First up I'll apologise for the lateness of this blog but my poxy pc died but I'm back up and running again now. I was quite excited about this evenings match as Alvin said we'd go down the canal for a change but Moses phoned me earlier in the week to say the canal was very weedy so it was back out the pond for blip bashing yet again. With the weather forecast predicting rain and strong winds I really wasn't up for it at all.
I picked up Alvin and as we went past the canal we saw Bob Hammond waiting, I turned round and went back, Bob said he had been persuaded by Fieldy to fish for him as he was on holiday and he thought it was on the canal. So like a fishy Pied Piper we set off with Bob in tow. At the pond there was just the venue expert Moses as Justin would be late as always. Alvin decided to put in pegs that would afford us some shelter and I really fancied peg 17 and came close when I pulled out 18. I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend before setting up the usual whip rig and a chopped worm rig as a back up in case the whip line died like during the last evening match.
With Rob in Nottingham again (rounding up some more Merry Men I reckon!), it was down to me to shout the all in, which I duly did. I cupped in some chopped worm at an angle towards peg 17 at 10 metres before starting on the whip. The wind was quite fierce and causing a wicked tow from right to left, I virtually had to hold the waggler back, which wasn't ideal. I was feeding the odd little nugget of groundbait plus maggots, casters and hemp alternately. I caught a couple of tiny fish on maggot before switching to caster. I was getting odd better roach without setting the world alight. Justin had turned up by now and was setting out his stall on 17 for bigger fish as he wouldn't be able to compete with us 'blip bashers' who'd had a headstart.
After an hour I was on 35 fish for 2lb or so, I could see Moses on peg 11 catching but it's always difficult to gauge how well people are doing on the whip. The second hour was better for me and when I got to 70 fish, a rather wet Justin tirned up to say he hadn't caught yet and he didn't think Alvin was doing that well on 16 either. I got my head down with renewed vigor and despite dropping off a few fish on the way in, by the end of the second hour I had added a further 45 fish to give me a total of 80 with an hour to go.
Going into the third hour I kept expecting the whip line to slow and I was quite looking forward to trying over my chopped worm. But if anything the whip line was getting stronger, I cut out the groundbait and was feeding just casters and hemp with caster on the hook. I started getting some nice roach on the drop and although I missed loads of bites I ended hour three with 52 fish to give me a total of 132 and thought I had 6-7lb.
The scales started with Bob who had 2lb 8oz and guarenteed Fieldy three points to keep him in the hunt in the league. Moses had 5lb 8oz and I thought I'd probably do that, Alvin had sneaked in a chub and weighed 8lb and I thought it might be close between us. He'd also lost several big fish, one which he was sure was a tench. Justin's big fish attack hadn't worked and he didn't trouble the scales. When I pulled my net out I wasn't sure I had 8lb but the needle stopped on 9lb and I'd won! I picked up £30 plus £2 in side bets and it was nice to win, albeit a small match, for the first time in a while.
The league is pretty tight now, Alvin is leading with 5 points followed by Moses on 7.5 and Fieldy on 8. I'm just half a point behind and with four matches to go, it's all to play for.
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 8lb
3 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 5lb 8oz
On Sunday it's the last match of the Spring League at Perry St and it would be nice to finish on a flourish.