After a nerve wracking 90 minutes at Ashton Gate Saturday and one (or two...) too many beers after, it was a groggy drive down to Viaduct for an 18 pegger on Cary. Third into the draw bag and I had two peg cards stuck together, I flicked one back and when I opened the one I'd kept, 85 was again staring back at me. Three times this summer I've drawn this peg, I can't ever recall drawing any peg three times in one season before.
I wasn't unhappy with the draw, as 81 was empty and I could see Charlie Barnes coming round, I was hoping for a silvers basher on 86, but it turned out to be Jacko (Steve Jackson), so no chance of having the carp to myself. Standing up on the bank, I realised that 86 was going to be tough to beat, there was an area approx 15yds x 10yds in front of Jacko at 30 or 40 metres, that was black with fish.
I set up an array of gear, not quite knowing what would work, a lead rod, two wagglers, one shallow, one at depth, and a paste rig (big H float on 0.19 and a 12 Mustad paste hook). I also set up pellet rigs for shallow and full depth, as well as two rigs for the margin, one was a blob on 0.19 for paste, another on 0.19 with a 14 B960 for pellet/meat.
I started on the full depth waggler and had 3 fish in the first 40 mins, Jacko was catching on the lead, I was only getting liners on the lead, I tried past the feed and short of it, to no avail, then I was bored of it. At around 2½ hours gone, Jacko had 9 fish to my 3, the pole line had just started to fizz, so I dropped in and had two carp quite quickly on paste, I then lost two, both mouth hooked, one right at the net, not sure why, I was using tried and tested hooks and elastic (Mustad paste and orange Bazookarp). This seemed to move the carp aff the paste line as I had a 1.11 skimmer and then it went quiet.
I'd fed pellet and meat at two points along the RH margin, I had two bites, one I'm certain was a skimmer nicking the meat off the hair, another was the first carp I've hooked in that margin, but I think it was a fouler as it charged off and came off.
Whilst all this was going on, Charlie Barnes was mimicing Jacko's oohs and ahhs as Jacko's back gave him gyp, although it sounded like Charlie had the centrefold of Silverfishers Monthly open in front of him and was knocking one out over a scantily clad skimmer.
With an hour and a half to go, Jacko was battering me and I could see Stu Foale catching well on 103, I got up to have a sneaky look at Jacko's lead rig, to see if it was significantly different to mine - it wasn't. I went back and picked up the lead rod agin, two in two chucks inspired me that here comes a grandstand finish, but no, that was it, the only two bites on the lead.
I had one on the full depth pellet rig at the end, landing it after the whistle, but I knew I was well beaten, by this time the black mass in front of Jacko was even darker, he certainly had plenty of fish in front of him. I really would struggle to chuck a lead for 6 hours..... although he did get 2 or 3 on the waggler towards the end.
I weighed in just in case I could sneak some county points and I think I may have just snuck in with 3 more.
1) M Fisher 173.10 Peg 80
2) Steve Jackson 173.02 peg 85
3) Stu Foale 141.03 peg 103
4) Ray Hayward 126.05 peg 74
5) Chris Davis 94.09 peg 90
6) Chris Fox 81.00 peg 85
1) K Masheder 31.00 peg 78
2) Marc ? 30.14 peg 97
3) Chris Davis 6.03 peg 90
4) Ray Hayward 4.03 peg 74
Thatchers very own sex god, Tom Thick has actually sold his pole now, he was fishing a match on Campbell, not sure how he got on, but I reckon the local massage parlours have seen the proceeds, all seven or eight quid!!. His Dad was also fishing and Tom told him "you won't need a pole" - he then drew 115.....