I arrived at the Royal Oak for the draw and it was disappointing to see there would only be five of us fishing today, although on the plus side we would all have plenty of room. Robin also gave us the choice of two pegs each and I pulled out 7 or 8 and although the former won on Wednesday night, I decided on peg 8 so I wouldn't have to keep looking over my shoulder at that bloody wasps nest. I had to spend a little while clearing some reeds out to make the swim fishable and it left me rushing about to get set up in time.
It was overcast with a nice ripple on the water and after some rain last night, I fancied the eels might have a go and I had plenty of worm with me. I set up a chopped worm rig and also the usual 4 metre whip. I mixed up some dark groundbait and was just about ready when Rob shouted the all in. Rob was the next peg along on my right on peg 4 and Fieldy was next on my left on 12. I cupped in some chopped worm and caster at 10 metres before starting on the whip. I was feeding casters, maggots, hemp and the odd nugget of groundbait and was soon catching some small roach on maggot. I kept trying caster but they weren't really having it yet and at the end of the first hour I had 32 fish, most were on the small side but I did have a couple of better perch around 6-8oz.
The second hour was better and I added another 43 fish, mostly on caster and I had some cracking roach and rudd. I also put some more worm on the long line and I was itching to try it, but for now I was catching well and decided to see if it slowed before going after the grinners. If anything it got better though and I was still catching well on caster and if I had a quiet spell, a change to maggot soon saw me catching again. As per usual I was feeding one whip line straight out and another by the reeds to my left and alternating between the two.
Hour three was pretty similar and by the end of the fourth hour I was up to 152 fish and I felt I was on for a good weight. Martin shouted across to see how many I had, I told him and he replied that he was 16 fish in front but his were only 'pairs of eyes' (I've heard that one before!). This was when I made a fatal mistake, I couldn't resist trying my chopped worm line but in half an hour I only had 4 small perch and a roach on caster over it. Back on the whip and I carried on catching quite well and ended with 206 fish when Rob called the all out. I'd had some decent fish and was pretty sure I must have double figures, but would it be enough?
I packed up and as I took most of my stuff back to the car, Rob got back from weighing Steve Parker in, Steve had fished under the tree all day for those elusive chub and it hadn't paid off as he didn't hook one all day and weighed 4lb 8oz. Rob had a nice net of 7lb 8oz but was cursing losing a couple of good fish. My fish went a level 13lb which is my best weight here for ages and Heardy was convinced I'd won. Fieldy also had a cracking net of 10lb 7oz and then Heardy pulled his net out and his 'tiny' fish weighed 13lb 10oz - bugger! He had 226 fish and if I hadn't wasted that time on the chopped worm I'd have sneaked it. Still I picked up £20 for second but had to give Martin his pound back from last week.
1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 13lb 10oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 13lb
3 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 10lb 7oz
In the league Martin is winning by a country mile with a perfect 8 point score followed by Fieldy on 14 and Steve on 29. I've moved up to fifth but I've already missed four matches and will miss the last one because I'll be in Thailand (woo-hoo). Well after Wednesday night and today the pond is actually starting to fish really well but I'm glad I haven't got to fish the whip again for a bit as I find it pretty monotonous. Next week is another pairs open at Summerhayes which I'm fishing with Andy and I would love to do well in the silvers again so tune in to see how we get on.