After Sunday's disaster I was hoping for a few bites tonight, the weather was glorious and there were fish everywhere! I drew peg 18, right by where we had drawn so a nice short walk! I got myself comfortable and set my kit up, first job was to mix some groundbait (Sensas Roach) before I set up the same two rigs as last time. I had a four metre whip with a Drake crowquill waggler and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing at 8 metres. I decided to fish shorter than normal as the bream had been coming out closer to the bank.
On the whistle I cupped in two balls containing casters and maggots at 8 metres before tossing a little nugget on the whip line. I started with red maggot on the 20 fine wire hook and the action wasn't instant but I started catching roach and dumpy little perch. They didn't seem to want the groundbait and I caught faster just loose feeding. Alvin Jones was the next peg along and he seemed to be getting a few as well. After the first hour I had 30 fish including a couple of decent roach and from the bankside banter I knew I was ahead of Alvin and Robin Cox on peg 14.
With so many fish up in the water quite a few people thought the waggler might really score well but Scotty Russell was fishing the 'wag' on peg 4 and really struggling and only had one fish after an hour before chucking it up the bank. Martin Heard was also sitting it out for lumps and hadn't snared one yet. Moses Holbrook on peg 2 was also catching small fish quite well and at this early stage it was him and Alvin I kept my eyes on. We also had a £1 each winner takes all side bet between the three of us.
I kept catching during hour two but despite trying caster every now and again I just couldn't catch on it. I had 26 fish during the second hour and with no big fish being caught I started to fancy my chances. Scotty was now on the pole and not faring much better with that! I bumped a couple of fish and was having to wait longer for the bites, I was putting the odd nugget of groundbait in but really wasn't sure if it was helping or not. I kept thinking about trying the long pole but as long as I was getting bites on the whip I decided to stick with it and wait to see if anyone caught a bream.
Moses pulled out of a small eel and Robin lost a couple of big fish which could turn out to be costly. My bites were slowing right up in the third and final hour but I found by flicking the rig in to the right or left of where I was feeding I would still pick up the odd fish. I had a run of small rudd from close in to the right just to keep putting something in the net. I realised I wasn't going to hit the 90 fish target I had set myself but I wasn't going to be too far off. Right on the whistle I netted a 4oz perch to end with 81 fish. I reckoned I had between 4-5lb, but would it be enough? As far as I knew, no big fish had been landed and my attention turned to Alvin and Moses (and the side bet).
I packed up and walked round to watch the weigh in, Moses had 3lb 3oz and I was fairly sure I had that but maybe my fish were smaller than I thought! Scotty didn't weigh on peg 4 and Martin only had 1lb 4oz on peg 6, Roger had a similar catch of 14oz from peg 8 as did Bob Hammond on 12. Robin had 2lb 5oz and was cursing those lost fish. My fish went 5lb 12oz and put me in the lead with only Alvin to weigh. Alvin's fish just pipped Moses by an ounce with 3lb 4oz and I'd won! I picked up £35 plus £1's off Alvin and Moses and was well chuffed because it's my first win here for a couple of years and my first victory on the whip. I'd fished a tidy match apart from a few bumped fish and I was glad I'd got my head down and stuck to the task.
After two matches it had put me in a good position in the league with a first and a second placing.
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 12oz
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 3lb 4oz
3 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 3lb 3oz
Next up is Perry St on Sunday and peg 10 would be nice although I'd probably cock it up!