Scotty text me on Saturday to say the match was on Sellicks and not on Longs so I wouldn't be breaking my duck this weekend, still I quite enjoy Sellicks and have been doing ok of late. There were twelve of us fishing including Scott and Roger Russell, after a coffee and bacon sarnie it was time to draw. The golden ball was peg 6 and I only went and drew it! The pressure was on as it's a decent peg, the level of the pond was still down and with there being a gusty wind and worse forecast, I was determined to stick to my plan of fishing down the track as it's served me well in the last few matches I've fished.
I set up two rigs, a Carpa 2 with 0.12mm bottom and size 16 808 hook and a similar rig as a duplicate in case I trashed one. For bait I just had some wetted micros and 4 and 6mm expanders - simples! Rob Birch was on peg 4 and Adrian Bishop was on peg 2, I couldn't see Scotty who was on the other side of the pond. Pete blew for the all in and I put in half a cup of micros at 10 metres and the same by the lilies to my right. I started out with a 4mm expander on the hook and missed my first bite before catching a couple of skimmers. The angler on my left had a carp early on but apart from that there wasn't much happening so I wasn't too concerned at this early stage.
I had my first carp (hooked just outside the mouth) just at the end of the first hour and I was doing as well as anybody on our side of the pond. I was putting in micros through a toss pot every put in and I tried by the lilies for the first time to keep the bait trickling in there. No bites saw me back out and another couple of skimmers graced the net. It was still really slow and Rob had only had one small fish so I was happy to keep putting the odd fish in the net (and there was the silver fish pool to go for).
I kept trying by the lilies and I had my first bite and soon as I struck I knew the fish was foulhooked, after a lengthy battle I was getting the upper hand and had unshipped to the top three when the poxy hook pulled out and all my shot pinged off the rig! I then lost one which did me in the lilies and things were definitely not going to plan. By now we were two hours in and I kept plugging away, putting the odd skimmer in the net (and I bumped two). I then foulhooked a decent fish on the longer line but managed to get that one in the net to put the score at 2-2 on the carp front.
The wind was being a real pain, Rob was now fishing the paste on his side of the lilies and getting the odd fish but I was still just ahead. I had a couple more foulhooked carp from the long line (much to Adrian's amusement - not!) and another skimmer. I now had around ten skimmers for 4lb or so which were worth a carp in weight. I was starting to worry about Rob who seemed to be getting bites more regularly than me, I was on four carp and I think he had the same number.
I kept trying by the lilies but couldn't get a bite there now, back long saw me add a couple of carp (properly hooked this time) and two more skimmers. Adrian and the chap on my left were getting odd carp now and everybody seemed to be catching me up. With an hour to go I think Rob was on seven carp, then I had my seventh, although it was a smaller fish of a pound or so but I did have those skimmers so I thought I might be just ahead. Rob had number eight and I was praying for one more and with five minutes to go I hooked it! I played it with kid gloves and I don't think it was particularly big, I unshipped to the top three and the hook pinged out - bugger, bugger! and I think it was properly hooked too.
I had time to go out again but as soon as the rig had settled, Pete blew for the all out. I thought I had around 20lb and when Adrian said he had eight or nine I thought I'd be right out of it as I was sure Rob had beaten me as well. Pete came round with the scales and said he thought he was in with a chance of the silvers as he'd fished for bits all day. Adrian was first to weigh and had 22lb odd and I was sure I didn't have that. Rob had 22lb 1oz and bet me a pint I'd beaten him!, I wasn't so sure. My carp went 17lb 13oz and my silvers went 6lb 6oz to give me a 24lb 3oz total. The guy on my left had 17lb odd and then Roger had 22lb 2oz and I was still ahead. At this stage I was winning the match, the golden ball and the silvers pool.
Then the next peg along had just over 25lb (oh no, was that last fish going to cost me?) and then the next peg had 28lb something, which I was a little relieved about as I knew I wouldn't have had that but by the same token I was now down in third place with several anglers to weigh. Also Pete was last to weigh and might top my silvers. I was still lying in third after the next three pegs and when Pete pulled out his net, Rob said I was safe but I wasn't sure. The needle was hovering around 6lb and Roger called out 6lb 2oz - phew!
Back at the results and Pete said he was paying two in the silvers today! Luckily he was joking and I picked up £20 for third and £24 for the silvers pool. I've now topped the grand this year with the best part of four months to go! It would have been lovely to have won the golden peg and the £150 that goes with it but still a pretty good day.
I'll have to apologise because I didn't get the names of the anglers who came first and second as I rushed off after the results.
1 - 28lb+
2 - 25lb+
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 24lb 3oz
Silvers - Jamie Rich - 6lb 6oz
I must also congratulate Steve Chant who won out Perry St today with over 79lb - well done mate.
Next week is the last Summer League match at Dillington and then I'm off to Thailand for two weeks - whoop, whoop.