It was my turn to draw, my faulty drawing arm has had a few malfunctions this year and put me on a few pegs that have produced fish, it has also resolutely lived up to it's reputation on a couple of other occasions. Today it gave us 27 and 19, so once again, no corner, but Ken was one off a corner, as he was last week - although looking at last weeks result sheets did little to cheer him up as 19 was last in section. 27 had won the section last week, the lowest weight section, but at least there had been fish in the area.
Getting to my peg, I find that I have some good company and banter to my left, with Mosella backed Tom Mangnell on 28 and the silvers legend Bob Gullick on 29, with 30 the corner not drawn. I though we had drawn the short straw weather wise, as we had the bitterly cold easterly wind blowing at us, whereas those on the opposite bank had nice calm water and it off their backs. By the time the draw was done and we got to the pegs, that left an hour to set up, an hour usually means I'm not ready, but learning the lesson from last week, I took waggler and lead rods pre set up, I usually make lead rods up on the bank, after a few expensive, broken quiver ips in the ready rod bag.
Two lead rods, both the same, Daiwa Tounament Pro 10', both with 8lb reel line, Daiwa TDR on the straight lead rig and Shimano Technium on the method, this also had a 10' shock leader of 10lb fluorocarbon, to try and keep it pinned on the deck. The straight lead was set up as usual, a sliding bomb, although as it's allowed here, I did put a float stop behind it. A 2" twizzled loop, this has another float stop behind it, to allow lengthening the distance from bomb to hook, a 12" 0.20 hooklength with a 14 QM1 finishes this rig off. The method was a Guru hybrid, which can be used elasticated here, so that was clipped onto a loop and a 4" hooklength of 0.20 to a 18 MWG hook.
The wind looked to have scuppered any thoughts of catching on the waggler, but in case it dropped, out of the bag came a pellet waggler, this was set up with a 12' Titan 2000, 4lb reel line and a 0.18 hooklength, with a PR36 size 16 hook. Initially set to 3' deep.
I didn't have a lot of faith in the pole today, given that feezing wind blowing at us, so two rigs, just in case, a 0.75g Hillbilly Dweezil, lovely floats for fishing long in deep water and windy conditions, that was on 0.20 line, a 0.16 hooklength and a 16LWG and a No10 solid elastic. That was plumbed up at 14m, where I intended to fish pellet. The other rig was a Roob on 0.20, with a 0.18 hooklength and a 16 Guru super strong hook, that was plumbed up to fish 7 sections, just up the slope, where I would feed 6mm meat.
Bait tray was bread, 4,6 and 8mm pellets and 6mm meat. On the all-in I started on the bomb and bread, whilst everyone else was feeding their pole lines, I feel that this can often bring an instant response before a barrage of leads hit the water. It didn't take long for the tip to wrap right round and for me to strike at thin air - a liner, it looked like a bite!! Another cast and a few twitches, so there were fish out there, but as yet nothing. After 10 minutes I fed both pole lines and went back on the bread, this time a near double figure fish was my reward, a couple more followed before the bites and liners stopped. Tom had had a couple of fish as well, but they were smaller than mine, he also stopped getting liners. 3 fish for 30lb on my clicker in the first hour.
I had a cast with the method, but after 5 minutes of that tip remaining motionless, it went up the bank, I was fairly sure the fish were out in the open water, near the dividing rope that runs down the middle of the lake, so I started to feed a few pellets, I would have liked to feed 6mm, but would have had no chance of getting them out there, so 8mm it had to be. I did have a look on the pole line at 14m, I had three bites and 3 skimmers, which weighed exactly 1lb, I wasn't at all confident that the carp would move in, so up the bank with the pole and out with the waggler.
First cast with the waggler the float landed settled and disappeared, after a spirited battle a 9lb fish was in the net and a somewhat bemused Tom was seen scrambling off his box and hastily assembling a waggler rod. I had another smaller fish, taken by casting towards the island to my right, but the wind was really spoiling it, yet I was getting tiny indications and just had the feeling that the waggler, if it wasn't so bloody windy. would have seen me catch well. Trouble is these wise old fish aren't likely to be fooled by a pellet whizzing through the peg.
Back on the bomb and another fish on bread, I tried punched meat where I had been pinging the 8mm pellet, to no avail. Bread by the island accounted for the next fish, that was so fat, I thought it might be near the 15lb weigh limit, so off to the scales with it, but as usual, my guesstimating skills were well adrift, as it went 12.12. A lull in the wind saw me pick up the waggler and take another fish on 6mm pellet, before the wind decided that it wasn't going to let me enjoy a days waggler fishing. With an hour to go I gave the meat line 5 minutes, but had no indication, nor any feeling that I would, so binned that.
Hoping the fish would be looking for some feed in the last hour, I picked up the method rod and fished that, micros in the feeder and a 6mm pellet hidden amongst them. This produced three more fish in the last hour and I was confident of having won the section, I thought I had between 80 and 90lb and wasn't too far out with 86lb, which took the section and fourth on the day, albeit jointly with Tom Thick who weighed the same from Brick lake. Sadly Ken's peg fished to similar form as last week and we didn't get in the frame overall.
It was an enjoyable series, some confusion over the scoring which, once it was explained I thought was an innovative way to do it. (Pairs scores added together and the given points for placing, kept it open with something to fish for in the second match). Not sure if most fishing realised how it was being scored until the end. One other observation, it would be a good idea for there to be 3 or 4 spare keepnets put by each set of scales, as although I didn't need them, the disadvantage if I did, from say, peg 20 fetching one, could be one or two fish.
It's a fishery I'd like to get back to a bit more this year, hopefully I'll get the opportunity and if this is run again next year, I'll be back for another attempt.
On the day:
1: Dan White 125.08 peg 32
2: James Parkhouse 99.09 peg 37
3: Nigel Garrett 92.13 peg 9
4: Chris Fox 86.00 peg 27
4: Tom Thick 86.00 peg 17
6: Nick Chedzoy 80.07 peg 7
Overall the pairs winners were:
1: James Parkhouse and Nigel Garratt
2: Dan White and Scott Puddy
3: Dave Romain and Dave White
PS. If anyone wants advice on method feeder fishing, then don't ask Bobby G, I think he must use 0.09 hooklengths, as the fish kept stealing them.......