First mistake of the day was not really paying too much attention to the weather forecast, the thermals I put on were unnecessary, it’s been a strange winter so far, but I wasn’t being lulled into thinking the water would have warmed up much yet. That said, I did think that the fish wouldn’t be sat on the bottom, with a warm breeze blowing across the lakes.
Into the draw tin after a chat with Leon – conversation wasn’t really possible with Clint, he was busily not eating his breakfast and looking pretty rough, self inflicted I believe – Not sure on the odds of drawing in A section for the third time, whatever they are I managed it. Peg 20, a decent draw with plenty of room, but would the fish be there, or would they have gone with the breeze?
Determined to confuse myself, I set up two lead rods, one with a straight lead for popped up bread and one with small pellet feeder on. Next, out of the bag came the trusty Normark Microlight, this would be used to fish a waggler out towards the post that marks the limit of your cast on this peg. A 2AAA Drennan Glowtip waggler would suffice, given the sheltered nature of the peg. This was on 2 1/2lb Maxima, with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18LWG – no point fishing too light, some big fish in these lakes and they all need to be landed.
4 topkits, a rig that was aimed at getting a fish in the net if it proved a struggle, this was a 0.4g Jean Desque on 0.14, 0.08 hooklength and a 20 6313. Same shotting and depth for the next rig, but this time a 0.4 NG Gimp on 0.16 with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18 LWG, this would be fished over the same 14m lines as the light rig, one at 11 o'clock and one at 2 o'clock.
A margin rig, set up to fish about a metre away from the bank, as I wasn't at all convinced the fish would venture right into the margins and finally a rig to fish at 14m to the left and right hand sides about 6m from the bank in 31/2’ of water, this was on 0.20, with a 0.16 hooklength with a 16LWG.
On the all-in I fed a negative line at 2 o'clock with a few micro’s and 4 4mm pellets, the 11 o'clock line was fed with maggot and the two 14m lines 6m from the bank fed with maggot. I started on the waggler and corn, that was totally unproductive, so a switch to the bomb and bread didn't take long, but with no liners or indications on that, I felt it was a waste of time, so onto the pole. Firstly onto the negative pellet line with a 4mm expander, this was also totally non-productive, no sign of a fish, so a switch to maggot which I tried on the 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock lines, these too remained seemingly devoid of fish.
An hour and a quarter in and I hadn't had a bite, peg 17 had landed a carp on the lead and one from down towards peg 18, back onto the waggler, this time with a single maggot on the hook and feeding a few maggots via a catapult, to try and draw something into the peg. It worked, two small roach, at least the blank was avoided, next cast a small carp, then a skimmer about 14oz, but it was a bit of a false dawn and the bites dried up again.
Time to look in on the two lines 6m from the bank, no indications on the LH side, but a bite soon after dropping into the RH line, frustratingly there was carp on and after a few seconds, carp off, not idea if it was fouled or not. Back onto the LH side and this produced a bite and a carp about 4lb. Back to the RH side, another bite, another fish on, this time I got it down to the topkit before it came off – arrghhh, two lost fish could be costly!!
Thankfully, the RH line had a some fish on it and I managed to get 2 more from there that went in the 5lb and under net and 5 that went into the 5lb+ net. All taken on triple maggot over maggot loose fed. I was confident that I had the section won and was also pleased to take the match win, with 73.12, also qualifying for the All-Winners final in September. With two more matches to go in the league, another couple of section wins might see me sneak in the lower framing positions, but the two matches where I couldn't find a big carp have cost me.
1: Chris Fox 73.12 peg 20
2: Val 64.10 peg 37
3: Clint 45.04 peg 38
4: Steve Hutter 26.10 peg 21
5: Jamie D 26.06 peg 30
6: Dave 24.00 peg 5