After last weeks relative disaster I had been looking forward to this one all week. I got to the Crown for the draw and things didn't get off to a good start when I spilt coffee all down my trousers! I hope it wasn't an omen. Once again there was a bumper turnout of twelve anglers, the winner of the last match, Scott Russell had brought two more 'muggers' with him this time in the shape of Ashley Tomkins and John Loder.
I drew peg 10 which was next to where I drew in the last match and I was pleased with that. The weather was quite bright and it looked like we might get away without a soaking for once. I got myself comfortable and set up the same two rigs as last time, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach rig for fishing at 10 metres and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp float for the inside by the reeds. Both rigs had 0.12 mm bottoms and Kamasan B611's in a size 18. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Supermatch and World Champion and on the whistle fed three balls on the ten metre line.
I had Barney on my right and Dillington new boy John Loder on my left and both anglers started on the waggler. I had a small perch first cast on caster and started catching well although mainly small perch. Barney had a couple of decent roach although I was catching enough small fish that I was pretty sure I was ahead. I couldn't see a lot happening around the pond but Graham Field was catching small fish well on the whip. After an hour I had 29 fish, mainly small perch but with the odd decent roach thrown in. The second hour was a little slower but I had a couple more decent roach and small perch to take me to 45 fish.
I fed another ball of groundbait at ten metres and came on my inside line where I had been feeding maggots and casters, I didn't really get the response I wanted and only caught some more perch although this kept my catch rate ticking along. Barney had also slowed right up and John Loder hadn't caught a huge amount. I went back out to ten metres and couldn't get a bite! Bearing in mind that the last match had seen loads of eels caught I decided to up the caster feed and sit it out with caster on the hook.
My nemesis Janders was opposite me and his latest plan was to sit it out on the feeder and up to now I hadn't seen him catch a fish so at least my pound was safe. Around the pond the odd better fish was now being netted, Ashley had landed a couple of better fish and John Loder had latched into a couple of chub. I still couldn't buy a bite, another brief try on the inside was also fishless. Going into the last hour and a half I was getting desperate and tried fishing two sections to hand with double white maggot on the hook and this resulted in a flurry of perch to take me to 61 fish but this soon dried up as well.
The wind was making presentation quite difficult so I plumbed up at nine metres and cupped in a load of casters still with eels in mind. Scott Russell netted two good fish fairly quickly which I thought were eels so I perservered with my new nine metre line. Barney got in on the act landing two eels and John added a chub and a decent perch but also lost two eels. Janders finally netted a chub and Graham lost a huge eel at the net. I did miss two good bites on the caster but added no more fish to my meagre catch. My final tally was 61 fish and I reckoned I was well down in the section.
I packed up and as I had the scales I started the weigh in with Graham who had more than I thought with his 6lb 14oz net of small fish, John weighed 6lb 9oz and I knew I was nowhere near that, my fish went 4lb 11oz so there would be no brown envelope for me this week. I did manage to beat Barney who weighed a level 4lb and Neil Dring who had 3lb odd, the old fossil, Malcolm Levy also beat me with just under 6lb. I ended up fourth in the section which is not good. In the other section Ashley won with 10lb which included a decent bream and Scott was second with 8lb - yep mugged again! I did beat Janders who had 2lb 5oz so another of his nuggets found its way into my pocket. After five matches, dropping my two worst results, I'm still jointly topping the league with Graham Field on four points, closely followed by Big Frank on five points.
Next week is round three of the teams of five and we desperately need a good result if we are to have any chance of doing well in the league and can't afford any more slip ups, fingers crossed!