On the Saturday the club removed all the problem lily pads which was a mammoth job and it would be interesting to see how the pond fished today. Les came up with a different spin on the pairs format in that pegs would be paired together so you wouldn't know who you were fishing with until you'd drawn. He'd put good pegs with bad pegs but everyone was still hoping for a corner or a partner on a corner.
I drew peg 3 (bad peg) and my partner was Mark Hollister (not a corner peg!). I set up a Drennan Roach float for fishing in open water at 11 metres and a little Trabucco float for fishing the inside, under a tree to my right. This rig would also be used for fishing up in the water and had 0.12 mm bottom and a Kamasan B911 size 18 hook.
On the whistle I cupped in three balls of Ringers Dark groundbait at 11 metres and a cup full of pellet, maggot, corn and hemp on the inside. I started on the longer line with double red maggot on the hook and was surprised not to catch a small fish straight away. In fact I never had a bite for half an hour and from the anglers I could see, nobody was catching much. My nemesis, Janders, was opposite on peg 17 and struggling as well. I came on the inside and soon had a small rudd on maggot so the blank was avoided at least. The two corner pegs I could see, Tommy Lee on 20 and Dino Pepper on 1 hadn't had much either.
I could see loads of carp cruising about in the middle so went out with my shallow rig with a Sonubaits S-Pellet on the hook whilst feeding 4mm Ringers pellets. I plonked the bait in front of a cruising carp and it took it! After a short battle it was in the net, shortly after I had another and was well in front of the anglers around me. Tommy had one and Janders landed a bream but I was hopeful of catching some more. A bank walker said the other end of the pond was fishing well and Steve Bush on peg 10 already had eight carp in the net.My partner had netted a couple of carp so although I wasn't too optimistic of beating the corner peg pairs there was a chance of a minor berth.
No more fish so it was back on the inside with corn on the hook, no bites so I tried maggot but this only resulted in small rudd and perch. Dino was now getting odd fish but Tommy was stuck on two and Janders hadn't added to his earlier bream. The trouble was I hadn't caught anymore either. Another try up in the water was fruitless and the inside line only resulted in the odd knock on corn or small fish on maggot.
Time was running out and I was pinning my hopes on a good last hour, Tommy added a third to go ahead of me and then Janders had a carp and it was going to be close. The fabled last hour arrived and apart from the odd indication I had no positive bites. I was just resigning myself to not adding anymore when the float went and I had a carp around 4lb to put me ahead of Janders once more. Dino was now catching well and Tommy had a good last hour catching another four or five carp. No more bites for me and I was relieved when the whistle went.
I packed up and we waited for the scales at peg 1, Dino had a decent weight of 26lb 15oz, my weight was 8lb 8oz and I was hoping Mark had done better. I beat the angler to my left who only had ounces but then there were several weights around the 12lb mark and I was wishing I could have got one more. Steve Bush on peg 10 had an excellent 54lb 14oz and then Les on 11 went slightly better with 55lb 6oz. Chris Haines once again showed his class with a fantastic 40lb 8oz from unfancied peg 12. I did manage to beat Picky and Janders to take pounds off them both. My partner did okay to finish fifth with over 21lb. Tommy did well in the end to weigh 18lb odd and him and Les won the pairs with 7 points. They actually tied with Chris Haines and Dino but beat them on weight. The top three pairs all had anglers on corner pegs and me and Mark finished fifth with 17 points (they paid the top four).
Next week we're back at Dillington for some proper fishing!
1 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains) - 55lb 6oz
2 - Steve Bush (Chard Remains) - 54lb 14oz
3 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 40lb 8oz
1 - Les Braunton & Tommy Lee - 7 pts (weight advantage)
2 - Chris Haines & Graham Pepper - 7 pts
3 - Butch Baker & Steve Bush - 11 pts
4 - Alan Dunn & Mike Hosgood - 15 pts