After no match last week I should have been raring to go for this one but with the pond not fishing as well as hoped I wasn't. I decided not to play my joker again and at the draw everyone was once again hoping for peg 1. My mate Andy was fishing even though he'd just spent three days in hospital, originally they thought he may have had a heart attack but after extensive tests they reckoned he had a viral blood infection which led to angina. It was good to see him back on the bank. The draw was announced and I got peg 16, not a particularly good peg, I had Alan 'Picky' Gage to my right and a chap called Mike on my left.
The pond once again looked nice with lots of bubbles and the odd carp topping, I set up the same two rigs as last time, both Drennan carp floats with size 18 B911 hooks to 0.14mm bottoms, one with white hydro and the other with black to fish the insides. I intended to fish a line straight out in front of me at 11.5 metres and two inside lines, one near some lilies to my right and the other to my left. My bait table, as always, was full with Ringers micro pellets, maggot, caster, hemp and corn.
On the whistle I fed half a cup of pellet, caster, hemp with a few grains of corn at 11.5 metres from a height to create some noise and hopefully attract the carp. The same went in on both inside lines and I started out in front with double red maggot on the hook. After about five minutes the float sailed away and I was in, the battle didn't last long before the hook pulled out. Here we go again I thought, then I had three carp in three put ins and I was feeling a bit better. Visions of bagging up soon disappeared as I didn't have a bite for the next ten minutes, thinking the fish may have mopped up my initial feed I fed again but no more bites were forthcoming.
The lilies to my right had been knocking every so often and I couldn't wait to go in there so after two hours and no more fish I came inside. Looking around the pond not a lot seemed to be happening, poor Andy opposite was still biteless and my Nemesis Janders was also. Gary Moon on peg 10 was bagging but he seemed to be the only one. I had two decent bites on the inside one on maggot and one on corn and missed them both!. A try to my left resulted in one small perch before I was sat motionless like many others.
Andy was still biteless although Janders had snared a fish which looked bigger than my three put together and it was starting to look like he might beat me for the fourth match on the trot. Picky had also caught one and both Les and Mark Hollister on the opposite bank had caught fish up in the water. With the day now becoming very warm and more fish showing on the surface I started to think about setting up a rig for fishing up in the water but I would wait and see if Les and Mark had any more first.
With about an hour and a half left all I had added to my net was two small rudd and I was pretty bored although not as bored as Andy who still hadn't had a bite. All of a sudden I saw a fish on the surface and plonked the rig in front of it, it followed the bait down and I struck more out of hope than anything else but the fish was on! After a long battle where I had loads of white hydro out and lots of comments about playing to the crowd I netted a decent common of around 5-6lb, a very welcome bonus. That was the last of the action for me and when the whistle went for the end I just had the four carp plus three 'bits'.
Poor Andy had remained biteless and hadn't been feeling well so left early (and without paying up his quid!). I packed up and followed the scales round, Rockin' Roy on peg 1 had struggled and had only landed a couple of fish, Dave Abrahams weighed 10lb 10oz off peg 2 and was the early leader until we got to the flyer that is peg 10 and Gary Moon plonked 33lb of carp and tench on the scales and everyone knew he'd be the winner. The most consistent angler on the pond, Alan Dunn, only weighed 6lb odd from peg 11, which made me feel better about my performance last match.
There were a few weights around the 8lb mark so I was well chuffed when my fish went 9lb dead and the only other decent weight was Chris Haines who weighed 17lb for second on the day. My weight was good enough for 5th on the day and a section win (£25) plus an all important £1 from Janders, perhaps the worm has turned! My 16 points (out of a possible 20) had me wishing I'd played my joker for double points. A lot of anglers who were doing well in this league had blown out today so although my current total of 33 points sees me lying well down the league, three decent results, including my joker, could see me claw my way into contention.
No match again next week but I may well pop out for a few hours somewhere.