With no Chard or Ilminster matches I phoned Pete at Summerhayes and he said there was a match on Lily Pond, so I stuck my name down. I haven't fished this pond before so I asked Scotty about it and he said it could be hard and that his Dad had won a match with 6lb odd of skimmers. Oh well it would be better than moping round the house. Also it was a 12 'o' clock draw so I could have a bit of a lie in.
I was up early-ish and on my way when I got a call from Pete asking where I was as the draw was at 11!!!! Apparently he'd told a couple of people the wrong time and he said he'd draw for me. I got there about half past and he said I was on peg 3, I quickly set up a Carpa 2 for fishing in the open water and a dibber for fishing the inside by the reeds (which were already knocking!). For bait I had maggots, corn, micros and 4 and 6mm expanders. Martin Heard was on my left and wanted a side bet and Paul Ellsworthy was on my right in the corner with an inviting looking bed of lilies.
I was just about ready and on the whistle cupped in some micros and maggots at 11.5 metres and then some corn and micros on the inside towards Martin. I started long with a 4mm expander on the hook and was surprised to see Martin go straight down the margins. After 5 mins without any indication I started to think perhaps he knew something I didn't. Then he had a couple of small carp as did Paul in the corner and after a further biteless 5 mins I was just thinking about trying my inside line, when my float slid away only for me to bump it! - good start! Next put in I had a skimmer and after half an hour I had four in the net for about 2lb and I wasn't too far behind.
Martin was now on five but Paul hadn't added any more, then I hooked what felt like a small carp but the hook pulled out as I unshipped, then next chuck I pulled out of a skimmer on the way in and things weren't going to plan. I was feeding every put in through a toss pot but my bites faded on my long line so I refed with half a cup full before trying down the edge. I had too wait ages before I caught a small carp on corn, during that time Martin had added a couple more on paste and Paul was getting odd fish on corn.
I put some more grub on the inside before going back out long and had a run of five or six skimmers and a couple of small rudd that took the bait on the drop. It was really fizzing on my long line but I wasn't getting that many bites and I couldn't understand why. Another try on the inside saw me pull out of a carp before I landed a foulhooker, then next chuck I had another straight away and things were looking up. The reeds were still knocking so I also started feeding at two sections to my left in the reeds and missed a couple of bites before hooking a fish that tore through the reeds and snapped me and that was the last time I tried that.
Paul was still catching steadily without really bagging and was looking favourite to win, Martin wasn't far behind either. I kept plugging away but bites were becoming harder and harder to come by, every time I went long I would get a couple before it died and I'd feed it again before trying the inside but I never had another carp. The last couple of hours were really difficult and I only added a couple of small rudd, I even tried maggot on the long line but never had a bite, all my skimmers coming to 4mm expander.
Pete was paying the top three overall and the top two in the silvers and I was hoping I'd done enough to pick up in the silver pool although Martin, Adrian Bishop and a lad on the opposite side seemed to have been catching silvers quite well. I ended up with 14 skimmers, 3 carp and a few rudd and I thought I might have double figures but was more concerned with what my silvers would weigh. Paul was first to weigh and put an excellent 32lb 6oz on the scales, my silvers went 7lb 8oz and my carp weighed 6lb 12oz to give me a 14lb 4oz total. Martin had 29lb 6oz of which 5lb 2oz was silvers so I was still in with a chance although I had been battered both sides and lost a £1 to Martin in the process!
Adrian had 4lb 15oz of silvers and 17lb odd of carp to give him 22lb+, nobody else had much until they got to the lad on the opposite side and his silvers went 5lb 3oz, just pipping Martin so I'd won the silvers pool and picked up £18 which was most welcome.
1 - Paul Ellsworthy (Summerhayes) - 32lb 6oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 29lb 6oz
3 - Adrian Bishop (Summerhayes) - 22lb+
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 7lb 8oz
Next up is the Good Friday match at Perry St and Scotty is fishing so another battering is on the cards!