After my last visit to Longs and a next peg paste battering I was determined to try and get this paste fishing sussed. I ordered some Malmans hand made paste floats and bought some Ringers paste along with some Preston PR478 hooks in size 10 and 12 and Saturday was spent mixing paste, pumping pellets, making rigs up and tying hooks. The saying goes that 'Preparation is the breakfast of champions' so lets hope it turns out to be right.
I picked Janders up and off we went, there was a big turnout and along with all the regulars there were loads of faces I recognised including Digger, Paul Blake, Mark Leahy, Roger Russell, Alvin and Darren Roberts. After a quick coffee it was time to draw and I couldn't believe it when I pulled out peg 39 again. It can be a good peg and certainly looks the part but I never seem to do any good off it. You have the point of the island opposite at about 11.5 metres and to the left there is a footbridge going over the lake with a big sign saying Summerhayes Fishery behind it.
I set up a brand spanking new Malmans 0.4g pencil float for my skimmer lines at 10 metres straight out and also to my left in the bay by the bridge at the same distance. I also set up a dibber for the island and my new paste float for fishing over the skimmer lines later on. Jess Jordan was the next peg on my left on peg 2 and there was a guy two pegs along on my right. I wetted up some micros and opened a tin of corn and I was ready for the off. Heardy asked if I wanted to go double or quits on the pound I owed him from Sunday and like a fool I agreed.
Pete blew the whistle and we were off and all around was a frenzy of people shipping out pole pots, I cupped in some micros on both my skimmer lines and the same plus some corn by the island. I started straight out with a 4mm expander and toss potting in some micros. I pulled out of a good skimmer before losing the next one on the way in - not a great start. I was getting odd bites and landed a couple of small skimmers but it was already looking like it was going to be hard. It was bright and sunny but there was a wicked gusty wind which was making presentation a nightmare.
After an hour I only had four fish and one of those was a tiny skimmer and another was a minuscule roach. A quick look on my left hand skimmer line saw no action at all, after two hours I was on seven fish and it wasn't just me, all the anglers I could see were struggling too. Bites were very few and far between, I tried by the island with corn but never had a touch. I decided to feed an inside line towards the bridge as odd fish were moving there and my dibber rig would suffice as the depth was the same as by the island.
I tried the inside with corn and was getting the odd indication so tried soft pellet and landed my first small carp. No more positive bites so I tried a small piece of paste. I then had four small carp in as many chucks and thought I'd sussed it but it turned out to be short lived and I only lost one more carp. Back to my skimmer line and this was as dead as a doornail, as was the island (even with soft pellet) so I cupped in some more micros on the skimmer line before going back on the inside.
Time was running out and with no more fish on the inside, I refed it before deciding to spend some more time on the skimmer line. I had another skimmer before missing a run of bites, I then lost a carp which as I only had it on briefly, made me think it was foulhooked. I did add another skimmer but with 20 mins left I thought I'd see if I could add a couple more carp from the inside. I did catch one more carp (I say catch but it was hooked neatly under the armpit!) and I did miss a couple of bites and came back with a small scale on the hook but didn't add anymore to my virtually empty nets. Pete blew for the all out and I'd ended with 15 fish and I wasn't sure I even had double figures, a bad day at the office.
I was first to be weighed and my carp went 6lb 5oz and my silvers 3lb 12oz to give me a 10lb 1oz total. The guy on my right had a few more ounces than me and the chap next to him had 8lb odd. Janders didn't bother weighing and gave me a pound which I was soon giving to Martin plus one of my own as he'd weighed 11lb+. Jess reckoned he'd had around 10lb, so our end had fished really poorly. The guy next to Jess had caught quite well and would probably be in the frame. We didn't hang around for the results and made our way back.
The highlight of the day was when me and Janders were talking about the paste I had made up for us both and he said 'You get quite a crust around it don't you?', I inquired whether he'd left it in the bag I'd kindly provided and he replied that he'd taken it out of the bag so it was at the mercy of the sun all day, and I said that would probably explain it! He went on to say that my lovingly prepared ball of paste looked like a conker by the end of the match!!!!
So my jinx at Longs continues although to be fair I don't think the draw did me any favours today. At least I'd caught a few fish on paste even though it wasn't using my new paste float. I'm back at Dillington on Wednesday night so tune in to see if I can collect a little brown envelope then.