I needed at least two section wins and a miracle from the remaining matches, so not really knowing the venue, I wasn't too fussed where I drew and peg 7 main lake meant nothing when I pulled it out, immediately after Nick Ewers had pulled peg 6 out. Turns out it was an end peg with a island chuck and a nice long margin........ more of these later.
Being float only, the perfect looking method or lead chuck to the island was a no-no, so two wagglers set up, one 4g pellet waggler and a depth waggler with no shot down the line, as the peg was only about 4-5' deep.
Next up the topkits, a shallow rig looked essential so that was done, a rig to fish meat at 5m, a rig to fish banded pellet at 14m and another to fish soft pellet, maggot, worm etc at the same distance. Plumbing up the nice looking margin was a disappointment, sloping and covered in boulders and then dropping off to 4' deep, so the groundbait and maggots stayed in the bag and I set up a rig to fish a narrow 6" wide shelf which was at the end of the boulders and about 8" shallower than the drop off. Also a rig to fish over the boulders, just off them, with a spread of No11's down the line.
The waggler to the island looked a good bet, right up until the whistle, when the wind started and ensured that for the whole 6 hours it pushed a fairly rapid wind lane R to L about 3m off the island, pulling the float away everytime, even unclipping and paying line into the bow to try and gain a few seconds of stability was pointless, No more about the waggler, as I did try it several times and it was totally fruitless everytime.
Nick Ewers had a couple of carp on paste, whilst I had to make do with a roach and a couple of skimmers, there were no signs of fish in the peg, apart from across tight to the island and now Nicky was struggling as well.
After two hours I went down the margin - much earlier than I'd like, but it was desperate measures needed and I did manage 3 small carp and a crucian on 8mm pellet and one on 8mm meat, but that was it, about 10lb and a couple of decent skimmers. Rotating the lines, swapping baits and having a bit of banter with Nicky and Adrian Jeffery who was on a stock pond behind us, a 5 peg section, where they were all catching, albeit small fish, passed the next 2, largely fishless hours.
If it hadn't been a league match, I might well have been tempted to have an early finish and a cold beer on the way home, but at 3 o'clock with 2 hours to go, the peg started to show some life, a few bubbles and it didn't look like skimmers. I got off my box, grabbed another topkit and a paste rig, fishing this at 14m, I had a carp first drop in, then another about 14lb, a short wait for another and then I hooked what I did think might be a very big bream the way it just came in under the topkit as a wallowing dead weight. That thought was soon gone when I saw a grass carp surface before it exploded into life and gave me a right battle and a struggle to get it in my 20" net.
Grass carp have to be weighed and put back, so off to the scales with it and 12.08 was the weight, general consensus by those that saw it was they thought it was bigger, but they are so much longer and slimmer than commons and mirrors.
Back to the peg and it was now like fishing paste on Cary a few years back, you could watch the bubbles getting nearer and nearer the float and as they surround it, you can almost anticipate the bite, this is when I enjoy paste fishing best.
I had one just before the all out and was shipping back out hoping to get another, when the all out was called, a nice last two hours, but it was just too late to take the section, which was won with 96lb by Joe McMahon, I managed 2nd with 86lb and which 70lb was inside the last two hours.
I didn't get the results, but they are on Tony's blog and Mikes, suffice to say Trigger smashed it again, he really does seem unstoppable at the moment. It didn't fish too bad at all and is a lovely fishery with friendly owners, another place I must try and get to a bit more.