Waking up I opened the curtains to be greeted by a glorious day for the final spring league match. At the draw I commented how I would love to draw peg 10 and then promptly went and drew it! The peg is probably the second best peg on the pond (behind peg 11) and is one of the famed corner pegs and there is a big lily bed - carp city.
I got there and set up my usual two Trabucco floats, one for up in the water and the other for fishing on the inside. On the whistle I potted in some hemp, pellets and maggots on the inside and started up in the water at about 10 metres. I was feeding 4 mm Ringers pellets with a 6 mm S-Pellet on the hook. It didn't take long to start getting indications and I lost my first fish which did me in the lilies. After the first hour I had landed one but lost two and bumped two! not a great start. Tommy Lee on 11 had landed a couple of small carp and a better one of around 8lb.
Hour two was much the same and I landed another carp, lost one and missed a couple of bites. Reports from around the pond suggested it was fishing really hard. There were loads of fish moving in the lilies so I went out to 13 metres, this worked to a certain degree and I landed a couple more but also lost a couple, one which trashed my rig. The score stood at 4-4, which is not very good at all. I was slowly gaining ground on Tommy but he always seemed to stay one fish ahead. With about two hours to go Tommy was really struggling and I couldn't buy a bite apart from losing yet another carp.
I came on the inside with pellet on the hook and fairly quickly landed a small carp and over the next hour I landed two more to make the score 7-5. Tommy then had a real purple patch and landed four in the last hour to take his tally to around 16 fish. I did lose one more which just tore through the lilies so it ended at 7-6. Before the start I had an outside chance of making the final prize list if I did well today and I knew I'd blown it. Pegs like this don't come round very often and you have to make the most of them when you do.
We all gathered around peg 1 to watch the weigh in and Oz had 8 fish for 18lb 4oz and when Mike Hosgood stuck another 8 on the scales for 27lb 4oz I knew I wouldn't be framing today. Chris Haines had fished brilliantly off peg 4 to weigh in a level 44lb. My 7 carp (plus a roach) went 14lb 2oz and I received loads of stick for cocking up a good peg. Tommy Lee came close with 36lb 8oz and there were no more decent weights with some anglers weighing in single carp.
I ended up 5th on the day (they paid 4!) and 7th in the league (they paid 6!), I did win my 5 peg section and picked up £20 and I had a £1 off Picky. My nemesis Janders didn't fish as he was on holiday in Cornwall. Chris fished an excellent series and walked away with the title with 141 points - well done Chris. He also sponsored the league so I must just say thanks very much to Haines Angling of Frome.
Next week I'm back on Dillington so lets hope I can get back to winning ways then.
1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 44lb
2 - Tommy Lee (Haines Angling) - 36lb 8oz
3 - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 27lb 4oz
4 - Steve Osborne (Crewkerne) - 18lb 4oz
Section A - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 9lb 10oz
Section B - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 14lb 2oz
Section C - Alan Gage (Chard) - 2lb 14oz
Section D - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 9lb 12oz
Final league placings (dropping the worst result)
1 - Chris Haines - 141 points
2 - Graham Pepper - 129 points
3 - Steve Bush - 128 points
4 - Mark Hollister - 124 points