Back to Ivy House after last weeks success, this week the canal was sold out and with Gabe Skarba and Tom Mangell from the Mosella team turning up, as well as the weather, I doubted last weeks 123lb would be needed to win today.
It would have been nice to draw 6 or 7, but it wasn't to be, unlucky for some 13 was my destination, whilst Gabe got his young lady to draw for him and she drew him the favoured peg 6.
Whilst I was tackling up, Andy Lloyd walked along and said there wasn't so many silvers at this end of the canal, so it was looking like a carp or bust match, although I still intended to try and back up the carp with some silvers. On peg 14 was genial Ade Crawley, so a bit of company. I started up plumbing the far bank, but unlike last week, I couldn't find a shallow shelf, it was a sheer drop down to about 2'6" and then a drop off to nearly 4'. I did find a tiny area about 18" deep next to the grass, but it would be like balancing a pellet on a upturned jam jar. I also set up a rig for the 2'6" shelf, both the across rigs had banded LWG 18 on 0.14.
A rig for down the track, with a banded LWG 18 on 0,14, another similar rig with a 18 Kaizen (still loving these hooks) on 0.12. I set up a similar rig to fish just up the near shelf. The sun was pretty hot and I was surprised there weren't more cruisers, but I only saw a couple, they weren't exactly cruising, motoring through the peg would be a better description, so no mugging rig today.
Bait tray was simple, 4 & 6mm hard pellets, 4 & 6mm expanders, maggots and some corn. I did have a few worms, but left them in the bag at the start. I started across and first put in had a 5oz tench, next put in I lost a foul hooked tench - didn't see it, but the hooklength was covered in tench slime. That was it no more bites shallow, I did have a look on the 2'6" deep rig, but just had liners and a couple of lost foulers.
I came back on the short line after having fed it from the off and got off to a good start, catching bream, skimmers, perch, roach and stockies. I kept feeding across and a line down the track, the idea being to rest the short line as there was a lot more pressure on the lake this week. Back over and still nothing, I shallowed the rig up to 6" and pulled it up the mudline, still nothing, there were signs of fish, but they disappeared as soon as the pole went over, I even went to a long line to no avail.
I tried the line a 7 joints down the track, but this just produced tiny stockies, so back on the short line and a couple more skimmers and stockies added to the net. Hard pellet was a waste of time, corn and soft pellet were better and maggot also caught a few. Ade asked me what I was catching on and I told him, he switched to maggot and started getting much better quality fish and was rapidly catching me up.
Back over to the far side and I fouled a 7lber in the wing, just about to net it and it dived into the bottom of the keepnet, transferring the hook to the net. I then made a big mistake, I should have pulled for a break, but I lifted the net out and unhooked it. This killed off my inside line, which wasn't wildly prolific, but kept putting fish in the net.
I refed the line down the track and went over it, hoping to get some of the proper carp Ade was getting, but I could still only get stockies. I did see a couple of bubbles back on the short line and had a look back in there, taking a big skimmer. I had been flicking pellets down the edge and saw a carp nosing around, so flicked a worm in there and had a 3lber. I finished the match down the track, catching small skimmers and carp.
Not as many fish as last week, but that was expected, I thought the big fish Ade had would beat me, but thankfully my mixed bag of 41 stockies and silvers went 56.10 and the silvers part of that was 21.08, which was enough for second on the day, both in the match and the silvers, behind Gabe, who didn't make a mistake and won both. Another enjoyable day at Ivy House.