As there was finally an Ilminster match that didn't clash with Perry St, I was at Dillington today. The previous two matches had been won on the whip (both by Heardy for a change!) with 8-10lb so I intended to do the same but also fish a chopped worm line for later in the day. I got to the pub and there were seven of us today including a chap called Mike who was fishing his first match for about 30 years! It's always nice to see new faces and he's also a Chelsea fan which was a bonus.
I quite fancied pegs 17 or 18 but pulled out peg 8 on the far bank so my drawing hand got it wrong for once! For company I had Rob on peg 6 and Steve Parker was on peg 12 but I couldn't really see him. Heardy drew peg 2 and wanted a £1 sidebet which I stupidly agreed to, so I would be a £1 worse off in five and a half hours time! I made myself comfy in the water and set up a 4 metre whip with a Drake crowquill float and also set up the pole at 10 metres with a 0.5 gram Drennan Quad float for the chopped worm. I mixed up some Sensas Roach groundbait and chopped up some worms and casters and was just about ready for the start. For bait I had maggots, casters, hemp and worm (it made a change not to be using pellets!).
Rob blew for the start and I cupped in some worm and caster on the long line before starting on the whip, I flicked out, tossed in a nugget of groundbait and the float sailed away and I was swinging in a chunky rudd. The first hour went pretty well and I had 20 fish (mainly rudd) for about 2lb. From what I could see, most people were catching a few. I was also feeding by the reeds to my left and trying that line periodically but only had a few fish from there. Things slowed up a bit in the second hour but I was getting enough fish to keep me interested, mainly rudd including the odd better one of 8oz or so and I caught my first perch of about 6oz.
The third hour was similar apart from the fact it started raining (and pretty much didn't stop all day), I fed the chopped worm line again and was by now itching to try it. After three and a half hours I was up to 50 fish for about 5lb and decided to try my chopped worm line for the first time. Just as I shipped out with half a dendra on, I heard Martin shout across to Richy asking what he'd had, Richy replied he'd had 49 fish and Fieldy on 17 had 54 fish so it was all quite tight at this stage. I was loose feeding casters over the top of my chopped worm quite heavily and didn't have to wait too long for my first bite which turned out to be an eel of 8oz and hopefully a few more would see me pull clear of the whip anglers.
A couple of greedy little perch were next to show before I hooked a decent fish and after a spirited scrap I netted a 12oz perch and things were ticking along nicely. I was getting regular bites and added another perch of 6oz, a nice roach, a rudd and another tiny perch before the bites slowed up. I'd missed a few bites as well but with so many small fish in the pond this was just an occupational hazard. Rob next door netted a decent perch but other than that I hadn't seen Richy or Fieldy use their landing nets much. I cupped in some more chopped worm and came back on the whip line to let it settle for 15 mins.
The whip was now a waste of time and I managed just two small roach on maggot to put me on 60 fish and decided to spend the last 45 minutes on the worm. I had another small perch straight away but the next bite saw a substantial amount of elastic come out and I netted an eel that was getting on for a pound and by my reckoning I now had about 7.5lb in the net and was hoping a good last half an hour might see me net a few more. I had another couple of roach on the worm before missing several good bites so tried double caster instead. A slow bite saw me hit another eel but the bloody hook pulled out on the way in, I don't think it was a big one though. No more bites and I was back on the worm for the last 15 mins. I was just thinking that was my lot when nearly dead on time the float slid away and I missed it and Rob blew for the finish - damn!
I ended with 64 fish which I hoped would go 7.5lb but I wasn't sure that would be any good today. I packed up my sodden gear and took it to the car before going to watch Rob weigh Martin in, he said he'd only had 65 fish but he'd had some quality rudd amongst them and weighed an excellent 9lb 11oz and I knew I didn't have that. Mike had 1lb 15oz before Rob weighed 5lb 13oz which included a couple of decent perch. My fish weighed 8lb 2oz so I was actually quite close to my estimate for once! If I'd have landed that eel and hit a couple more worm bites I'd have been a lot closer to Martins weight, I was in second place with three more anglers to weigh.
Steve had 3lb 3oz but I didn't walk round the other side to watch the last two weigh in. On Rob's return he said Fieldy had 6lb 6oz and Richy had 3lb 14oz so I ended up second and picked up £30 but I did lose a squid to Heardy, not a bad result for my first visit since September last year.
Yep, it's that picture again
Heardy is on a right roll, he won three on the trot at Summerhayes and he's now won all three matches so far at Dillington in this league.
1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 9lb 11oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 2oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 6lb 6oz
After three matches and dropping the worst result, Heardy is leading with a maximum 30 points followed by Richy on 24 and Fieldy on 18. I've got no hope in this league as I've already missed two matches and will miss several more.
Well my week off has been pretty successful with four matches on three venues and a pick up every time, I bet it all goes tits up next Sunday when I'm back at Perry St.