I was all set to fish Dillington with bait ordered etc when Heardy phoned me up Saturday morning and asked if I'd fish the Summerhayes Pairs Open with him. Faced with the choice of blip bashing at Dillington or catching skimmers and the odd carp at Summerhayes, Martin soon persuaded me.
I got there and there was a good turnout of 36, the pools entry took me a little by surprise at £25 each as I thought that was between us!!!! I managed to scrape it together and then it was time to draw, I pulled out peg 13 on Sellicks which was next to where I won the silvers a couple of matches back. Martin drew 11 on Longs, which is a decent silvers peg and we'd already decided to fish for silvers as Pete was paying the top three in silvers and carp. Martin let me have some casters and said to aim for 10-12lb of silvers. He also advised fishing two lines for skimmers and then a three metre line with casters for roach.
Clive Cunningham was on my left and Tom Thick was on my right, Tom said him and Bobby Gullick were going for carp which I thought might help me in my silvers quest. I set up a Carpa 2 for my main skimmer rig along with a Colmic Jolly with spread shot for the roach line. I also scaled down with 0.10mm bottoms on both rigs. I wetted some micros and then it was time to start. I cupped in micros at 5 and 10 metres and flicked in a few casters at 3 metres to my left. There were loads of carp moving and Tom was straight against the island where he had two skimmers quite quickly.
My first fish was a small skimmer on a 4mm expander and I had four in the first half an hour and I thought if I could keep this up I'd do a decent weight. Clive was catching both silvers and carp well, I knew he was fishing chopped worm but he was also fishing further over than me. After the first hour I was on five skimmers and my bites had tailed off. I then lost a decent skimmer and couldn't buy a bite! I decided to refeed the 10 metre line and have a look on the shorter line, no bites here so I had a look on the roach line with single caster, still nothing! From a promising start I was now really struggling.
I decided to try the lighter roach rig on the longer line with an expander, after waiting ages I had my first bite and swung in a half ounce skimmer - not good. Tom had a couple of carp and we were enjoying a good bit of banter, but his bites were few and far between as well although he was catching small skimmers on pellet from tight to the island, why couldn't I catch them? I decided to add another section and fish further across but no bites and I was out of ideas. Heardy phoned and said he was getting a few without really bagging but we both said that we had to stick at the silvers now as we were too far behind the guys fishing for carp.
Past the halfway mark in the match and I only had eight skimmers and just couldn't buy a bite, then I had a spell of just hooking carp and I landed a couple and lost a few as well, much to Tom's amusement. To make matters worse he was still getting skimmers and had landed a couple of tench and crucians. Great I was being beaten on silvers by him fishing for carp! Martin phoned again and was saying that we should have gone for carp as he had loads in his peg as well.
I'd tried my roach line again and never had a bite from those elusive roach and the only bite I had resulted in a 3lb carp! With an hour to go I was on 10 skimmers and four carp and really thought I was going to finish well down. Then all of a sudden I was getting bites on my long line with the lighter rig and landed three skimmers (and another nuisance carp), then I've hooked a good skimmer which came off at the net and then another halfway in. I did manage one more decent skimmer just before the all out to finish with 14 skimmers and 5 carp. Tom had 13 or 14 carp and said that Bob had down okay on the other pond, so I reckoned they would be there or thereabouts.
I packed up cussing those two late skimmers I had lost and was sure they were going to cost me. When the scales reached Tom there were several 2-3lb silvers weights although several of those anglers had fished for carp, Tom then weighed 7lb 10oz of silvers and over 30lb of carp. I weighed 12lb 8oz of carp and my silvers went 6lb 5oz (so those lost fish had already cost me a point!). Things got worse when Clive weighed 8lb of silvers (two points!), Glyn Wickham had over 12lb of silvers and then Steve Jackson had 7lb of silvers to push me down another place and I finished fifth in the silvers on my lake and those lost two fish would have put me second - doh!
Martin had to rush off so left his nets to be weighed in, I packed my kit away and caught up with the scales on the other lake with the last few to be weighed in. There was a 31lb silvers weight and the owner Pete had 18lb and then there were a few double figure weights. Martin's silvers weighed 13lb odd but the guy next door put over 15lb on the scales to push him down into fourth on the lake and we ended up with 9 points and I thought we'd finish just out of the money (those two poxy fish!).
Back at the results and it turned out Tom and Bob had tied for first in the carp pool with two young lads (sorry I didn't get their names) but had just pipped them on weight and Bruce and his partner were third. The Wickhams won the silvers with a perfect two point score and then Pete and Clive were second with four points and then we were read out in third and picked up £36 each - phew. Even if I had finished second on my lake and Martin had beaten his neighbour and finished third, we'd have had five points which would have tied with Pete and Clive but they'd have done us on weight. Still a better result than I thought we were going to have!
1 - Bob Gullick and Tom Thick
2 - Two Young Lads (sorry!)
3 - Bruce Hunt and partner
1 - The Wickhams - 2 points
2 - Pete and Clive Cunningham - 4 points
3 - Jamie Rich and Martin Heard - 9 points
I'd really enjoyed the banter with Tom today and he's a smashing lad and a very tidy angler. So my good run on Sellicks continues, next week I'm back here but on Longs so lets see if I can finally get a result!