Last weeks Saturday match at Plantation was won with 148lb, so when I got a phone call from organiser Paul Nicholls asking me if I wanted to fish this week, I decided that given the dreadful weather forecast for Sunday, that it would the best choice.
The weather had warmed up slightly, the water temperature was 6.5°C - the highest I've recoreded since before Xmas - and all seemed set fair to catch a few fish..... if only someone had told them!!
The drawbag wasn't too kind, peg 28, although Kev Perry drew peg 12 again (4th time in 7 or 8 matches). After last weeks woes that he'd drawn peg 4 at Trinity 4 times, a certain Mr Faiers was quiet, he drew 26, the peg that produced the 148lb weight last week. Peg 28 is an open water peg, in the gap between the two islands, it doesn't really have a fishable margin on either side, so options are limited.
A small feeder, a waggler a full depth and two pole rigs were set up, whilst setting up the feeder, I thought that I had a reprieve, no one on peg 29, 30,31,32 giving me the option to chuck to the small island on the left. I had a few casts and got clipped up for the island, feeling a little happier. The happier feeling didn't last more than 20 minutes or so, a familiar figure appeared coming round the lake with his tackle, Rod "I'm always late" Wootten. He got closer and closer and the realisation that he was stopping on peg 29 meant that was my island chuck gone.
I intended to fish soft pellet & micros at 12m, there is a slight hump in peg 28 which drops off either side, with a couple of inches more depth towards 29, the bottom of this drop was my fed area for the pole line. Two rigs set up, a 0.6g Jean Francois Desque with a 0.08 hooklength and a 18 gamma black, and a 0.5g MW pellet float with a 0.15 hooklength and a 18 B911 for when the carp moved in and I started bagging.......
The waggler was a 2 swan peacok quill with a 0.12 ultima silk hooklength and a 20 B911 / 18 PR36 hair rig as required. The feeder set up was a small cage feeder on a simple running rig, stopped by a quick change hooklength bead. A variety of hooklengths for maggot, corn and pellet.
At the all in, I fed the pole line and went straight out on the waggler, to see if there were any fish in the gap in the islands. Nothing for 15 minutes, so out with the feeder, filled with micros and corn on the hook. From 10.20 to 10.50 I had 3 carp and a skimmer and a few liners, then nothing, if I put a maggot on the waggler or pole I could get a microscopic roach, but it was a waste of time. I could see Lance catching a few opposite on peg 7, Mike Owens on peg 27 to my right had a couple, but it generally wasn't fishing well. Rod was also struggling on peg 29, although he didn't give the feeder too long.
At about 1.30 I had another carp and 3 skimmers on the feeder, then it went dead again, no joy on the straight lead, the waggler remained motionless and the pole line, to all intents and purposes, was devoid of fish. Rod had started catching a few lumps down his LH margin, so it looked like the end peg was an advantage.
I had seen some fish blowing in the gap between the islands, I hooked and lost two bream around the 3lb mark, so I guess it was skimmers and bream blowing, if I could fish the match again, I'd have varied my tactics and fished for skimmers instead of carp. Isn't hindsight great. My four carp, four skimmers and three 1/3oz roach weren't likely to trouble the scalesman, so they went straight back.
At the weigh in, whilst there were some decent weights, the fish remain shoaled up and don't seem to be actively moving around the lake looking for food, lest hope with the arrival of March tomorrow, the waters start to warm up a bit.
1) Paul Faiers 76.06 peg 26
2) Rod Wootten 59.03 peg 29
3) Lance Tucker 57.04 peg 7
4) Ivan Currie 54.00 peg 4
5) John Page 50.06 peg 38
1) A Baker 8.08 peg 17
Here is a link to an aerial shot of the main lake at Plantation, showing the peg Numbers, perhaps Darren 'Nudd' Vowles (who DNW again today - getting a habit now Darren?) would like to study it. Paul Nicholls said "don't blame me for the pegging, it was my