Back to Viaduct, this time with Tony driving and a stop off at a new breakfast venue for me, Junction Café, Castle Cary. I'd go again, not the best breakfast I've ever had, but far from the worst one.
About 40 fishing this one, so there were pegs on Lodge, which I was desperately hoping to avoid and managed it, with 74 on Cary being my home for the day, no great feeling of elation or desperation, as the peg can and does throw up good weights, but can also be a grueller, the good sign today was what wind there was, was pushing down this end of the lake.
With plenty of time to set up, I did set up two wagglers, one full depth, one shallow, also a lead rod, which got stripped down at the end without having been touched. 4 topkits, a margin rig, which would suffice for the RH margin and up to the empty pallet of 75, a shallow/mugging rig, as there were cruisers visible, but they were mainly over the other side in front of the empty 106/107. A meat rig for short, this was plumbed up at 2+2 and I used my new 5/6 section dolly butt, these are a great addition to the pole, well worth the money. Also a full depth rig to fish banded pellet at 14.5m.
By the all-in I thought the cruisers were going to disappear, but there were still odd ones venturing off the end of the tree and to my left in open water, I managed to mug two, one from each area, before the wind decided to get up and ripple the surface, still nigh on 30lb in the net in 20 minutes - good start. There were odd bubbles on the 2+2 line and that gave me two more carp, before it went quiet. Out on the long line and I had another and there were indications of fish out on that line, but catching them was proving tricky. Due to the close proximity of the tree to where I was getting bites, it had to be the deep rig, or lowering the shallow rig in, which didn't work, as I never had a bite on it. The deep rig brought another fish on 8mm pellet and a couple of lost foulers, before it went quiet as well.
As the wind was blowing into the tree, I cast the depth waggler past the tree, let the wind bow the line round and then wound the waggler into position under the tree, this resulted in one fish and two missed bites, before the wind decided to stop and that was the end of getting the waggler into the fed area. The middle of the match was a bit barren, there seemed to be no skimmers to be had, the carp had backed away between 107 and 109 where hey were topping and generally crashing about, right royally taking the piss.........
A bubble or two back on the meat line had me reaching for that rig and a bite was soon forthcoming, but it was an immaculate 2lb hybrid, rather than the mid double carp I wanted - still at this point of the match a run of these would be nice. It wasn't to be, he seemed like a lone muncher, until I added one small skimmer to the net. By now I had fed the margins left and right, with pellet and meat, but they too were unproductive. I didn't feel it was right for groundbait, but started putting some maggots in the margins and had a carp straight away, then a 2lb+ perch and his smaller brother. The LH edge produced one absolutely crazy common, nigh on double figures, but fought like one a lot bigger. A couple more carp from the RH edge, but it was feed and wait for a bite, margins were certainly not full of feeding fish.
With 15 minutes to go, the bubbles came back on the meat line and another decent carp was hooked, just managed to get him netted and back in the water before the all-out, typically, the short line had several bubbles coming up all time time I was packing up, they had moved in just too late to make an assault on the match winners weight. An enjoyable day, but I am still trying to work out a way (unsuccessfully it would seem) to get the odd fish during those quiet spells, but I am not alone in that. Anyway, my fish went 142lb, which was enough to win the lake, but only 5th in the match behind 4 weights from Cary. Tony managed a silvers frame as well, so two slim brown envelopes in the van.
1. Ben Ludwell 184.02 peg 111
2. Ash Tompkins 157.08 peg 119
3. Scott Russell 155.07 peg 124
4. Ian Dunlop 153.02 peg 126
5. Chris Fox 142.13 peg 74
6. Les Gardener 128.00 peg 81
1. Scott Russell 45.01 peg 124
2. Tony Rixon 25.03 peg 102