I was really looking forward to this one as the forecast was good and I really enjoy fishing this venue and up until the last couple of matches I have had some good results. I got to the draw a little late and once again there was a good turnout of twelve anglers including a couple of 'muggers', Bruce Hunt and Martin Heard from Tiverton.
I really didn't want the pumphouse swim and hung back from the draw until it went, Martin was the unlucky angler. Thinking I was safe I drew and got peg 6 which is next door and not brilliant - great! I got to the pond and set my stuff up, the swim looked really fishy with reeds to my left and a bush to my right. There were also lots of small fish topping and the temperature was already starting to get really hot. I set up a one gram Drennan Tipo for fishing out at nine metres and a 0.4 Drennan carp float for my inside lines. Both rigs had 0.12 mm bottoms and size 18 B611's.
I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Word Champion groundbait and the whistle went although I wasn't quite ready. When I finally got myself sorted I cupped in four balls at nine metres and a cupfull of casters and hemp by the bush. I started by just flicking my top three by the reeds with double red maggot on the hook and soon had four small perch in the net. I soon tired of this and picked up my nine metre rig, I shipped out with caster on the hook and had several digs on the float as the rig settled, small fish on the drop I thought, then the float went and I was into a big fish. Blue hydro was streaming out and the fish, a big eel , was trying to go to ground and there were bubbles everywhere. Then it went solid and wouldn't budge, I applied steady pressure but the hook pulled out and was covered in crap. Not a good start.
Martin by the pumphouse was struggling as was Neil Dring to my left on the point. Barney Crockett across from me was catching small fish and had caught a couple of better roach on the waggler. Where I had put my groundbait the swim was really fizzing and it looked solid. The trouble was my caster hookbait kept getting hit on the way down. I was putting the odd small roach and perch in the net and if the rig reached bottom I was getting the odd net roach as well. After an hour I had ten fish and after the second hour I had twenty and I got the feeling it was going to be pretty hard.
I refed my longer line and had a quick look by the bush which produced a roach and a small perch. By rights the bush should produce loads of fish as it's one of the few bits of cover on the whole pond but for some strange reason it never does. My nine metre line was now fizzing like a jacuzzi again so I went back out but again all I could catch was small roach. Martin could only catch small perch and not many of those and Neil was also struggling for bites. My mate Andy turned up and sat behind me for a bite, while he was there I tried by the reeds to my left and had a small perch followed by an eel of 4oz. I then hooked an eel of about half a pound and it bit me off!
Barney hooked and successfully landed a big eel which put him well up in the section. Andy soon got bored watching me catch bugger all and left for home. The fizzing continued at nine metres and there were loads of small fish topping. I had a brief go with my shallower rig on the longer line and this would produce a couple of roach before dying off. By now it was scorching hot and most anglers were really struggling. Roger Russell hooked a big fish on peg 2 which lead him a merry dance before he lost it. Bruce walked up to see how Martin was getting on and he reported he had over 250 fish! Martin reckoned he must be there or thereabouts.
Another try by the bush was fruitless and by the reeds produced just a couple of perch. I cupped in two balls of groundbait by the reeds to see if that would do anything. Back on the longer line I hooked a decent eel only for the hook to pull out at the net and I was starting to sense this was not to be my day yet again. With the end fast approaching I was still getting the odd small roach from the longer line and I also had a better roach from the reeds but it was a one off. I just felt those roach were up in the water so for the remainder of the match I fished my shallower rig on the longer line. To a certain extent this worked as I was getting the odd small roach and one better one although I felt I just wasn't doing it right and was missing lots of bites. Nobody else seemed to be catching so I perservered and when the whistle went I had 56 fish.
Frank arrived with the scales and as always asked what I reckoned I had and threatened me with violence if I was too far out. I said about 3lb but actually weighed 5lb 9oz but thankfully Frank didn't throw me in! Martin didn't weigh in and Barney pipped me by three ounces and I was really regretting those lost eels. Bruce Hunt had added a chub and won the match with 13lb 4oz, Graham Field continued his good form here with 11lb and second place. Jake was third with 6lb 10oz and Barney fourth. Barney picked up the section money and I ended up with three points although I did take another pound off Janders.
After six matches Graham is leading the league with 5 points followed by me on 7 and Frank and Barney on 8. A rethink of tactics might be in order as the roach arn't really showing in numbers nor are the bigger fish and at the moment small fish are taking all the money. I know Graham uses a 4 metre whip and just gets his head down and fishes for bites.
Next week is round four of the Langport league on Stathe and by all accounts the fishing is patchy, mind you as we're bottom of the league we can't do any worse!