First match back since the carpal tunnel op. A thick coating of ice on the van greeted me and I guessed it would be another hard winters day. At the draw I fancied a peg on the far bank, but it wasn't to be, with another peg on the lodge lake bank, No31 and for company on 33 was Rich Coles, who also can't get away from this bank.
I had tried to keep things simple in the bait bag, caster dead reds, live reds and some assorted jelly pellets. I had put some hard pellets in the bag, but that was before I saw the ice on the van. A bit of groundbait and a tin of corn completed the bait line up.
It was fairly windy, so I was expecting a undertow on the lake, with this in mind I set up a 1.5g Jolly (with a hollow bristle added) and a 1g Jean Desque - again with the addition of a hollow bristle - the Jolly rig had a 0.13 hooklength finished off with a 16 B911 and the JD rig had 0.10 and a 18 Tubertini 808. I started to set up a margin rig, but that got thrown up the bank and not touched again, when I found less than 18" of water in the margin.
I also set up a waggler to fish at depth and a feeder (which got set up and put away again without entering the water, the waggler was a 3AAA with 3 No10 down the line and a 18 Middy 63-13 hoook to fish caster.
I was going to concentrate on two lines, one about 20m where I loose fed caster and another at 12m (which was about as far as I could realistically hold in the wind), this line had a jaffa of groundbait which contained dead reds and a few 3mm pellets cupped in on the whistle.
Within what seemed like seconds of th all-in, I could see Andy Hembrow on peg 7 playing a carp, whilst my float remained motionless. During the first hour, I fished dead red on the hook initially, looking for carp or skimmers and that resulted in a couple of roach, after 30 or 40 mins I switched to double caster and had a 3lb carp on the first put in, a couple more roach and then it went quiet.
I spent between 2 and 3 hours on the waggler, continually changing depth and shotting to try and increase my catch rate, everytime I thought a change had sorted it, the bites dried up soon after, how finicky are those roach??
I decided to come back over the groundbait on the pole for the last couple of hours and kept the odd roach coming to maggot/caster, at 10 to 3 the float buried and I lifted into one of the lakes decent skimmers, next put in a smaller skimmer, had they arrived?? I switched to soft pellet and was 'rewarded' with two carp in two put ins - too little, too late for carp, I needed more silvers.
I managed another couple of roach and lost a decent skimmer in the last hour and at the whistle I though I had 13 or 14lb of carp and silvers. The scales got to me with Steve Kedge's tench and roach net of 19lb easily winning the silvers, with 6.04 to beat, to pick up the second in silvers envelope. My carp went 11lb odd and the silvers 6.08, with Rich Coles last to weigh, his silvers went 4lb, so taking 2nd in the silvers, I at least had my money back and some over for a couple of beers.
Looking at the results, my pre match thoughts that the far bank (natural margins)would be the place to draw, were proven correct - I notice Tony Rixon never asks me to draw for him, as he can see that my drawing arm is jinxed.....
Here's hoping for a period of more settled (and milder) weather!!
If anyone is interested, I'm running a pole only match at Trinity (Woodlands) on Good Friday (22nd April) 09.30 draw, fish 11.00-17.00. Overall and silvers payout.
1st Tony Rixon 67.02 peg 11
2nd Jason Radford 34.14 peg 18
3rd Tom Thick 24.10 peg 2
4th Andy Curry 24.6 peg 16
5th Adrian Clark 23.14
6th Andy Hembrow 23.13 peg 7
Steve Kedge 19.14 peg 27
Chris Fox with 6.08 31