After a recent stocking of small carp the pond has been fishing really well with winning weights up to 60lb and 30lb+ needed to frame. Although carp arn't really my thing I was quite looking forward to this one. At the draw I saw lots of faces I hadn't seen for a while, Tommy Lee, Graham 'Dino' Pepper, Rockin' Roy and Butch Baker to name but a few. After picking up some bait from Les the match organiser it was time for the draw. I had one of the last pegs in the bucket which turned out to be peg 20, one of the four corner pegs, which I was quite pleased with. Tommy was opposite on peg 1, both pegs looked nice and Andy had caught 17lb here in the last match.
I decided to fish four lines, at 10 metres to my right on the inside, 10 metres straight out in front, the same distance to my left by a holly bush and at 11.5 metres towards a hay bale in the water, again to my left. I set up two identical 0.4 gram Drennan carp floats with 0.12 mm bottoms to size 18 Preston hooks, the only difference being that one was shallower for the two swims to my left. For bait I had some PA Megabait micro pellets, caster, hemp and corn which I intended to cup in on all four lines, except the corn which was only to be fed on the two inside lines. I would hopefully take a fish or two from a line before refeeding and moving on to the next line. On the hook two red maggots or corn have been the best baits.
On the whistle I fed all my lines before starting at 10 metres in front of me, the wind was blowing into this end and although fairly cold I thought this could be a good sign. After ten minutes without a bite I wasn't too worried as Tommy hadn't caught nor Mark Hollister next to him, Alan 'Picky' Gage had a small roach and had lost a foulhooked carp on peg 3. I tried to my right but this met with the same response, Butch two pegs up from me had a small carp so at least they were about. After a biteless hour I wasn't unduly worried but after two hours and all my swims tried I was still blanking and starting to worry! Tommy, Mark and the bloke to my right were also still fishless as well.
I could see Chris Haines on peg 4 catching the odd carp as was Oz next to him, after three hours, half way through the match, it was time for a walk. I walked up to see my mate Andy and he had caught a 7lb carp second put in but hadn't had a bite since, my nemesis Janders had caught a small carp plus a few bits. Dino in corner peg 10 had landed a 10lb carp and was catching the odd smaller one. I walked back and went through the motions rotating all my lines with no response at all. I went out to 13 metres by the hay bale and had a bite but the resulting roach dropped off on the way in!! What a day this was turning into. Tommy then started catching small carp by the reeds at 13 metres, the only reeds I had were by my feet, so I dropped the rig in here and the float didn't have time to settle before shooting away, my black hydro shot out, but only briefly and the carp came off, I'm sure it was foulhooked but that didn't help my empty net.
Tommy now had three or four and even Hollister had one, Andy wandered up just as I was trying under the holly bush. The float went straight away and after carefully playing the fish I soon netted a half ounce rudd!! Still at least I had avoided the blank, Andy had only added a small foulhooked skimmer to his earlier carp. Back under the bush I had four more bites in quick succession resulting in another rudd and two small perch. I cupped in some more feed here and that was the end of the bites. With less than an hour to go I was waiting for the end to come, back out to 13 metres by the bale saw me drop off a another small roach. With boredom well and truly set in I started loosefeeding pellets, maggots and casters, with five minutes to go the float went and I hooked a small carp and netted it just as the whistle went. I really thought it was no more than a consolation prize.
I quickly packed up and followed the scales around, Tommy had 8lb, Picky had 4oz and Chris Haines weighed in 22lb odd to take the lead, this lasted until we got to Dino, he weighed 23lb something and this proved to be enough on the day. Andy weighed 8lb 5oz to take a pound off me and Alan Dunn weighed 14lb plus for third. I weighed a staggering 1lb 10oz for 8 points (out of 20), not a great start to my Spring League campaign. At the results there was some good news in that, with Dunner framing I won my five peg section and picked up £20, just beating Roy who weighed 1lb 9oz, sorry mate......
My next match is on Good Friday, again on Perry St, so lets hope it warms up a bit before then.