The penultimate round arrived and there were 11 of us fishing today, I pulled out peg 10, which has been a pretty consistent peg. Heardy was the next peg to my left and Richy was the next angler along on my right. Moses had a side bet with me and he'd drawn well, peg 21, on the far side. After getting my box level, my first job as always was to mix my groundbait. I had half a bag of Dynamite Baits Roach and added a bag of GOT Baits red Atomic Cloud to hopefully create a nice cloud for the fish to feed in. Would it work?, only time would tell.
I set up the usual 4 metre whip and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for the chopped worm line at 10 metres to my left. With Robin in Turkey, it was left to Alvin to blow for the all in. I cupped in some choppie and casters before starting on the whip. I missed the first two bites before catching a tiny perch. I switched to caster and started getting some better sized roach, it was fairly slow though and after the first hour I'd only had 20 fish. At this early stage I was neck and neck with Richy although Martin was slightly ahead. Graham Field next to Martin was catching well though they were very small fish.
We were getting problems with lots of floating debris and it was making fishing the whip a nightmare, the wind would blow for a bit, clearing our swims before it calmed down and it would all come drifting back! The second hour was similar for me and I was on around 45 fish when I heard Martin ask Graham how many he had and he replied 82! Martin was on 65 and I was already well behind. I fed the choppie line again with it in mind to try it shortly as my whip line was fading. The trouble was everytime I thought about making the switch I would get a couple of fish on the whip to keep me interested.
I was still quite a way behind Heardy and Fieldy but was ahead of Richy and from what I could see, most people seemed to be struggling (mind you, I've said that before!). It was also raining quite hard (which was nice!) and for the first time in ages I'd left my car in the field behind me and of course sod's law dictated that the cows would pay me a visit. I had to stop fishing to move my car to a safer location, as did Martin. On my way back to my peg I passed Roger and Leighton and neither seemed to setting the world alight, so I carried on with the whip.
I found by flicking the rig to the right of my feed area I would get a couple of fish quite quickly and in hindsight I think the fish kept backing off the feed and a light rig for fishing past the whip line might have seen me catch more. I never did try the chopped worm line and I finished up with 93 fish for 5lb or so, I felt Martin and Graham would fill the top two places and the best I could hope for was a section win. I packed up and caught up with the scales just as Leighton was about to be weighed in, Steve Parker had already weighed 5lb 7oz and Roger had 7lb 11oz (and I thought he was struggling!), I knew I hadn't beaten Rog and it would be close between me and Steve. Leighton weighed 3lb 14oz and then Richy weighed 4lb 6oz, my fish went 6lb 2oz and Martin had 10lb 7oz and I was hoping Roger would frame so I could sneak the section.
That was how it turned out although it wasn't Graham who claimed the runner's up spot as I'd thought but Alvin in the other section with 9lb 14oz from peg 16 (another angler I didn't see catch bugger all!). In fact the other section was a pretty close affair, incredibly Moses had the same weight as me so no pounds were exchanged, Neil had 6lb 4oz, Graham Bulgin 5lb 2oz and Fieldy had 6lb 5oz (which really surprised me as he had loads of fish but they were tiny). I picked up £15 for the section win but my three points meant any slim chance I had of sneaking into third in the league had gone. Martin still leads with 13 followed by Alvin on 15 and Roger on 22.
Yes, it's that photo again!
1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10lb 7oz
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 9lb 14oz
3 - Roger Russell (Ilminster) - 7lb 11oz
A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 6lb 2oz
B - Graham Field (Taunton) - 6lb 5oz
The last match is in two weeks time and to be honest I shall be glad to see the back of the pond for a while as I'm fed up with catching bits, several others said the same. I just wish the club would put some skimmers in, they say they are worried about cormorant predation but lack of fish isn't the problem it's just the size. All these tiny roach would be ideal for the river (with the correct paperwork of course), meaning the fish in the pond could grow on.
Anyway, rant over, with no Ilminster or Chard matches next week, I'm off to Summerhayes again, maybe this week I can break my duck on Long's pond? I doubt it.