My first team match of the year, the 2nd round of the super league at Viaduct. Trying to preserve my svelte figure, I gave the cafe a miss and went straight to Viaduct from home.
So much for all the preperation yesterday, when I got my kit out I'd forgotten my keepnet bar and had to scrounge some pliers off of Mike Nicholls to get the quick connectors off my keepnets so I could use banksticks.
I was first there, but it didn't take long for team mates Dave Wride and Mark Bromsgrove to turn up, shortly after, team Captain, Lance, turned up with the draw made and gave out the pegs. 110 was to be my peg, didn't mean too much as I haven't fished Viaduct very often(even though I keep promising myself I'll fish it more).
The pressure was on once several of my fellow competitiors made a point of telling me that it had won Thursdays match, with 170lb. I set up (but for Tony Rixon's benefit - didn't use) a lead rod, two waggler rods and four topkits, one with a paste rig on, on for up in the water and two rigs that would do for pellet/meat at full depth in open water and the margin. Having two hours to set up is bliss, even I was ready at the start.
Some of the advice I was given about catching into the bay on my left, past the tree stump seemed good, it looked fishy, but the fish moving about made my decision to start on the pellet waggler an easy one. But after ¾ hour with only 1 fish and hardly any indications on the float to show for it, I decided that as it was a team match, I'd better try and get some section points. I dropped a piece of meat on a hair rig into the area I'd been feeding by the stump, the float settled and shot under and an angry carp ran round the back of the stump and snagged solid - whilst the dumb ass on the other end regretted not having a couple more sections on......
A new rig (the bloody lot was gone) and back in on the meat, in the next 45 mins I had four tench and a couple of carp, before the bites dried up. I had a paste line at about 9m and I'd fed the LH margin at 14.5m and 17m, the paste line produced on small skimmer to a lump of paste bigger than a golf ball and the LH margin nothing apart from two liners. I could see that peg 112 had taken 4 or 5 fish on the waggler whilst I was rotating my lines and with 2½ hours to go (5 hour match), I decided to concentrate on the waggler and keep the meat going into the margin by the stump.
I went from 3 carp to 14 on the waggler in the next hour and 45 mins and from 14 to 19 in the last ¾ hour (wish it had been six hours). I lost three fish on the waggler, two (one very big fish) kited to my left and headed straight for the brambles and snags around the stump, one just came off palying it in.
I though my 19 carp might go 75-80lb with the tench and lone skimmer, watching the section weigh in, it was tight 3 weights in the 70's, Alan Oram with 93lb, but I managed to take maximum points with with my 104lb 12oz. This was also good enough to take third place in the match and those lost fish cost me second place.
I didn't manage to get the full results, but top three
Andy Power 145.12
Gary Etheridge 109.05
Chris Fox 104.12
and I'm pretty sure Alan Oram's 93lb odd was fourth and Steve Kedge had 90lb for a section win and I think fifth place.