Down to earth with a bump today, I quite fancied the Carps match at Bullock Farm, but couldn't make the 9am draw, so settled for Avon Anglings open at Avalon as I could easily make the noon draw.
I was hopeful of a few fish, as there would be less pressure on the lake than Sunday, with 11 of on the RH bank of the match lake, spread between 24 & 48. I drew peg 30 and wasn't disappointed when I got there, plenty of fish moving and a hint of a breeze blowing into the island. (I was at the LH end of one of the islands) A lesson learnt is not to gloat about the wind direction - it bloody changed as Tony shouted all in !!
I set up two wagglers, one for shallow and one to fish anywhere from 2' to full depth, a lead rod (just in case and to wind up Tony Rixon who was on peg 30). I set up a paste rig, a pellet rig and a margin rig for the pole. The wagglers had 0.15 hooklengths and PR36 size 18's, the lead rod had 0.17 and a 16PR36. Pole rigs were 0.19 straight through to a Mustad paste 12 and the pellet and margin rigs were 0.17 with 0.15 hooklengths to 16 B911's.
Starting on the waggler, I was expecting bites from the off, but all I managed was to play a double figure foul hooker for 20 minutes, before it dived into the platform leg and chub like, transferred the hook to a snag. After 45 minutes of fruitless casting with the waggler, I was four or five fish behind Tony, who was fishing the pole. An exploratory chuck with the lead saw a fish around 6lb in the net, but that was the only proper bite.
Coming in on the pole line, I soon hooked a fish which tore off towards Tony's peg, bottomed the elastic and snapped the 0.15, shortly after to be repeated, although this time the fish went towards peg 29. I can't recall the last time I got smashed up on 0.15 in open water, so twice in 20 minutes or so was pretty puzzling.
By this time I was a long way behind Tony as he caught fish at 19m shallow, on the deck, on the pellet waggler, in fact whatever he tried, it seemed. As I don't have 19m I couldn't try that, so resorted to what I know best and persevered with the waggler, to no avail.
I tried paste and had a bream that hould have been 4lb or so, but was still covered in spawning tubercles and looked pretty thin, I had another carp around 5lb and then a few foulhookers taht all came off.
I went back on the lead, as the foliage on the island had grown and was overhanging the water by 2' or 3' and it was the only way I could get under it, as the fish wouldn't come out!! The growth was at least 2' in front of the reeds, those who could get to their island reeds were at least catching a few, all I was doing was either not getting a bite, or losing them within seconds of hooking them, into what appears to be a mass of roots under the island. Fair play to Vic (Bush) he is going to get out in the boat and cut them back, too late for me, but should help the next who draws it.
So it ended carp 16 - me 2, I left regretting not going to Bullock Farm, but then I read Mike Nicholls blog and saw that Golden arm Kitteridge had drawn peg 17 - has he ever drawn a bad peg??
So a few things learnt, I should have tried shallow into open water, I didn't and the crap Kebab I got from the new kebab house in Whitchurch might have been a one off, I tried again last night and the kebab was superb.
You'll have to get the results from Tony's blog, I was busy remeniscing about the roach fishing in Somerset of yesteryear with Steve Kedge and missed the results, although Kedgie had a cracking net of roach to win the silvers with a couple of ounces shy of 30lb.