After last weeks disaster where I finished last I was keen to get back here and see if I really had lost my touch. I was a little suprised when I got to the pub for the draw to see there were ten other anglers there, Roger Russell and his mate Rob had turned up for this one and it was nice to see them both. After paying my pools it was time for the draw and I really didn't fancy drawing the pumphouse again as I had struggled here last time. That honour went to Janders whereas I drew peg eight on the field side, in the middle.
I made myself comfy and surveyed the swim, I was sat in a channel that had been cut in the reeds that have shot up all round the pond since last year. There were lots of small fish topping and bearing in mind 'Big Frank' and his boy have been catching quite close in it was nice to see I had three clumps of reeds at about four metres to my right. I set up a 3AAA Drennan insert waggler and two pole rigs. The first was a 0.5 gram Drennan roach float with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611 for fishing at ten metres and a 0.4 gram Drennan carp float for fishing at four metres by the reeds, hooklength and hook were the same as the other rig.
I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend and was ready for the off, on my right was Frank's boy Jake and on my left was Rob Birch who had Frank next to him. On the whistle I cupped two balls of groundbait in at both ten and four metres and started on the waggler. This was a non starter and after ten minutes I hadn't had a bite on it. Most people were catching on the pole so I chucked the waggler rod up the bank and went out to ten metres. First put in I had a small perch on double red maggot so I switched to caster and had more perch and small roach with the odd netter roach among them. After the first hour I had twenty fish and was slowly catching Frank up who had a few more fish than me.
After the second hour my catch rate had improved slightly and I was up to 45 fish, mostly roach and perch although I did have one rudd. I could see landing nets going out around the pond although it was mainly eels being landed apart from Frank who had caught a small tench. I decided to give my longer line a rest so I fed another ball before picking up my other rig. I baited up with caster and had a couple of small perch, which wasn't really the result I was hoping for. I then had a small eel, so decided to leave that line for a while. I was loosefeeding hemp and caster at ten metres and hemp and maggot, with the odd caster on the shorter line.
Back out on the longer line I was still catching mainly small roach but I did have a couple of better eels which kept the weight building nicely. After the third hour I was on around 65 fish and had now overtaken Frank. Going into the fourth hour and my longer line was definately slowing although from the comments being shouted around the pond it seemed like this was the case for everybody. Jake was catching the odd net fish but all Rob could catch was small perch. Robin Cox had caught a decent chub but had lost several good fish.
I fed another ball out and came back on the inside line, I had another couple of small stripies before the float buried and I was attached to something a bit more substantial. White hydro was stretched for what seemed like miles and I had to add more sections to stay in touch. I eventually started to gain the upper hand and a huge perch surfaced, I netted it and it looked like it had to go 2lb plus. This more and made up for the rest of the poor fourth hour after which I ended on around 70 fish. During the last hour and a half I kept putting the odd small roach in the net along with a couple more eels. Barney still seemed to be netting fish regularly on the point and right on the whistle Neil Dring landed a big eel.
I ended up with 90 fish and Frank shouted up to ask what weight I had and I replied about 6lb to which I got lots of abuse from around the pond as I'm well known for under estimating. Frank had the scales so we walked up to weigh Barney in first, he had ten eels plus roach and perch for 10lb 7oz and I honestly didn't think I had that, Graham Field had loads of small fish for just over 4lb and Jake weighed a little more and his net included two small tench. Then it was my turn and when I pulled my net out I thought it was going to be close, the needle settled on 11lb 4oz and I was well chuffed although there were quite a few anglers still to weigh. I weighed the big perch on its own which went 2lb 5oz and is probably the biggest I've ever had.
Rob weighed 4lb odd as did Frank and he too had two little tench, Rob Cox had 4lb 15oz. When the scales on the other bank finished weighing the top weight there was Roger Russell with 8lb 6oz but he had lost two big bream which would have won it. So I had won and Dillington is reinstated as my favourite venue once again. I picked up £65 plus a pound of Janders who was last with 3lb something although he did have the consolation of having a little tench. To be fair I don't think it's a great peg as it's been last in the last two matches.
So after three matches in the summer league I've had a first, a second and a last, Frank has had two wins and a middle placing so it could be tight. I will get the table off Rob and let you know how I'm getting on. Next week is the first match in the Langport League teams of five and we're looking to go one better than last years runners up position so keep you're fingers crossed.