Today turned into one of those days that would have been better spent in the pub....
I drew Campbell 114, not what I'd have picked, but still well worth a go, I took my lead rod out of the case and found the tip ring snapped off the quivertip, no worries, I'll just reuse it as it had snapped right next to the ring. Thats until I dropped the ring in the grass and couldn't find it. That's a new No2 quiver to order now!! I made up the rod with the No3 tip in and also set up two wagglers, although given the temperature, I thought the shallow wag was unlikely to get used.
I set up a shallow rig on the pole, a full depth pellet rig and two meat rigs, one for the margin back into the vacant 113 and another for a line about 7m. Plumbing up showed there is a deeper channel straight in front, about 6" or 8" deeper than the same distance out at 11 & 1 o'clock. Paul Greenwood had announced 11.30-17.30 fishing times and then blew the hooter at 11, so I had been leisurely setting up, chatting and making new rigs and as usual wasn't ready.
I started on the lead, as the majority of fish were caught from the middle pegs on Thursday, by those fishing it. In less than 10 minutes I had a vicious wrap round and a 4lb fish in the net. As the temperature had dropped I decided to try the pellet cone, seemingly it worked, although only for that fish as a lost foul hooker was the only other action for the rest of the first hour. There were signs of fish moving and I was already 4 or 5 fish behind Jamie Cooper on 115, who was catching on the lead.
Second hour saw me on the waggler and that resulted in one fish, I then tried the line at 14.5m which I'd fed 6mm pellet over and lost a foul hooker and had a skimmer, then nothing. Back on the lead and I was now at least 12 fish behind 115 and I couldn't even get a liner. I tried the 7m meat line, nothing, I had a Tench fishing down to the pallet of 113 and a small carp. I managed to end up with 9 carp by switching between the lead and the two meat lines, also losing half a dozen or so. My meagre net of carp went 43.07 and 4.09 was the weight of my tench and two skimmers. Absolutely battered off the next peg, 115, by 3:1 ratio.
Afterwards Alan Oram suggested that I was probably wasting my time going down the margin, I must give him my mobile number....if he'd had it, he could have rang me and told me with two hours to go....... Still thats all part of the learning curve, as the summer gives way to autumn, I guess I'll have to adapt quickly compete. (Although whilst I was sat next to the winner, Alan had the dubious honour of being sat next to the second placed man!1)
1) Jamie Cooper 154.15 peg 115
2) Roy ?? 117.12 peg 130
3) Andy N 111.05 peg 85
4) M ??? 108.04 peg 132
5) P Cardwell 102.12 peg 80
6) P Tidball 84.07 peg 123
1) M Prestin (??) 33.09 peg 112
2) Steve Jackson 25.10 peg 126
3) John Green 24.10 peg 131