First round of Tony Rixon's short pole series, all of which are on Trinity Waters Woodland Lake. As it was a 10.00 draw, I toyed with the idea of making breakfast at home, but decided on one of Shipham's finest and very nice it was too.
24 booked on the lake and as there was a cold wind blowing into the car park bank, I did think a draw on the far bank would be the best option, so positioned myself at the front of the draw queue and was reasonably happy to see peg 7, on the far bank, written on the draw ticket.
For company I had Paul Elmes on peg 6 and ex team mate from my Clevedon Veals days, Steve Seager on 8, so it would be a day with some chat and banter, especially as Tony Rixon pitched up on peg 9. I had a plan in my mind, that was to start on soft pellet, with a rig to fish banded pellet on the same line if nuisance fish became a problem. The MW Pinger that I had set up to fish banded pellet on Friday, was already at the exact depth, no need to adjust at all, so was the MW diamond for meat at 2+2 sections. I set up another MW diamond to fish the soft pellet and a NG margin float for down the edge, I found the shallowest area was 4', a bit too deep for my planned groundbait and dead maggot attack down the edge.
I started at the full length of pole straight in front, feeding some groundbait with micro's and 6mm pellet in, the thought behind this to stop the fish coming up in the water, which they do very readily in this lake giving liners and foul hookers. It didn't take too long to get a bite on soft pellet and a 3lb carp came to the net, I had another one nearer 5lb, before I started missing bites, so I switched to banded pellet. This proved a waste of time, as the bites stopped completely, I switched back to a soft pellet and had a decent skimmer, it seems as if skimmers were the culprits of the missed bites. They were responding to the groundbait, but the bites were tiny dips of the float. Putting a piece of meat on over the groundbait, resulted in the same missed bites, frustrating.
By now, Steve Seager had landed 3 or 4 big fish on paste amd was well in front of me, Paul on peg 6 was now catching a fish a chuck down the edge and I was falling way behind. Tony had landed 4 foulers and was getting some banter from Steve. I needed to change something or I was going to seriously embarrassed, so I made up some paste and set up a rig to fish paste over the groundbait. Two missed bites in the first two drop ins and the third saw a fish in the net, another followed, but this line seemed to be dying, as the liners and indications had stopped.
I had fed the 2+2 line with meat, from the start, but it didn't produce a single bite, no indicaton at all, so my last hope was the margin. I had fed a big handful of dead maggot and some meat/pellet mixed in with it and had a burst of fish on meat, before missing bites, which I am sure were small fish. A switch to double corn and feeding corn brought a couple more fish, including the biggest of the day. This line also died off, so I refed it and went back on the paste, that gave me one more fish, but the last hour was spent swapping between the two and wondering why I couldn't catch, don't think I did anything drastically wrong, as I wasn't alone in the peg not building towards the end.
I had about 75lb on my clicker, with 5 or 6lb of skimmers. I knew Paul Elmes had well beaten me and I thought it would be close between me and Steve as he had some big fish. The scales confirmed Paul's bettering of my weight and a match win for him, I had managed 85.15, which was enough for 3rd on the day.
1: Paul Elmes 111.09 peg 6
2: Craig 'Trigger' Edmunds 107.14 peg 13
3: Chris Fox 85.15 peg 6
4: Steve Seager 78.15 peg 8
5: Mike Nicholls 77.12 peg 19
6: Tony Rixon 72.05 peg 9
1: Tom Mangnall 26.08 peg 11
2: Joe MacMahon 13.12 peg 17