Saturday, 11 March 2017

Don Sutherland's Memorial, Viaduct, Saturday 11th March 2017

A poignant day today, I knew Don for many years, not as a close friend, but one of those fishing acquaintances  that you speak to every match.  Don was always enthusiastic and I certainly miss seeing his smiling face and our conversations, he was usually trying to convince me it would be OK, where ever I had drawn.

A silverfish match, Campbell, Lodge and Spring lakes in with 51 booked in and 49 actually fished on the day, so a decent turn out.  Spring was likely to be the place to draw, but where ever I drew, I was determined to enjoy the day and remember Don in a positive way.

A brief word from Chris Hook and a minutes silence before the draw and then into the tin, twice I pulled two tickets stuck together and dropped them back in, getting a single one, opening it revealed 24, I wasn't disappointed, as I have picked up silvers money from this peg in the past.

With pellets being banned, the bait tray was simply, casters, dead maggots, a few live maggots, corn and 4mm meat. A 3 square Drennan feeder, with a 15" hooklength of 0.10 and a 20 Guru F1, was put on a 10' feeder rod, clipped up just short of the overhanging tree.  Two waggler rods, one with a Drennan Glowtip waggler to fish caster over the pole lines and another to fish out to the overhanging tree with corn.

3 Topkits, two with Middy 1-5 hollow elastic - I have yet to find better for winter skimmers - one with a Drennan float whose number I forget, to a 0.08 hooklength and a Middy 6313 hook, the other was a NG Gimp, to a 01.0 hooklength and a 18 Guru F1 in case I was catching well (this never got used.....)  I also set up another Gimp, this one with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 F1, to fish meat or caster.

Starting on the feeder at the all in, after feeding two 14m lines, one to the LH side with 3 balls GB and caster, one to the RH side with caster and meat, I gave to feeder ages (for me!!) but after 40 minutes I had one roach and a 3oz skimmer, with no other indications.  So a look on the pole and I had a couple of skimmers on it, but the action wasn't exactly frantic.  I was being kept amused by watching the large dark shapes cruising round the peg and a ghostie that must have been close to 20lb.

A look on the waggler, saw 3 fish come in fairly quick time, all reasonable fish between 1 and 2lb.  For the next couple of hours it was a case of rotate lines and get an odd fish, when I got one it was decent, but a long wait between bites.  The caster and meat line saw me get 4 bites in 4 put ins, two missed, one fish bumped and another 1lb+ fished in the net.

Back on the waggler and corn, it was slow, but when I did get a bite it was a decent skimmer, so kept at it, at quarter past three, I had three in three chucks and thought that I might have a good last hour, fourth chuck another bite, but this time it was one of the big black shapes, they were obviously starting get there heads down.  That seemed to kill the peg off, as I went back out, C/W new hooklength, but it took nearly 30 minutes to get another bite, which was a skimmer approaching 3lb, next bite was another carp, another hooklength gone....

Only five minutes to go, so back onto the pole, double dead maggot and another skimmer netted.  I knew I didn't have enough to bother the frame, but weighed in as I wanted to see what they went, 24.04.  The lack of fish on the pole line and smaller fish to build some weight between the bigger fish cost me. but the weather was good and 24lb of silvers isn't to be sniffed at.

Don's brother presented a shield to winner Mark Saunders, which will be fished for every year, obviously an emotional moment for the family, pleased for them it was a good turnout, the weather was good, plenty of fish caught and all done in a great spirit.

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