I've mentioned in my blog before about yearning for the old days when matches were 100 pegs +, rare as rocking horse shit now. So rather than drive to a 8, 10 or even 15 pegger, I filled one of the 'guest' spots in Tony Rixon's float only series. Nearly 50 pegs so halfway to memoriesville...
By the time I got home last night from Viaduct and cooked my tea (she who has to honour and obey - and cook tea - was at work) I was knackered, but I still tied up some new hooklengths before dossing on the sofa and watching an American Ventriloquist on one of the comedy channels.
The ritual that is now gaining familiarity, the Abby's cafe breakfast, anglers dominating the cafe, off to various matches, Rod Wotton racing his down after oversleeping and having about 25 mins to get to Cider Farm and Dean, well, just being Dean!!
I wasn't really bothered where I drew, not knowing the lakes, those 'in the know' seemed to think that a corner peg would be top choice, so I obviously pulled out peg 19 on the specimen lake, nowhere near a corner and a lake I've never seen before - although it is very similar in looks to the match lake.
I'd come prepared for carp slaying (perhaps my transformation to commercial angler is nearing completion, although I still hanker after nets of roach on the stick float), but as there is four silver places paid, I had a couple of pints of caster and a ½ a kilo of worm.
I got to the peg and wasn't disappointed to have an island chuck, I set up two wagglers, one to fish 6" - 18" deep and one that would suffice from 2' to full depth. I also set up a three pole rigs, a MW diamond to fish at 13m, pellet meat or worm, a preston green to fish the same distance with caster and another MW diamond that would do for the 6' deep margin.
The weather, the water colour and just the 'feel' of it cried out fish up in the water, so I started on the ½ depth waggler and the first chuck saw me snagged on a length of towrope. OK it was probably 15lb line, that was firmly attached to the island and a clump of roots, which I managed to get halfway back before they came up out of the water, still attached to the line. I was unable to pull it back any further and eventually the hooklength snapped, even thoughI had a straight pull on it, the line whiped around the tip eye and snapped it off - bloody great start!!
Anyone got a spare top section for a 13' Maver Reactorlite Match II ??
So I picked up the 18" deep waggler and had three fish in the first 40 minutes, probably 18lb in the net, next chuck I foul hooked one and it ran the length of my island, spooking fish as it went, I could see the swirls and bow waves as the fish either got out of its way or felt the line.
Not too worried, after it had come off, I went back in and 45 minutes later, I realised the damage that it had done, not another bite. I had fed a line at 13m with micropellet, groundbait, caster and chopped worm, so I dropped over it with a pole rig, a punch of meat on the hook - nothing, not so much as a liner, soft pellet couldn't even get a twitch on the float and likewise worm.
Back on the waggler, it was bloody hard work getting bait to the island and in the swirling and curiously, bi-directional wind, the float. I knew which casts might see a bite and they weren't the majority, even clipped up, with the wind changing speed and direction every two seconds, it was difficult to get tight every cast. I did try upping the pellet size to 11mm, to no avail, just plugging away until the end saw me land 11 fish for 62.04. I thought it might be a decent weight given the bankside chat and it was, an improvement on yesterdays 3rd place, first on the day by 1.03.
That time spent tying hooklengths last night, may well have proven to be the difference!!
1) Chris Fox 62.04 peg 19SL
2) Kev Molten 61.01 peg 24ML
3) Andy lloyd 59.05 peg 13ML
4) Clint Wojtyla 56.08 peg 10SL
5) Fred Roberts 53.03 peg 20ML
6) Tom Magnol 50.13 peg 18SL
There were some moans and groans about the way it fished, but with less than 6lb seperating the top four, it was close.
Whilst he didn't appear in the frame, it was a hot topic of conversation, that the infamous Fabio, hooked and landed a 14lber whilst fishing into a fellow competitors peg, Im sure he must have cast there by accident and then slipped the fish back into the water, rather than into a keepnet.......