The 11 o'clock draw and the desire to try and suss out how to actually land the damn fish in this venue persauded me to end up in this secluded part of Somerset for the second match running. Back to school for Mr Rixon, as we needed a redraw, when it was discovered that there was one peg missing from the drawbag.
Draw bag being a loose term for the soggy floor where the swimcards ended up, mine revealing 7 when I opened it, Dean (Malin) had 70lb odd from this peg Sunday on the feeder, so there should have been some fish there.
As usual when there is an hour to set up, I wasn't quite ready, hurrying had made me less observant than I should have been, the rods I had carefully clipped up not half an hour before, now landed in the troublesome reeds and tangle of twigs, because the wind had dropped.
I must learn not to praise any of my tackle, I'd be extolling the virtues of my Maver pole roller to Mike West, only days before and the bloody leg snapped off whilst I was setting it up. I slipped on the very slippery platform and thought I'd broken the brand new waggler rod rod I had in my hand, luckily not, just knocked most of my bait off the side tray. The No2 quiver tip on my feeder rod split between the tip ring and the second ring, this after a couple of years of good service (well, OK, it doesn't get used much....) What else could go wrong....
I'd decided to fish a line at 13m with micro and 4mm pellet, as I did Sunday, to try and learn how to avoid the foul hookers and to fish across as tight as I could get to the island, which proved not to be tight enough because of the reeds. Peg 7 is also quite a narrow peg, perhaps another reason not to have fished to the island.
I should have stuck to my plan and fished paste over the 13m line for the rest of the day, but on several occasions I wasted time fishing the waggler (and resetting it up a few times, because Fabio was catching well on it to my right. Although I was totally wrong in my estimation of his weight, Pete Sivell walked down and said Fabio had about 20, I assumed that was 100lb.
The buggering about with the waggler cost me the chance to push the top places, as I managed 12 fish in total, 2 which fell to the first two casts on the feeder (and that was the sum total of my action on it) and one which came on the waggler, when the wind parted the reeds perfectly, for me to get close enough to the island. The other 9 all came on the 13m line on the paste, I'd tried hard pellet, no bites, first put in on soft pellet ended up with Sunday syndrome, bite, fish on, fish running, fish off!!
Nick Davidson on peg 9 had seen me catching on paste and started chucking his lead rod with a conker on, in at 13 or 14m and started to catch, so those better fish do come close.
For me, it was a match plagued with poor decision making, being convinced that Fabio was battering me and not sticking to my plan of fishing paste. My 12 fish went 73.01 and seventh place, with some commitment to my beliefs, I should have been looking at a pick up.
Thats it for a couple of weeks, as I am having a small operation on my wrist tomorrow (Friday) not sure how long it will stop me fishing for, not too long hopefully. Although as soon as I can drive, I'm sure the stir craziness of being stuck at home, will see me walking a bank or two.
1) Dean Malin 131.04 peg 11
2) Tony Rixon 122.14 peg 13
3) Jamie Dyte 104.09 peg 1
4) Phil 'Fabio' Harding 96.03 peg 5
5) Tim Clark 94.13 peg 20
6) Nick Davidson 78.14 peg 9
1) Kevin Davis 26.00 peg 19