Back to Viaduct today for the £10 all in cost cutter, again my plan was to have a chop and change, trying out a few things. The moment I opened my peg card, all that went out the window, peg 85 - the same peg as the last cost cutter I fished and felt that had I not been trying rigs baits and lines out, I should have won it. 20 pegs in today and all of them drawn.
After yesterdays match (and reading Tony's blog)I made up a big tub of paste, as I knew we were on Cary and that seemed to be the bait yesterday. I walked round to the peg and set up two waggler rods, both with 6lb sensor to 0.17 hooklengths and PR36 size 16 hooks, on shallow, one with a loaded Drake peacock for full depth. I also set up a straight lead, Shimano Technium 8lb main line and 0.19 with a 14 B960 for hair rigged pellet.
The pole rigs were straight forward, a very simple paste rig, Big H float on 0.19 to a size 12 mustad paste hook, a margin rig (the same one as yesterday), yesterdays up in the water rig and I also set up a MW 2.5 slim power on 0.19 to a 0.17 hooklength with a 16 B960 and a hair rigged band for pellet on the deck.
Plenty of fish moving had me optimistic that I'd catch on the waggler, the fish had other ideas, it took me about half an hour or so to get my first bite, this was on the shallow wag and a fish around 5lb was netted. I persisted and around the hour mark had another fish of similar size, both took the pellet immediately it hit the water, they certainly weren't fooled by a pellet suspended under a float!!
I had a look in the RH margin and that followed the pattern of the previous match, meat being taken of the hook by nuisance silvers and a hard pellet enduring the same treatment, although they couldn't get it out of the band. I abandoned the margin and never went back.
I had fed a line at 14m with some softened pellet and dropped in over it with paste, two fouler hookers that tore off and came off was the net result of that. A look into the open water on the lead produced nothing, John Bradford was on 81 and he'd given me the OK to go to the point of the spit. This produced one fish on the lead, around the 4 or 5lb mark (I took a carpers rig out of it's mouth that looked more appropriate for Chesil beach!! A huge hook, braid hooklength, swivel, rubber covers etc and about 3" of curly monofilament that must have been 15lb - why the need for all that? And how did a 5lb at most, fish snap it??)
With just over half the match gone, I still had 3 fish, I could see some activity on the 14m line which I'd kept feeding with a catapult, I tried shallow over the feed, but apart from a couple of 'takes' (just like trout fishing) that didn't result in a hooked fish, that seemed a no hoper as well. I knew it wasn't fishing brilliantly, I could see Alan Oram getting the odd fish on the lead and Jim Baines nicking one or two on the waggler. Steve Long walked round confirming that only odd fish had been caught , Paul Lock with 5 was the best any one was admitting to.
As the fish were moving and fizzing over the 14m line I went back in with the paste and had 11 fish in the last 2 and a bit hours, some proper lumps, one which was 18lb and a couple around the 15lb mark. I am pretty crap a judging the size of these fish, so decided on 6 to a net, when I got to 12, I tipped back my silvers (two foul hooked skimmers for about 10oz - I'd have felt guilty weighing them in any way......)
I could hear a fair bit of splashing to my left in the last couple of hours and it turned out George Perkins had them going up in the water, but his 10 were not enough to trouble my 14. The scales said my 14 fish went 132.12 which was enough on the day to take top spot.
1) Chris Fox 132.12 peg 85
2) Paul Lock 96.10 peg 78
3) George Perkins 94.12 peg 86
4) Miles Levy 91.06 peg 80
5) Gary Wall 84.13 peg 77
6) Jim Baines 81.13 peg 97
1) John Green 36.06 peg 88
2) John Bradford 35.03 peg 81
3) Paul Lock 22.09 peg 78