I haven't been to Landsend since July, its a venue that I seem to end up a long way behind the winner, without a clear understanding of why. So was the case today,(being a long way behind the winner) although I know why today, the peg I drew was virtually a carp free zone!!
The match was split over Match and Specimen lake, I drew on the Specimen lake, peg 29, once again nowhere near one of the coveted corner pegs. Tony Rixon's toys came out of the pram when he was drawn peg 3 by Andy France and the last peg in the hat was for last to arrive (again) John Bradford - peg 32.
Peg 29 had a bit of form and most of the advice was to fish short of the island shelf for at least a couple of hours, picking up odd fish and then go over and plunder the shelf for the second half the match. ("You'll know when they are there, you'll see the tails") I'd taken some caster and soft pellet as a back up, to get some bites if my usual troubles in hooking a carp at this venue persisted.
I set up a shallow dibber rig for the island shelf, a MW slimpower on 0.17 for a rig to fish down the shelf on the drop, another slim power rig on 0.15 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 16 808 to fish soft pellet, corn or caster at 7m. I also rather optimistically set up a paste rig, as the water was 16°C.
I started by potting some caster 4mm and micropellet in at 7m, then kept a steady feed of 6mm pellet, with the odd 8mm going across to the island. The 7m line produced 3 or 4 skimmers and 2 F1's, but Jason Radford on 31 had already had 3 carp, so I had a look at the bottom of the far shelf, just twitches on the float as silvers pestered the 8mm pellet. Out with the dibber rig and I had a carp that would struggle to pull the scales round to 2lb. Back out and nothing.
I dropped in on the 7m line again, with double caster and a flying bream of 3lb+ was in the net, then the aerator started up and that was the end of the skimmers, it also stopped Jason catching. I had one more carp from the bottom of the shelf on 8mm pellet, this one was smaller than the first, so 2 carp from the Specimen lake that together went less than 4lb......
Once the aerator went off, Jason started catching again, peg 27 had caught 3 or 4 ccarp on the straight lead and 25 was catching lumps. I knew I was very unlikely to catch up, as there was still no sign of a waving tail or tell tale swirl on the island. I had a look over anyway and once again the float bobbed and twitched as small silvers tried to gorge themselves on a 8mm pellet (and it was worse with a 6mm), it was apparent that there were no carp over there. I did have a dabble on paste, which resulted in zero bites, must be nearly time to put the Big H floats away until next year.
I didn't have a decent caster shallow rig set up, but using my soft pellet/caster rig, I had a look shallow fishing to hand and had a bite from a roach every put in until the end (only hooking one in four, as the rig was not the most sensitive....)
I did drop back on the 7m line hoping for another skimmer or F1, but even though it was fizzing, I couldn't get a bite. So back to the roach and the casters had run out, I'd tried to bulk them out with corn & 4mm pellet, it didn't put the roach off and they kept coming until the all out, proving to be the right decision as I took first in the silvers and at least put some cash back into the wallet.
1) Dave Westcott 122.10 peg 25
2) Jason Radford 89.07 peg 31
3) Martin Lenaghan 79.15
4) J Dyte 75.09
5) Tony Rixon 52.07 peg 3
6) N Davidson 51.10
1) Chris Fox 17.14 peg 29
2) Leighton Palmer 17.01