With Ilminster's Isle league not starting until next week I booked into an open at Summerhayes, which was on Long's pond. There was a decent turnout including Alvin and Digger and Pete announced the draw and Alvin pulled out a good peg and was looking to win his fourth match on the trot. I pulled out peg 32 which put me down the right hand side for the first time. The peg looked nice with a bay on the far side although I intended to fish for silvers down the middle for most of the match.
I set up a Malman's 0.4 gram pencil float for my skimmer line and a dibber for across although I only plumbed up at 14.5 metres and it was nearer 15 metres to get right in the bay. Pete shouted the all in and I cupped in half a pot of damp micros at 10 metres and the same plus some corn at 14.5 metres. One of the Wickhams was the next angler two pegs to my right and he started well catching two decent skimmers on worm. I missed my first bite on 4mm expander but soon had a couple of skimmers in the net, I then had a chunky crucian and followed this up with a 2lb skimmer. After the first hour I had eight fish for around 5lb which was bang on target.
The second hour was very similar and I added another crucian and a decent skimmer plus some smaller skimmers for about 4lb and my catch rate was ticking along nicely. I felt it was still neck and neck between me and the next peg to my right, the guy on my left was struggling. Then the third hour arrived and it all started to go pear shaped, I had a bite every put in but missed or bumped every single one and never added a fish to my net during this frustrating period. I messed about with the depth of my rig and this seemed to help slightly in that I hooked a carp only for the hook to pull out! I then had a decent fish come off at the net. I did add a couple of skimmers and another crucian to put me around 10lb with two hours to go.
Andy won the silvers in the last match I fished with 25lb but only 15lb or so was good enough for second and I thought I still might be able to do that if I could keep putting odd fish in the net. Although I had slowed up, it seemed the anglers I could see were all struggling now too, which was some consolation. The fifth hour was a little steadier and I had a couple of 10oz tench plus some skimmers and roach and a couple of nuisance carp. The last hour was pretty much the same and my last fish was a lovely tench which was pushing 2lb. I ended with 36 fish (of which 4 were carp) and I thought I had around 17lb, but would it be enough?
The chap on my right packed up with half an hour to go and chucked his fish back, which quite surprised me as I thought he'd done okay on silvers. I packed up and Pete started the weigh in at Adie Bishop on peg 37 and he had 29lb odd, the next angler didn't weigh and then it was my turn. My carp weighed 4lb 7oz and my silvers 18lb 13oz to give me a 23lb 4oz total. As the scales made their way round there were some decent carp weights headed by John Dursley with 38lb something. Then a chap called John Green (I think) gave me a scare when he weighed 17lb odd of silvers and he had fished just a top two all day.
There were now only a few pegs left to weigh, Alvin weighed an excellent 46lb to lead the field and Eric Fouracre came close with 44lb 1oz and his net included 13lb of silvers and that was it, I'd won the silvers again! I picked up £30.50 for winning (God knows where the 50p came from!) and I now need just one more pick up to make this my best year ever (that's probably jinxed it now!).
1 - Alvin Jones (Paul Church Motors) - 46lb
2 - Eric Fouracre (Sedges) - 44lb 1oz
3 - John Dursley - 38lb+
4 - Adrian Bishop (Summerhayes) - 29lb+
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 18lb 13oz
2 - John Green - 17lb+
Well hopefully we'll be on the river next week but the Isle desperately needs some rain, so tune in to see how it goes.