Blimey, Mike Nicholls and Tony Rixon can hardly have their tackle out of the car, before they are sat in front of their respective PC's, blogging the days events. I need to put my gear away, take a short stroll to the local hostelry for a restorative cordial or two and then some food before I can face the keyboard.
Todays match at Plantation saw 19 booked in,the cafe opened up for breakfast, so I took advantage, although its not the full fat bastard variety like Bullock Farm. After breakfast I walked around with Mike Owens and Darren Vowles, as Darren pegged it out, the carp lake was a lot more coloured, but the main lake was certainly not clear. Carps had a strange set up, whereby the £10 pools was not paid out, but everyone won a prize instead, so a £5 superpool was started, 50% to the match winner, 50% to the silvers winner.
I was one of the first in the draw bag, not a good idea today, peg 2 revealed itself when I opened the ticket, which was permanent peg 3, no island chuck and at the wrong end of the lake given that what wind there was,was pushing towards me. That had thrown my plans, I'd brought two lead rods, I usually draw an island chuck.....
I decided to set up a small cage feeder, but it wasn't going to be a line of attack unless things were grim, before todays match I'd been trying to re-evaluate what bait I take to matches (usually too much and too many varieties), so along with that I decided to keep the rigs simple, a Mick Wilkonson diamond for the 13m line, to fish pellet and corn over micro pellet and corn feed. A Malman winter wires float to fish the 7m line with caster, also the same float to fish top kit to hand and a Maver dibber type float, just in case the margins were to give up a fish or two.
At the all in I fed by pot micro pellet and corn at 13m,corn & dead maggot down the RH margin and caster at 7m via catapult. I started at 13m on corn, just in case the initial feed had sparked any interest, after 20 minutes on this line varying between corn & pellet I switched to the 7m line. This saw a couple of small roach take the maggot bait, no bites on caster. I swapped to the 2m line, just using the topkit and caught infrequently, but decent roach including 3 that were 12-14oz each. This line was just starting to build when I foul hooked two carp in quick succesion, that saw the end of the bites on this line. The roach will usually come back, but not today.
I kept looking back on the 13m line, with an occasional put in to the margin, the margin produced nothing, the 13m line finally produced a bite to the corn with an hour and a quarter to go. A near 2lb skimmer was the result of this, the only skimmer I had all day, during the last hour, I stuck it out on this line and had a decent fantail, a perch and two carp. Nowhere near enough, I knew Darren had 8 carp on the feeder/lead from peg (permanent 5) and my determination to catch skimmers, crucians and fantails had surely seen me loose out in the silvers, as I abandoned the 7m caster line.
I could see Mike Nicholls fishing his usual silvers match, he'd drawn a peg I fancied to win the match. Had I drawn it, I'd have only set up lead/feeder rods. It didn't help my mood when Mike said " I had a chuck and had one first put in, the tip wouldn't stay still, but anyone can sit on the lead and wait until the tip goes round". Fair play to Mike for persevering with the silvers, but I still feel the peg would have given up a winning weight of carp.
At the weigh in, the weights showed that I and the others that had drawn the road bank and the first few pegs on either side were at the wrong end of the lake. - nothing new for me and my 'luck' continued in the bar afterwards, not one of my raffle tickets being drawn.
My 2 carp and assorted silvers went 15.06
Rich Coles won the match by a large margin, sat with his back to the carp lake he caught skimmers and carp to win with 61.13 (13lb of silvers amongst that weight.
2)Mike Owens 37.12
3) Darren Vowles 31.14
4) J Thompson 27.00
5) Mike Nicholls 22.00
6) Colin Golding 18.06
Top Silvers weight was Mike Nicholls, he mangaed to get the skimmers to feed, he weighed 16.06, John Bradford couldn't tempt the skimmers, but still managed a nice net of roach for 14.08.