Nearly a full house for this one with 19 anglers eagerly awaiting the draw, I did my usual trick of avoiding all the corner pegs by ending up on peg 7 again. Still with the weather warming up I had it in my mind that I was going to fish up in the water as quite a few carp have been caught this way and previous matches have seen loads of fish cruising.
I got to my peg and was amazed by how much the lily pads had shot up since the last time I was here. I set up two identical Trabucco floats, one for fishing up in the water and one for the inside to my left towards some tree stumps. Both had Fox Carp Match hooks in a size 21 attached to 0.14 mm bottom. For bait I had 4 mm Dynamite Baits original pellets and some Sonu baits S-Pellets along with maggots and corn.
On the whistle I cupped some pellets, corn and maggots on the inside and started on the shallow rig at about 11 metres with corn on the hook. I was feeding pellet regularly and soon had a decent bite which I missed, I switched to a 6 mm pellet and had a few more indications before the black hydro was ripped out and I netted a carp of around two and a half pounds. After the first hour I had three carp and was relatively pleased with how things were going. Not a lot seemed to be happening elsewhere apart from the corner pegs 10 and 11. After two hours I had six fish and reckoned if I could keep them coming I might have a chance of making the frame.
Famous last words as I stopped catching and anglers around me started catching up, Steve Bush opposite me on peg 14 was now putting fish in the net on a regular basis and Steve Bishop to my right now had as many fish as I had. I could see lots of fish moving on my margin line so dropped in with corn on the hook. No indications so I switched to pellet and soon hooked a fish which came off. I then had three fish quite quickly before hooking one which headed for the tree stumps and snapped me.
With around an hour and a half to go it was nip and tuck between me and Bishop, I had my tenth carp on the inside before it went quiet. A brief try on the shallow rig saw me net a small carp quite quickly and I was caught in two minds whether to stick with it or stay on the inside for the remainder of the match. I gave it another 10 minutes but no more fish were forthcoming so the inside it was then. I lost another when the hook pulled out and landed my twelfth carp with around 20 minutes to go. I was praying for another fish but it didn't happen. All in all I was quite pleased with how things had gone yet felt sure those lost fish would cost me.
I packed up and started taking my kit pack to the car, I stopped and asked Steve (Bishop) how he'd done and he said he'd had 10 carp which was less than I'd thought he'd caught. Chris Haines on yet another corner peg (1) had 13 fish so it was going to be tight for the minor places. Les arrived with the scales and Hainsey's fish went 38lb 9oz and I knew I didn't have that. The next decent weight was Dino Pepper on peg 4 with 26lb 6oz followed by Bish who's fish went 30lb 8oz. When I weighed 29lb 10oz I thought any chance of coin had gone because I was sure Mike Osgood on peg 10, Dunner on 11 and Steve Bush had all beaten me.
Mike weighed an excellent 61lb 14oz for a clear victory but I was suprised when Dunner weighed 30lb exactly, Bushy had 19 carp for 47lb 10oz to continue his good form. There were no other big weights so with Bish sneaking into 4th place I picked up the £20 section money by double default. I also collected £1's off Janders and Picky who both had bad days. I actually enjoyed the day and I never thought I'd say that on a carp venue. Also as the temperature rises so will the weights and I'm sure we'll see the match record go in the next few matches.
Next week we're at the delightfully named 'Knackers Hole' which is supposedly full of small carp but it's another venue I've never got my head around so I'll keep you posted.