Match day five arrived and so did the rain! This time however I was prepared and brought a brolly. I didn't draw very well, peg 16, a swim I did 9lb off a couple of matches back. The swim has a bed of lilies on the inside to the right, although I never caught anything from it last time. I set up the usual two rigs, both 0.4 gram Drennan carp floats with size 18 Kamasan B911's, one with black hydro for the inside and the other with white hydro for open water.
On the whistle I cupped some chopped worm, casters and hemp at 11 metres and some micro pellets, caster, hemp and corn on the insides to my right and left. I had my nemesis, Janders, for company on my right and we had the usual £1 side bet. I started at 11 metres with double red maggot on the hook and soon had a small skimmer and a little rudd to get me off the mark. A switch to worm saw me catch a perch and I missed a couple of bites. I slipped a piece of corn on the hook and a positive bite saw me playing a decent fish that plodded around before the hook pulled out, again not a great start. I then missed a further three bites on corn!
Janders wasn't doing much either and from what I could see not a huge amount was happening, Chris Haines opposite was catching lots of small fish and had also landed a couple of small carp. Butch Baker's son wandered around and he said not a lot had been caught, Les on one of the fliers, peg 10 (nothing new there then!) had only had small fish. A quick try by the lilies saw a great bite on corn but a 2oz roach was the result. Back at 11 metres saw me catch my first carp on corn and I was now at least ahead of Janders.
No more bites saw me try the inside to my left and I started catching but only small rudd and perch along with a bootlace eel, all on double maggot. Chris had now added a couple more carp as well as a bream and was doing well. I also saw Les net a couple of carp but most the anglers I could saw along the opposite bank were struggling. I carried on catching small perch to my left on maggot and tried corn and soft pellet to no avail. I then had another small carp on maggot before reverting back to the perch. Janders landed a carp and a couple of eels to stay in touch with me.
Chris landed another bream so I tried my long line again, I missed a bite on maggot before catching a small roach, no bream for me! Time was running out, as was my chance of a good result. I then hooked a good carp on maggot and after a lengthy battle, netted a fish of around 4lb. With an hour to go I needed a couple more to give me good points, Chris netted yet another bream and I did flirt with the idea of going back out long but decided to stick with the inside line. I then hooked what felt like a good carp and I wasn't sure who was playing who! It kept trying to get in the lilies but the black hydro was slowly doing its job and I felt I was getting the upper hand. Famous last words! a concerted effort by the fish saw it make the lilies and the hook pinged out, great!
Apart from a couple more perch that was it and we all packed up in the rain. After dropping some of the kit back at the car it was to peg 1 to watch the weigh in. Graham 'Dino' Pepper was on peg 1 (yep another corner peg) and weighed 13lb 14oz and led the field until we got to Chris Haines who weighed a brilliant 18lb 14oz from peg 4. Nobody else had much until we got to Les in peg 10 who came close with 16lb 8oz and Dunner in peg 11 who had 14lb 8oz. My three carp plus perch, roach, rudd and two eels went 8lb 6oz, which was more than I thought but I knew I wouldn't be taking home any brown envelopes this week. Chris's travelling partner, Tommy, plonked 16lb 10oz on the scales to take the runner's up spot. Steve Bush the league leader blew out on peg 20 with 4lb 14oz.
I think I ended up with 14 points but I'm not sure because everybody rushed off to get out of the rain. To be in with any chance of a final league position I need to get really good points off my joker in the last match and it would help if some of the anglers above me blew out. Hopefully we're at Dillington next week. Oh, I almost forgot to mention I took the pound off Janders.