes or so the float dipped and sailed away and after a spirited tussle I landed a carp around 2lb.
I missed a couple of bites before losing one that tore through the lilies before the hook pulled out! I then lost the next four with the hook pulling out of three and the other snapping me up, things weren't going to plan! With a couple hours of the match gone, Picky was still getting the odd fish and had netted one of 9lb+. Chris shouted up and asked what hook I was using, I told him and he said I should be using a Kamasan B911 as the gauge of the PR21 was too fine for fishing against snags. I duly tied on a size 18 B911 and went back out to resume battle.
I landed the next one which was about half a pound and then hooked another which I thought I had under control in front of me when it shot off and snapped me up in the lilies to my left. The score was now 6-2 to the carp and I was sensing this wasn't my day and I was buggering up a good peg. Chris had only added a few bits and an eel to his earlier carp, Picky was still getting odd fish as was Butch. I landed another on corn before losing another, with time fast running out I needed a miracle. Frequent tries to my left never produced a bite despite it looking very fishy, all the fish I hooked came from the right hand side.
I landed another to make the score 7-4 and then lost one and with five minutes to go the float buried and I hooked one which tore off and snapped the hook - bugger! The final score was 9-4 to the carp (not good!!!). I followed the scales around and Bushy, as expected, won off peg 1 with 40lb, Picky weighed an impressive 25lb 10oz, both Andy and Janders took £1's off me when they both weighed 8lb odd (one more fish!!!!) and the suprise result was Mark Hollister who was second on the day with 32lb 4oz caught fishing the banded pellet up in the water. As he had played his joker he went to the top of the league, I scored a lowly 9 points and my total after two matches is a dismal 17 points. With four matches to go I really need to do better and score well when I play my joker.
No match next week so I shall be milling round the house bored shitless!!!!!!