After two bad matches I thought I might as well make it three in a row and fish the Thursday evening match at Summerhayes. The weather was atrocious and with the match being on Sellicks where 14.5 metres minimum is a must on most pegs, it could be hard going. There were eight hardy anglers (or crazy fools) booked in including Scotty, Alvin and Bruce Hunt. Everybody wanted pegs 11 or 14 as these were pretty sheltered but of course I pulled out 23, which is a corner peg and can be feast or famine.
With the match being a three hour sprint, I decided on two lines so not to confuse myself. One line was at 13 metres along the bank and the other was at 10 metres into the corner. The longer line had a Drennan Carp float and the other rig, a little Trabucco dibber, both rigs had 0.14mm bottoms and size 16 808's. For bait I had Ringers micro pellets (wetted), corn and some expanders that Scotty very kindly did for me (same again next match please!). On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros with a pinch of corn on both lines and started on the longer line with a eye to feeding the shorter line and fishing it in the last hour.
First put in with corn on the hook the float buried and green Preston Hollow elastic streamed out, I shipped back slowly and the fish surfaced and looked to be a gold, koi type thing of a couple of pounds, I unshipped at the top three and pushed the landing net out only for the poxy hook to pull out - bugger, not a good start. I baited up again and filled my toss pot with a couple of grains of corn and micros (squeezed into the pot so they wouldn't get bounced out in the wind that was getting worse by the minute) and went out again. Three carp in three chucks for about 4lb made me start to think I could do a good weight. Scotty reckoned 15 carp would be there or thereabouts.
I then lost a foulhooked fish at the net but with only half an hour gone, I wasn't too worried. I then suffered a spell of missed bites and foulhooked fish that were only on briefly. After an hour I was up to four fish but was really struggling with the wind blowing the pole all over the place. I fed the corner again with the intention of trying it shortly. Then the rain started with a vengence and it was turning into a miserable night. Roger Russell turned up to see how Scotty was getting on and said we must all be mad (I didn't disagree). While he was there I hooked and landed a decent 3lb carp and shortly after had carp number six.
With no more bites at 13 metres and half of the match gone I decided to try the corner but no bites saw me cup some more feed in before going long again. There were now proper waves and I was having a job seeing the float, looking up the pond I could see the angler on the next peg and Scotty netting odd fish and guessed the sheltered pegs were probably doing even better. With just over half an hour left I came back in on the corner, still potting in some micros (now not just wetted but soaked!) and corn. A fish topped by the island and when I looked back the float had gone and I was soon netting a 2lb mirror carp.
I was now absolutely drenched but that fish had got my interest back and hopefully a good last half an hour might see me catch a couple more. I missed a bite next put in and then had number eight, followed by a lost fish (foulhooked?) and then my best fish of 5lb, with 5 mins to go I hooked fish number ten and landed a small common after the whistle. I packed up my sodden gear and while I was doing that Alvin came along and reckoned I'd done enough for second place! (don't you hate it when people say that?). He also said he reckoned Scotty had won it, although Scott was adamant he hadn't.
The scales started on the other side and most people had struggled with the wind and rain, Mark Leader on one of the sheltered pegs had 12 carp and weighed 24lb odd and I didn't think I had that, Alvin then weighed 21lb 15oz and I knew it would be close between us. Scotty had just under 20lb, including over 10lb of silvers which saw him take the silvers pool. Then it was my turn and I knew I had around 20lb and when the owner, Peter, called out 22lb I was happy and about to put my fish back when Alvin wanted to check the weight and my new weight was called out 21lb 13oz and I missed out on second place by 2oz! Bugger, I'd had enough fish on to win it and didn't pick up a bean as they only paid two. That first lost fish was costly and I wished I'd tried harder in the middle part of the match, also I should have fished the corner for the whole of the last hour, still lessons learnt.
In a perverse kind of way, I'd quite enjoyed it and will definately fish some more matches here when I can. Back at the results and Pete laid on choccy biscuits, crisps and a very welcome cup of coffee.
1 - Mark Leader (Summerhayes) - 24lb+
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 21lb 15oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 21lb 13oz (grrr)
Sunday I'm at Perry St with a corner guarenteed, please let it be 10, or will my bad run continue?