With the team in 4th place going into this league, we were hoping for a decent team draw, as well as individually hoping for a peg that might give some individual glory. I got to the fishery at just after 08:00 and found that we were in the last 4 or 5 to draw (draw is done in order of paying team pools), some teams must get there bloody early!!
Before the draw, Nick Collins said a few words before a minutes silence for Charlie Barnes, well known match angler, retired maggot farm owner and all round nice guy, who passed away yesterday, he will be sadly missed. I first met Charlie when I was a junior angler working in the local tackle shop part time and his friendliness, cheerfulness and generosity never waned in all the subsequent years, RIP Charlie.
Fred had been strong armed into drawing for the team again, but I stood with him and watched as the decent draws came out of the tin, leaving him very little hope when he had to dip into the tin, it was a case of trying to pick the best of 5 unwanted draws.... The draw Fred pulled, saw me on 126, a pretty poor draw, the best weight from it in previous rounds has been just over 9lb. Paul on 94, which can be good, but also, can have its off days, 62 for Glenn, 37 for himself, which gave him a chance if the fish were in there and 13 for Mark, which should see him catch down the edge.
Whilst the air temperature had gone up, the water temperature wouldn't have changed and it was still fairly clear, so I was far from convinced that the fish would move from their winter residences, sadly 126 and the other pegs in the middle of the lake haven't been home to the fish for several months now. I set up two lead rods, one to fish bread and one for meat/corn, two wagglers, one for corn and another for caster.
4 topkits, although that was somewhat optimistic, as I set up a 0.4 Gimp with a 18 F1 on 0.10, a rig with similar end tackle to fish a double bulk, another rig with heavier elastic and 0.12 and finally another with 0.14 and a 16 LWG - I must have been feeling wildly optimistic, which is not my usual mental state!!
On the all in, I started on popped up bread, no signs of a fish whilst it was in the water, so I switched to waggler and corn, this did give me a bite after about 10 minutes, which was a decent skimmer, but another 20 minutes and the wind which was blowing straight at me, was pushing the waggler back towards me. A switch to the lead with corn on the hook brought another skimmer to the net, but that again seemed to be a one off.
I had been pinging caster at 14m, dropping in over that with the pole was also pretty frustrating, with no bites forthcoming. I hadn't fed any GB until now, but decided to cup some in, to try and pull some skimmers into the peg. Whilst this was settling I tried maggot on the waggler and broke my blank with a 1oz roach.
When I dropped in over the GB, I had a run of 3 or 4 skimmers (3-4oz each) before the bites died off, I replaced the hooklength with a 0.07 and a Gamma Green 20 hook, just to see if the line or hook was putting them off. I felt I had a few more bites on this, but it was hard going, I had to feed to get bites, but getting the quantity of GB and amount of particles right was very difficult to gauge, as the response was the same when feeding small or large amounts - a couple of bites / fish, then a long barren spell. This was the pattern right up to the end, I kept trying the waggler and corn, but only had one more bite - that I missed.
I thought I had about 7 or 8lb at the end, but admitted to 5 or 6lb, as its tricky to gauge when the fish come so intermittently. I was surprised to put 10lb on the scales, but that was no good on the lake, although it was top weight in the middle area of the lake (either side of me and the pegs opposite), but was only worth a meagre 6 points.
Paul had a worse day, putting 11.13 on the scales, but on Cary that was only worth 2 points, Glenn's 11.12 was worth another 6 points, Fred's 19.02 worth 12 points and Mark helped save us from a real disaster by winning Spring lake with 57.14 for 18 points.
So, somehow we remain 4th in the league and gained 2 points on Thatchers Vets in 3rd, it would take a real upset for us to finish any higher than 3rd, but we'll give it a good go in two weeks time when its the last round.
Overall Team Points:
1. Colmic SW - 253
2. Mosella Bathampton - 250
3. Thatchers Vets - 227
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 220
5. M5 Angling - 208
6. Thatchers Gold - 207
7. Guru Viaduct - 204
8. Somerset Angling - 192
9. Thatchers Silver - 186
10. Wyvern Anglers - 184
11. Team Amigos - 181
12. Balti Boys - 178
13. Future Networks - 174
14. Moaning Maggots - 172
15. Garbolino BVMG - 158
16. Silverfox - 156
17. Team Keyford - 133
18. All Stars - 132