It seems a long time since I last got the tackle out of the garage and stuck my hand into a draw bucket, work and a short holiday in France were the cause of the two and a bit week break. I was half intending to get to Viaduct on Wednesday (yesterday)but on the day I was due to go to France, the Citroen that were going in, decided to spew all its power steering fluid out. I came home from work and spent a while ringing insurances company, RAC and Eurotunnel on line to swap all the details over to my van.
I spent yesterday renewing the power steering pump and drive belt (a serpentine belt which had shredded one rib off and into the seal of the pump, thus knackering it)- I wasn't a happy bunny, I'd rather have been fishing. France was OK, 'Er indoors and the dog enjoyed it and the van was well loaded up with paté, garlic sausage and many bottles of vin rouge, as we came back across the channel.
So, with one eye on Saturdays County Final and the opportunity to get back on the bank, I booked into Viaduct for the costcutter on Campbell. The draw wasn't important, I wanted to catch a few fish and get some ideas for Saturday, once again using the costcutter to boost my knowlege of the venue. 110 was the peg that revealed its self once I opened the card, having had a ton+ and third in the superleague from this peg earlier in the year, I wasn't too disapppointed and when I got there and found that the North Westerly wind was pushing across towards me, I hoped that the fish were following it.
I tackled up covering all options, a straight lead, a waggler at depth and a shallow waggler. Pole rigs consisted of a shallow rig, a pellet at depth rig which was a MW slim power on 0.17, to a 0.15 hooklength and a 16 B960, a paste rig and two rigs for the margin, on with a 16 B960 for banded pellet and one with a 14 B911 for meat, both on 0.17.
At the all in, I cupped in some softened and hard pellet at 14.5m up the LH margin, I fed some corn & meat by the 'stump' and fed a line by catapult at 14.5m 11 o'clock and another at 35m 10 o'clock with pellet.
It took an hour to get my first fish, nothing on the 14.5m pole line, two lost foulers on the waggler and a lost fouler by the stump was the sum of my first hour, a couple of minutes past 12 and I took two fish in two put ins on meat by the stump, one around the 8lb mark. A look at the 14.5m margin saw two more fish in the net, the smallest two of the day. Looking around the lake it was obvious that it wasn't fishing brilliantly, so a change to the straight lead with 8mm pellet brought three more fish and then it went quiet again. It seemed that it was a day to take a couple of fish from one area, then swap lines and take a couple more.
I had a several fish on the waggler casting towards the empty end bank and with just over an hour to go had another look in on my 14.5m line which had only yielded a couple of missed bites up to now. the full depth rig produced two fish in two put ins, then two lost foulers, back out with the shallow rig and a run of fish up to the final whistle saw me with a total of 22 fish, a few of which were a decent size, so I knew I had just over a ton. Paul Greenwood had been for a little walk and when he got back he proceded to empty his peg (128) for the last couple of hours, catching at the end of the spit. George Perkins had had a fair few skimmers on 112, then caught carp on the same line giving him a decent weight, but it looked like no one had run away with it.
The scales went round from 132, so I was the last to weigh, 138.00 and 102.11 to beat, I was pretty confident of beating the 102.11, not so sure about the 138.00. My two nets, four weighs, pulled the scales round to 143.08 and first place. A nice way to get back after a couple of weeks off, although it will probably be a bad omen for Saturday.....
1) Chris Fox 143.08 peg 110
2) Paul Greenwood 138.00 peg 128
3) George Perkins 102.11 peg 112
4) Stu Foale 96.13 peg 118
5) Matt King 88.13 peg 131
6) Dave Roper 79.09 peg 115
1) George Perkins 44.07 peg 112
2) John Green 21.10 peg 114
3) Charlie Barnes 21.06 peg 125
4) Dave Roper 4.15 peg 115
5) Matt King 4.06 peg 131
6) Stu Foale 3.06 peg 118