Blistering hot conditions met the anglers for the last match and after paying my pools and playing my joker I got one of the favoured pegs, number one. I really needed a good result and the swim looked really nice with loads of carp moving. In front of me was a huge bed of lilies that stretched to 11 metres and the only clear spot was a small channel to my left where I would have to land any fish I hooked.
I decided to fish just off the edge of the lilies at 11 metres and at 11 to 13 metres to my right towards the end of the pond where there were more lilies. Both rigs had 0.4 gram Drennan Carp floats with 0.15mm bottoms and size 16 Kamasan B911 hooks. On the whistle I fed a cupful of Ringers micro pellets, casters, corn and the new chili frenzied hemp on both lines and started at 11 metres to my left. I went off like a house on fire and landed two hand sized skimmers and a small carp in the first three put ins. I then lost another carp in the lilies and lost another which was foulhooked. I did have another couple of skimmers and another small carp and was fairly pleased with how the first hour had gone.
I couldn't see many anglers but Tommy opposite had landed two carp, Graham 'Dino' Pepper next to me hadn't caught and my mate Andy was struggling. Chris Haines had a couple of fish and Gary Moon was the only angler who seemed to be catching well. I couldn't wait to get out on my main line and with my other line fading fast, I refed it and shipped to my right with corn on the hook. The float settled and I waited and waited but no bites were forthcoming, I did hook one fish which took the bait on the drop and it snapped me up. Things were definately not going to plan. I fed this line again after an hour and went back to the left, this line was pretty dead as well and all I added were another skimmer, a perch and some small rudd and roach.
Tommy had only had a couple of eels and wasn't a happy bunny, Andy had landed a carp but lost one estimated at 15lbs, he was also not too impressed. Chris was starting to get a few and Les was also into carp although he was getting done by a few even with his 'Braveheart' pole. The next few hours were really unproductive for me despite trying all over the swim, even going to 16 metres (albeit very briefly!) to my right. Chris was now bagging, catching carp up in the water and apparently Alan Dunn on the hot peg ten was filling his net at an alarming rate.
With two hours to go I was still fishing to my right with corn on the hook and all of a sudden I started getting bites, the trouble was I couldn't get the fish in the net! A couple took me in the lilies and either snagged or snapped me and even the ones I got away from the lilies, I would be playing and the hook would pull out. This was really frustrating and although I landed four more carp I must have lost six or seven, along with a rig and loads of hooks. The whistle went and again I felt I hadn't done the peg justice. I was first to weigh and my six carp and a handful of silvers weighed 11lb 8oz, Dino weighed 10lb odd and I needed to beat him by several places for any chance of a league placing. Les had 15lb 6oz to take the lead, this lasted until we got to Alan who weighed an excellent 39lb.
The closest challenger to Alan was Gary Moon who weighed 31lb 4oz for second on the day, Steve Bush was third with 28lb 8oz and Chris Haines was fourth with 19lb 10oz which also saw him take the league title. Well done Chris, he fished an excellent series and I think fourth was his worst result and he didn't draw any of the corner pegs. I ended up sixth on the day and sixth in the league with the top five picking up money.
Next week is an Ilminster match, hopefully on Dillington, so maybe I can get back to winning ways then!