With freezing conditions, there were only six brave (or stupid) anglers ready to brave the elements. Peg 28 was the golden peg and I only went and drew it! Martin said I'd win it (I've heard it all before) but after reaching the river and looking at it, I really fancied it too. The sun was out and it was actually quite mild and I thought I might get a few. I set up two Drennan Carbos, one for the deep water across and the other for by the tree in the tail of the swim.
I had Malcolm Levy on peg 29 and Graham Bulgin was on 27. I started across at 13 metres in the back eddy with caster on the hook and after ten minutes I missed the first bite but connected with the second and swung in a small dace - blank avoided. I had another three dace and missed another bite in the first hour and felt sure it was only a matter of time before the chub put in an appearance. Malcolm wandered up to see how I was getting on and to report he'd had four roach and said that Martin had phoned and he was struggling on peg 14.
My bites across stopped so I picked up the shallower rig and tried down by the tree, but nothing here either and I went through all the bait changes, double maggot, double caster and lobbie and nothing apart from a minnow. I also tried in the main flow but half way through the match I was starting to worry. Still I had hope because it only takes a good hour if the chub show up but at the moment that felt like a big if! Malcolm wandered up again to report he'd caught a couple of nice perch and a chublet and was looking good to frame.
I went through the motions for the rest of the match but even the golden last hour failed to yield anything and I never caught anything else and it got really cold in the last hour. Graham walked by to weigh Malcolm in and said he'd had a small chub and some minnows and I was looking at a last in section. Malcolm weighed a decent 3lb 15oz and Graham had 11oz, as for me I weighed a lowly 6oz. The other section fished a little better and Neil Dring had an excellent 10lb 6oz catch of roach and chub from peg 24 for an easy win. Martin found two late chublets to give him third place with 2lb 1oz and Rob didn't weigh. The league is still tight and after five matches and dropping the worst result, Martin leads with 5 points, followed by me on 6 and Roger Russell on 11.
So a very disappointing end to 2009 and I really thought I was going to do it off a golden peg for once. I fell well short of the grand this year and in fact it was my worst year for three years so I'm hoping for good things next year. Well I'd like to wish everybody a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year and tight lines for 2010.
1 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 10lb 6oz
2 - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 3lb 15oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 2lb 1oz
And I promise more pics in 2010!