We'd talked about holding some evening matches for ages, just to see how it fished and Robin finally got his act together. We would fish six matches, every other week, fishing from six until nine. We met at the pond at 5 'o' clock and it was disappointing when only four turned up, several others had expressed an interest but there was just me, Janders, Alvin Jones and Robin Cox. Rob wisely decided to space us out and I really fancied having a go at peg 1, by the bush but drew peg 11 instead.
I got to my peg but there was weed stretching out to about six metres, so after talking to Alvin it was agreed that I would fish peg 12 instead. The wind was fairly strong and blowing straight in my face, although thankfully the earlier rain was holding off for now. I started setting up and was amazed when three young lads turned up and proceeded to have a swim from the disabled peg (which wasn't in), rather them than me as the weather was still decidedly parky! I didn't have long to set up so quickly mixed up half a bag of Sensas Lake Black and set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611.
On the whistle I cupped in two balls at 11.5 metres to my left and two at the same distance to my right. I started with caster on the hook and was quite surprised when bites didn't come straight away. I eventually caught my first roach from the right hand swim and at 4oz was a better stamp than we'd been getting. I caught my next fish from the left hand swim and then hooked a smaller fish and as I shipped back to unship at the top three, I looked up and there was blue hydro everywhere! A big perch had grabbed the smaller fish on the way in, I stuck some more sections on but it let go. The small, shell shocked perch came to the top and was then grabbed again, it wasn't long though before it was spat out again. I eventually swung in a rather bedraggled little fella! Still at least I knew there were a few bigger fish around.
I was feeding a pinch of caster and hemp every put in and slowly but surely my catch rate improved. Most of my fish were coming from the left hand swim as the rig was settling. By the end of the first hour I had around ten fish including a slightly better perch of 6oz. From what I could see Janders opposite on peg 3 hadn't had much and although I couldn't see Rob in hot peg 1, I hadn't seen his landing net poke out from behind the bushes. I shouted up to Alvin asking if he'd had any chub yet and he replied in the negative.
The second hour saw my catch rate improve a little more and I was catching mainly roach with the odd perch and I even had to net a couple of the roach around the 8oz mark. I reckoned if I could carry on catching at this rate that 6lb was achievable. Then Alvin shouted something and I looked up to see loads of elastic stretching out before he netted and held up a perch that looked to be around 3lb. That put a spanner in the works somewhat, I just got my head down and hoped that a bonus would turn up for me.
Going into the last hour I was still catching well although I'd also seen both Janders and Rob net good fish too. Then with half an hour to go I started struggling even though there were more fish topping. I shallowed the rig to half depth thinking this might be the answer but three tiny rudd suggested otherwise. I deepened up again and finished with a flourish catching two more roach, one on the whistle. My final tally was 45 fish which I thought would give me 3-4lb.
I quickly packed up and with the light failing we weighed Alvin first, he put 5lb 9oz on the scales and I said he stood a good chance of winning with that. His perch weighed 2lb 15oz, a lovely fish and a very handy bonus! I weighed 4lb 11oz which I was quite pleased with although if it hadn't been for that dodgy half an hour I could have been pushing Alvin. When the results came back from the other side, Janders had struggled for 1lb 1oz and I pocketed another £1 and Rob weighed 4lb 3oz, he had one chub but had lost several which would have won it.
I picked up £20 for second and really enjoyed it, we're back here for the second round of the Summer League on Sunday so lets see if I can go one better then.
1 - Alvin Jones (Chard) - 5lb 9oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 4lb 11oz
3 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 4lb 3oz