I had put my name down as a reserve for the Viaduct Summer League, but withdrew after the short pole match, as I seem to be struggling on there lately and I can't put my finger on the reason why, so off for a match with less pressure and a quest to get some of the enjoyment back.
14 fishing this one and the corner pegs were the ones everyone was after, although having only fished the lake once before, I wasn't too bothered where I drew, the conditions were hot, sunny and flat calm, with fish showing themselves all over the lake.
I drew 29 and was then surprised to see 30 not in, when the other 3 corners were, not sure on the thinking behind that one!! I had an island to chuck to, I had open water and the opportunity to fish with rod and line down to the end bank, the tall plants that give the venue its name, were stopping me fishing a margin, as they protrude just too far to fish parallel to the bank, but with so much water to fish, I didn't think it was a problem.
Again today, the meat stayed in the tin and I had pellet and paste on the bait table, along with a few band um's, as I set up a method feeder to fish to the island. 3 rigs were all I set up for the pole, a paste rig on 0.18 with a 12 B911XS, a shallow rig and a full depth rig, both with 16 B960 on 0.16 and a hair rigged bait band. I thought I threw away a dodgy batch of bait bands I had, but some must have snuck into the stock I have at home, as I replaced several hooks, as I did yesterday, with the bands breaking. I also set up a pellet waggler and a straight lead, starting on the pellet wag, as the cruisers were too far out of range for the pole, I 'mugged' three fish in the first hour, by casting at them, two double figure fish and a 3lb fish.
The longer the match went on, the less visible the fish made themselves and the blows all but stopped, so i switched to the method, tight to the island. First put in I hooked a decent fish, but under the rod tip it shed the hook, this happened 6 more times, I only landed one fish on the method, a 'squeaker' which was 1lb if I was lucky. Being a novice method chucker, I have no idea why they came off, but I was using an inline feeder for the first time, my other experiences have been with elasticated feeders and no such issues.
A switch back to the waggler brought one more fish, as did a foray onto the straight lead, but it was hard work for little reward, the full depth pole rig produced one fish, the shallow rig, nothing. My initial look on the paste resulted in tiny roach and skimmers pecking at the bait, with a couple of them being speared. I refed the line with half a pot of pellet and went back on it for the last hour or so, the shit fish had disappeared and I added a couple more double figure fish and a couple of smaller ones to the net. An eel took a liking to the paste, it was around the pound and a half mark, as I put my hand in the net to unhook it, it sprang like a snake and bit me, holding on tight - made me bloody jump - it broke the skin and drew blood, a first for me bitten by an eel. I'm consulting injury lawyers4U, as there were no warning signs, with regard to the dangerous nature of the stock.......
The six fish lost on the method were costly, as I weighed 81.00 for 4th place, the higher weights coming from the car park corner pegs (wind,what little there was, blowing into this bank) and a peg on the opposite bank that had the advantage of some ripple on the surface.
1: Kev Perry 157.12 peg 21
2: Andy Hembrow 118.08 peg 37
3: Lewis walker 82.13 peg 40
4: Chris Fox 81.00 peg 29
5: John Wolstencroft 78.01 peg 22
6: Paul Nicholls 70.06 peg 28
1: Ade Baker 17.10 peg 24
2: Mark Broomsgrove 15.12 peg 27