Pete phoned me a while back to say he was holding another pairs open, I had hoped to fish with Martin again as we were third last time but he paired up with Bruce so I had to find a partner. Most of the people I could think of were fishing the resi today so I asked Andy and he said he'd be up for it. He phoned me yesterday to ask about it and I said we should get our heads down and fish for silvers.
I picked Andy up and all the way there I was priming him for fishing for silvers and said 10lb on Sellicks and 15-20lb on Longs would get us there or thereabouts. I'd sorted out the bait, micros, expanders and some worm. To be honest with it being Andy's first visit to the venue I thought we were up against it. All the talk at the draw was that peg 23 on Sellicks would be a flier for carp as the wind had been blowing in there all week and Heardy had 60lb out of there on Wednesday. I really didn't want to draw it as it's an out and out carp peg with no real form for silvers. As it got closer to my turn to draw I couldn't hear anybody saying they'd drawn it and of course I pulled it out! Everyone was saying I had to fish for carp and when Andy drew peg 2 on Longs, Heardy said that was a carp peg too. So after banging on to Andy how we had to fish for silvers, we were now going to fish for carp!
The forecast for later was horrendous with 80 mph winds and rain, with that in mind we both decided to fish shorter than normal where we could actually control the pole. My peg certainly looked the part as it's a corner peg with reeds around it and the point of the island across, there was also some scum which the wind had pushed into the corner and it looked very carpy. I set up the usual 0.4g Malman pencil for the silverfish to give me somewhere to fish while my carp line settled and a dibber for the corner with another identical rig in case of breakages.
To be brutally honest my rigs just weren't deep enough and I only had a short length of line between the float and the pole tip on all my rigs. Plumbing up for the skimmer line and the only place I could find where my rig was suitable was at 8.5 metres to my left towards the corner where it shallowed up. I wasn't too worried as I would be too busy bagging up on carp to worry about silvers! Pete blew for the all in and I cupped in some micros at 8.5 metres and the same plus some corn in the corner. I had intended to feed by the point of the island at 13 metres but due to the wind I just couldn't hold the pole still over there.
I started on the skimmer line with a 4mm expander on the hook and feeding micros through a toss pot but I just couldn't control the rig and after half an hour and no bites I decided to try in the corner. Glyn Wickham was the next angler two pegs along on my right and he'd had some silvers and carp on the worm. Into the corner I went with corn on the hook and I was fully expecting to catch straight away but apart from a couple of tentative indications I didn't have a positive bite. With over an hour gone I was starting to panic somewhat! I could see carp being caught to my right and Glyn was catching carp and silvers well. The scum in the corner was also being problematic and with a really short line between float and pole tip, the presentation was awful.
I fed the corner again and went back on the skimmer line just to see if I could put a fish in the net. Eventually I did get a decent skimmer and shortly after, another of similar size. The trouble was, I was supposed to be fishing for carp! Andy walked up to use the on site toilet and I called him over, he'd had five skimmers and four carp in the first hour and was doing well. I then had two more decent skimmers and ran down to Andy's peg to say I thought we should revert to fishing for silvers, poor bloke he didn't know whether he was coming or going! Back at my peg and I dropped off a small skimmer and then lost a carp before catching a small skimmer.
My rig just wasn't right and I should have put on a deeper one with more line so I could control the rig better but soldiered on. I also think if I'd fed a line down the track I'd have caught well because Glyn was now bagging on silvers and carp. Pete turned up opposite and asked how I was getting on, said I'd had a couple of pound and he said his partner Clive had about 5lb of silvers and Glyn reckoned he'd already had 7lb of skimmers so I was well behind. I got to about 12 skimmers and thought I had 5lb or so plus a couple of carp when Andy turned for another pee and said he'd had five skimmers and a crucian which I took to mean he'd only added a crucian since the last time we'd spoken.
I set my sights on catching 20 skimmers as I thought this would give me around 10lb which hopefully would put me in the top three for silvers on the lake. I was on target and with an hour to go I had 18 decent skimmers (between 8oz and 1.5lb), 3 small skimmers and those two nuisance carp. It was obvious Glyn would win the silvers on our lake as he reckoned he had close to 20lb and he was doing alright with the carp too! I was hoping I'd get a few more skimmers in the last hour but the carp moved in and I wasted ages playing two big lumps before losing them both and the only other action I had was a small carp and that was that.
Glyn reckoned I had 15lb but I knew I didn't have that, I thought I might scrape double figures but was admitting to 9lb. Andy turned up and I asked how he'd got on, he said he'd lost count of the number of skimmers and he also had a nice tench and three crucians. When I asked if he had 15lb he said he thought he might have more than that but wasn't sure. I started to think we might sneak in the money, Glyn said his brother had done well with silvers so I thought they would win easily. Pete started the weigh in on Longs and Glyn's brother was first to weigh and he had just under 15lb of silvers. Then it was Andy's turn and when he pulled out his net it was obvious he'd done well, Pete called out 25lb 3oz and Heardy said he'd win the lake with that. Andy also had over 15lb of carp and had caught over 40lb on his first visit - top man!
As the scales worked their way round, there were no other big silvers weights, Heardy had 14lb odd. Then we got to Sellicks and the first lad had a nice weight of carp, then Bruce had 7lb 12oz of silvers but was pushed down by Clive who had 8lb 14oz and I was starting to question my weight in my mind. Alvin had bagged on carp and with 5lb of silvers had over 80lb. Glyn had 22lb+ of silvers and also had 28lb of carp and had fished a really good match on the worm. I needed to beat Clive's weight to finish second on the lake and for us to beat the Wickhams into second place. My three carp weighed 6lb 8oz and then it was time for the silvers, when I pulled my net out I thought it might be tight but the needle settled on 12lb 8oz and we'd done it!
Back at the results and we had a very welcome cup of coffee while waiting for Pete to work the points out. We were called out the silver winners with 3 points and picked up £60 each followed by the Wickhams on 4 points and then Bruce and Martin were third. Alvin and Jess won the carp pool but I wasn't too sure who finished second and third.
1 - Andy Langdon and Jamie Rich - 3 points
2 - The Wickhams - 4 points
3 - Bruce Hunt and Martyin Heard - 8 points (I think)
1 - Alvin Jones and Jess Jenner
I was really chuffed as I'm glad I made the decision to carry on for the skimmers as the peg isn't known for them at all. Andy had fished a blinding match and said he really enjoyed it and it was a great result on his first visit (I still haven't managed to do 40lb on Long's yet!). We had a chuckle on the way home about me saying silvers, silvers, silvers before changing to carp, carp, carp and then back to silvers again!
Right this will be my last blog for a while as me and Scotty fly out to Thailand tomorrow so hopefully on my return I'll have tales and pictures of some more exotic species.