It was back to Viaduct for the final match in the 5 match series and I was out for revenge after the previous few weeks had seen me drawing just off the fish or generally having a bad day. My destination was Match Lake, peg 46, and this did not fill me with much joy as it had not really produced that much over the series but having never fished the lake I was not too sure what to expect.
Looking at my peg I had a nice margin to my right that ended in a small tree at 13m ish, but I had been warned off about the amount of twigs and branches in the margins so as soon as I got to my peg I was on my hands and knees with a landing net dragging out about half a trees worth of wood. This instantly made the edge look more appealing so as I was sat back on my box I set up a margin rig to fish at 5m to my left and right tight to the wooden boards, and it was a similar depth at 13m so that was where my main edge line was going to be. The rig for this was ended in a size 3 tubertini 175, onto 0.16mm cenex, from what I could make out a lot of people seemed to think that this was excessive, but in my defence if I hooked it I wanted it in the net. I then set up a 4X10 MW carp slim to fish meat in the open water and at 5m, it was a float depth deeper at 5m so that worked quite well with the amount of line above the float, this rig was for fishing meat so I had yellow reflex elastic and a size 1 Tubby 175. I also set up a dobbing rig for down the edge and a shallow mugging rig as the sun was out and I was hoping to see a few lumps enjoying the spring warmth, it didn’t happen so that’s enough about those rigs.
The all in was called at 1030 and I shipped out on both of my meat lines with a small amount of hemp and about 20 pieces of meat, and I started by dobbing 3 maggots down the edge, it didn’t feel right though and some of the others were catching F1’s straight away on the bomb from tight to the island. I instantly felt as though I was in for a trouncing so I went looking on my long line with meat and started to ping 4-5, 6mm pieces of meat in every couple of minutes to try and make something happen before I went down the edge later. Something did happen and my first proper bite saw me attached to about 8lb of carp that fought like a skimmer until it was under the top kit. I kept feeding the line but it had gone quiet so I decided to have a quick look down the edge on caster, I was instantly into perch and at 6-32 ounces they were well worth catching, I caught long and short to my right on maggot and had a great hour putting a few of them into the net, all the time feeding the long and short meat lines. Mid match I had a run of F1’s from the long line and also managed another better carp from down the edge, the F1’s seemed to coincide with when the shadow of a tree was falling on the water where I had been feeding. I would get a run of 3-4 fish and then I would have to change swim as they backed off, and with an hour and a quarter I had my first look at 5m on meat.
I had 4 fish for about 10lb in 4 put ins and was thinking that I was about to smash the lake when it just went dead again and this saw me struggle for the rest of the match whilst I still got to watch the guys catching F1’s casting to the island, John Moody had had a really good couple of hours mid match but started to slow towards the end and Andy Power to my right seemed to be putting small carp into the net every so often so I knew that he had done me as well come the end.
The all out was called and Tom to my left and myself were grateful, we had about the same number of fish but I had carp and he had F1’s, how important bagging the bonus fish was shown on the scales when I weighed in 40lb odd and Tom managed a mid-twenty pound weight. Andy had 60lb helped by what I think was a late surge and John managed 90lb for a lake win and third in the match.
I ended up with 12 points again which I was happy with from that peg, the team didn’t come last which is always nice, I lost another quid to Moody but this was fortunately funded by Ken Rayner and finally many thanks to guys for running a fabulous series, I can only hope that I can compete in it again next year.