I picked Alvin up and we set off for round seven of the evening league, the sky was quite black and it looked like we might be in for another wet one. On arriving at the pond we were greeted with just Moses there waiting, he said Justin would be here later so it looked like it was just the four of us. I was surprised Fieldy wasn't there after getting Bob to fish for him last match. We decided to give the other side a go and put in pegs 2, 3, 5 and 7. I drew 7 and was quite happy as I had nobody to my left.
I set up a whip and 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float to give me another option at 10 metres. I shouted the all in and cupped in some casters, dead maggots and a liberal helping of hemp at 10 metres to give the eels something to munch on. I flicked the whip rig out with maggot on the hook and tossed out a small nugget of groundbait (Sensas Matchblend), followed by some loosefeed. I was getting bites straight away but couldn't hit them, after four or five I finally swung in a nice roach of 4oz, my next fish was a similar size followed by a slightly smaller rudd. I then hooked a good sized rudd but it came off. After the first hour I had 27 fish which I thought would be well off the pace.
Justin arrived just after the start and set his stall out for big fish with chopped worm and surely it will pay off sooner or later! Hour two was very similar but I was missing and bumping more than I was catching. Rob turned up and blamed work for not being able to fish tonight, he watched me miss loads of bites before going to see how the others were getting on. I was by now fishing caster and despite trying hooking it different ways, my catch rate wasn't improving. Rob came back to say Alvin was getting some quality roach on peg 3. I tried a grain of hemp and had a nice roach first put in but then missed the next six bites and this seemed to be the pattern for the night.
I heard the venue expert, Moses, shout up to Alvin that he was really struggling and I hadn't heard much splashing coming from Justin's direction so I stuck at it with the whip. I finished the second hour with 25 fish to give me 52 in total, although the were generally of a good stamp I still didn't think I was catching fast enough. I kept flicking the rig next to the marginal reeds to my left and although I had to wait longer for bites the fish were a good size and I had a couple of 4oz perch and two roach that I netted to be on the safe side.
The third hour was much the same but I did hook one fish that wrenched the whip round and snapped my 0.12mm bottom like cotton! I guess it was probably a big perch or a chub. Justin had netted a decent perch and a 8oz hybrid and if he could get a couple more he might be there or thereabouts tonight. I finished the third hour with 28 fish to give me a total of 80 (a long way off the 132 I had in the last match) and guessed I had 4-5lb. I shouted the all out and began packing my kit up, at least the rain had stayed away!
I was first to be weighed and as I took my nice new keepnet out, my catch looked a bit better than the 4lb I had guesstimated, the needle stopped at 5lb 14oz and I thought I might sneak into second if Moses had struggled like he reckoned he had. Justin had 3lb 4oz and needed a couple more big perch, Alvin weighed 5lb 7oz and I thought he had a lot more than that, Moses had told the truth and he weighed 3lb 4oz as well which meant I'd won! I picked up £25 plus £1's off Moses and Alvin.
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 14oz
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 5lb 7oz
My one section point meant that with Fieldy not fishing I had leapfrogged him and I'm now in joint second place in the league with Moses on 9.5 points. Alvin is still leading with a perfect 6 point score and I can't really see him being caught.
On Sunday I'm back here for a Summer League match and there will be a depleted turnout as Moses and Alvin are off to Summerhayes as they're getting fed up with the pond as I must admit, I am. I know I keep banging on about it but hopefully someone in the club will listen if I keep on, but they need to remove most of these small fish and put some quality in before the match attendances dwindle even further. I do feel there are lots of quality fish in there but you just can't target them and if you try (like Justin does) you'll get beat every time by the whip anglers. Some skimmers would really turn the place around and the small fish would give the river a real boost. Oh well, maybe it will be better on Sunday although I won't be holding my breath!