I was looking forward to a return to Trinity Waters this weekend, but when Paul (Faiers) told me that Charlie Barnes and Tom Thick were organising a open on Bullock Farm, several things drew me to it, even though it needs a bit of TLC and tidying, it usually is a decent match, the breakfast is bloody great and finally, Tom & Charlie support the series that Paul and I run (Kev Perry series) on the venue. So, a bit of reciprocal support never does any harm.
This year nature really has got a grip on the match lake and the rush beds could really do with taming, they are shaking all day as the fish quite contentedly stay in them whilst matches are in progress. Some of the islands are now eroding away and the tree on the island in front of peg 22 looks like it won't be long before it goes over into the lake.
I arrived in plenty of time to get a breakfast, chatting about old times (and how now we're getting old, its not so easy to drink all night and still fish the next day) with Nicky Collins and if we're both honest, the full Bullock Farm cafe breakfast, isn't likely to help the diet plans......
I wasn't surprised to see Charlie and Tom in a state of disorganisation, bickering like an old married couple, in the end Charlie took the pools money and noted it all down on the back of a fag packet ( or something similar) and then held the draw.
Once the melee had settled it didn't take long for everyone to hear that Tony Rixon had drawn peg 24 and Dean Malin, peg 17, two good anglers on two of the best pegs, if it went to form, that was everyone else fishing for 3rd place.
I'd drawn 21, a real up and down peg, it has framed and it has come nowwhere, on an inconsistent basis, some days the crucians and fantails are there, others they aren't, when it has an off day, it really isn't good. Earlier this year the wooden boards that surrounded the island were removed, its now possible to get more bites from carp, but they often end up buried into the roots and debris around the island, witness the tackle shop dealers delight, a plethora of lost floats gracing the foliage that enters the water.
I decide to fish the open water and only venture near the rig killing foliage and roots if desperate. Soft pellet and paste were to be the plan, with a back up of corn, maggot and catmeat. On the all in, I cupped in a few 4 mm pellets and some micro pellet, going in on top of this with a 4mm expander, I was well chuffed when the float went under and a 1lb+ fantail was in the net, I needn't have been, from then on it was a real struggle, I'd alter the rig or change bait and get a bite or a fish, thinking I'd sussed it, no I hadn't, every change that brought a bite or fish, was then met with a motionless float.
Giving up, I went into the rooty jungle by the island, lost a few carp and landed 3, all the while, I could see Tony Rixon bagging on peg 24. I had to put it down to one of those days, I think it was a combination of not too many fish in the peg and I overfed it, thinking it would produce a few fish. I even tried a caster line out to my left at about 7m, usually good for a few silvers, not a bite.
As predicted, Dean and Tony first and second, both with 60lb+ and match organiser Tom Thick third with 53lb 14oz