With atrocious conditions forecast it was decided to switch the fourth fixture in this league to Dillington. I drew peg 3 on the road side and the pond looked nice with a tinge of colour. I made my self comfortable and mixed up some Van Den Eynde World Champion groundbait. We didn't have long to set up and as a consequence I only made one rig up, a 0.5 gram Drennan Tipo with 0.08 mm bottom and size 18 Kamazan B511.
With the wind being really strong and gusty, I decided to fish shorter than normal so I could hopefully hold the pole! I had one line at five metres straight out in front and another at four metres just off a dead reed bed to my left. On the whistle I cupped in two balls on each line and went out on the (slightly) longer line with red maggot on the hook. With the colour and the fact it was quite mild (for December!) I fully expected the pond to fish quite well. I was quite perturbed when after quarter of an hour I hadn't had a bite! I tried my other line and this too was fruitless.
I hadn't seen anybody catch and this was confirmed when I asked Graham Field on my left and Martyn Brook who was on my right. Martin Heard was in the swim next to the pumphouse and relatively sheltered and he hadn't caught either. I decided to concentrate on the swim by the reeds but the inactivity continued. After an hour I was starting to worry and a blank would put paid to my league. Then I noticed Heardy netting a chub and when I enquired he said he had caught some small fish as well so at least some fish were feeding.
I was still fishing by the reeds and battling against the wind when the float went and a fish was on! at only an ounce the perch was very welcome and I even netted it! Next put in the float sailed away and I had a tiny roach, I then had another small perch and I was quite enjoying it, despite the wind and rain. Then my bites stopped but as both my neighbours were still blanking I wasn't too concerned. Martyn was fishing slightly further out than me and all of a sudden he began stringing a few small fish together and very quickly overtook me.
With half the five hour match over, Heardy was still catching the odd fish and Justin Charles on the far bank seemed to be catching bits quite quickly although my money was still on Martin. I had another small perch by adding on a section and fishing a metre past the reeds but was going nowhere fast and looking at a poor section result. Out of sheer boredom I balled it in at four metres straight out in front of me. This didn't work at all and I never had a bite on this line, I also put some chopped worm in by the reeds to attract the perch but I never caught a fish here either. There were odd fishing topping right out in the middle and I was beginning to wish I had a feeder rod with me.
My nemesis Janders was also in my section, on peg 1 and as he hadn't been up for a chat I was convinced he was catching and another of my pounds would bite the dust. With an hour to go a fish topped to my right and in desperation I lowered my rig in over where it had been, after a couple of minutes the float went and I had a roach of 2oz, cracked it I thought but no and I never had another bite here. Martyn Brooks was now on ten fish to my five although Graham was still blanking.
With half an hour to go I plumbed up at 10 metres which was about the distance Martyn was fishing at and battled the wind while loosefeeding bronze and red maggots. To my amazement I started getting bites from small perch and roach and enjoyed a relative purple patch catching seven more fish to take my tally to twelve, one more than Martyn. The whistle went and we all packed up very quickly in the rain. Janders had the scales so I walked down to weigh him in, to my relief he had any had one perch, weighing an ounce so at least my pound was safe. Martyn weighed 12oz and my fish weighed the same, Graham found a few late fish on punch to weigh 3oz and Martin Heard easily won the section with 5lb 7oz. So I had managed to salvage two points which kept me in contention in the league.
I thought Martin would be an easy winner with that weight but Justin had caught steadily on the whip all day to weigh an excellent 9lb 10oz, Heardy was second and Digger was third with a pound which left me wishing I'd gone out further earlier, oh well that's fishing I suppose.
So after four matches and dropping our worst result, Justin leads the league with 3 points closely followed by me and Martin on 4. Next week is the Chris Patton memorial match but it's on Chard Resi which isn't my favourite venue but wish me luck anyway.