I Had managed a few practices for this match over the last few weeks with mixed results, I had managed a reasonable session on Park in the cold rain on maggot but a lack lustre session on Whitepost had me wondering about tactics for those lakes, but there were a couple of lakes that I had not been able to get on, not for the want of trying, and they were the new match lakes out the back of the shop.
Anyway back to the day of the match and I was obviously a little late getting to the draw location as it seemed as there was a lack of parking and a decent queue to the till. I had a few rods and bits that had upgraded recently that I found the respective new owners for then I was able to enjoy the wait and the final eating of my breakfast.
It was the last match that Kev was organising but the draw as ever was slick and well run, I was on drawing duty for Azzi Red and managed to put Ben on Whitepost, Daz on Park and that the new lakes for me, peg 10?? The brief that I had received for this lake off John the owner was along the lines of- there are loads of fish and they have been fed pellet by scoop from the bank with the pegs, there are also a number of bigger carp in there that are waiting on a speci lake to get filled. This instantly got me thinking that it would be a short pole fish race and that I would also feed a shallow line at 13m as it was close enough to catch F1’s quick and just far enough out to catch bigger carp shallow.
I parked in the shop car park and pushed my barrow up to peg 10, this was 2/3 of the way along the lake away from the shop on a track that would have been easy to drive on. I got to my peg after much ‘Chuffing’ , set up my box and surveyed the scene.
I knew from looking at the peg that I was not far off with my plan so I went about plumbing up a pellet and a paste rig for the base of the near shelf that in this case was 2+2.5 sections out. I also set up a shallow mugging rig that I would also use for deep shallow, a jigging rig and a slapping F1 rig all for the long line before pulling my 11ft pellet wag rod from the bag, just to try and mug one of the submarines that could be seen from time to time cruising along the far bank.
I had decided to go positive on this match as this match was my first real chance of a section win, but seeing Bri on an end peg of the holiday lake to our left then Carl and Neil were at the windward end of the lake which seemed to have a lot of fish in probably due to the sound of construction machinery at the other end of the lake. Pez was a couple of pegs to my left with a blank peg next to him, then Gary on the other side of the blank peg, to my right I had Tree with another blank peg to his right and further up was John so it was a strong section.
I was ready for the all in and as soon as it was called I cupped about 100 pellets onto the short line from a height and then cast out the wag, 5 casts later the wag was put up the bank as fish had started coming in on the short line for people already. I lowered my banded 6mm to the deck and had to wait all of 30 seconds for fish number 1, number 2 wasn’t far behind and so started a first 3 hours that saw me putting a fish in the net almost every minute, however at 4oz apiece with the odd slightly larger one I was going nowhere fast. This was compounded by the odd lump coming out to the method all around me, and then at 3 hours, probably due to the heat the lake apart from the first few pegs just shut up shop.
I tried everything apart from a method to get a bite in the last few hours and managed a few F1’s on my long line mugging rig with no feed, but with an hour and a bit to go whilst melting in the 20 degree heat I decided to go to the shop for a cool down.
Before I left I fed a few handfuls of pellet onto my short line, but on my return this obviously hadn’t worked, I even tried a light pellet wag. As time was ticking down a few more of the larger carp that had been conspicuous by their absence in my swim started to cruise through so with 30 minutes to go and nothing to lose I started concentrating on mugging one of them.
The first pod of fish saw a bite and then the hook pulled out as the hair had wrapped around the hook.
The next pod saw a bite and a skimmer of 12oz being the culprit, wouldn’t have been too bad but all the carp were doubles.
5 minutes to go and another pod move through quite quick left to right at 16m, I dropped the 8mm pellet on one of their noses and the float dinked. I remember striking and then watching helpless as meters of 2.1mm Colmic hollow elastic tore off through Trees swim. Thank you to tree at this point as he had been able to keep putting some fish in his net by fishing at 3ft deep over his 7m line but my carp destroyed this. I got a grip of it after what seemed like an age and soon had it under the pole tip on the puller. I managed to net it as soon as it came into range and it was a 5Kg Ghostie, which explained a lot. I got the fish in the net and tried to ship out as quickly as possible, but the all-out was called just as I was adding my last two sections.
We had all watched Neil filling hs boots from the end of the lake but as for the rest of us it would be close as Tree, John and Pez had all caught well at the start, John had managed a couple of bonus fish, Pez had bene catching a good stamp of fish and Tree had caught better than most in the last 3 hours. The scales finally got top me and Neil was top with an impressive 52 kilos and change, Pez was next with 26.53Kg, then I weighed 27.32Kg, Tree 27.22Kg, Martin( the other side of blank peg) 22.98Kg and then John with 23.86Kg.
Those eagle eyed of you will notice from these results that I managed to squeak 2nd by 100g and if I had not landed that carp I would have been at least 3 places further down the pack. Needless to say that no-one mentioned how spawny it was or that dobbing shouldn’t count and Tree didn’t call me any names at all. I took my quid off Craig and Pez and went back for the results, the rest of the team had not fared as well but we still managed to beat baggers A, granted it was on countback and was for 4th or 5th place, but we beat them.
I needed those points as I am now sat 3rd in the league with about 15 points with a 6th, 3rd and 2 seconds to drop, unfortunately I am missing the next group match as I am trying my hand at a Carp match, but considering the venue the pellet wag and paste down the edge may come into play especially as the fish average upper double, should be fun.
What would I do different
1. The short line worked well until it got too hot, then perhaps concentrating ion trying to catch shallow there like Tree may have caught me a bit more weight but I would have never caught up with Neil unless….
2. I perhaps should have sat on the dobbing rig for the last hour hindsight is the best angler but they were moving through the swim after my trip to the shop.
3. Waggler wasn’t right at all and after the first time I should have put it away in the bag rather than flogging a dead horse, perhaps a method across into the shallow water may have got me a bite or more likely a zigged bit of foam. (its what I would have done sat in my bivvy!!)