Round 3 this week, travelled down with Tony and I urged him to park near Lodge as we wouldn't mind the walk to Campbell, not sure if it was a omen, but there wasn't a space near Lodge, so parking near Cary was a compromise.
Usual bit of banter and conversation before the draw and I got somewhere near the front, but I must be slipping, as there are few now who seem to be expert at getting to the front of the queue, first time for a while I have pulled out just one ticket, not two wedged together, a peek inside and 109 was my home for the day.
109 can be a bit of a feast or famine peg, it used to have lots of tree cover, as well as brambles and other assorted foliage, but over the winter Steve and Matt had a bit of a chainsaw massacre of the LH bank, resulting in a major arboreal reduction. This has opened the peg up a lot and it will be interesting to see if it changes it much this summer. It has, probably justifiably, a reputation of being feast or famine, being a corner/end of lake peg that has seen some good anglers struggling, while other days it throws up big weights.
I was expecting to mug a few and maybe catch short, with a bigger expectation of catching up the edge. As its such a short walk to the peg, I wasn't surprised not to see any fish showing themselves, there is always a bit of commotion in the car park at the start with everyone unloading their vans and giving some stick about draws. A waggler set up, with the smallest Middy fatboy waggler, a lead rod - not expecting to use it and more topkits than usual, as I had brought some paste.
Topkits were a mugging rig, two paste rigs - one for straight in front out by the tree, one for the edge, another margin rig for 16m up the LH edge, a neat rig for 5m and a pellet rig for full depth. Starting on the meat short saw one roach to show for my efforts, its certainly not been as effective as previous years, so far at least. Clint on 74 was catching by mugging, but I couldn't see any fish, so that was ruled out for me. I did try a bit of random long lining to the tree, but to no avail.
After an hour and 20 minutes, my one roach was all I had to show for my efforts, having tried several lines and I was beginning to think it was going to one of those days. There's not a great waggler cast on this peg, but I picked it up and with a bit of an awkward left handed cast (tree avoidance) I landed the float in the open water in front of the tree and I was a tad surprised when it buried and I had my first fish which was just about double figures. I kept at this and saw a swirl and cast to it, shortly after another fish circa 10lb was landed, that was the end the waggler caught fish.
One frustrating part of the day, was the amount of twigs and branches that lie on the bottom or under the water along the edges and I spent a fair bit of time being an involuntary swim clearer in the first 2 hours.... You can just see the top of the float in the picture as I clear yet another sunken snag!
I'd been feeding the RH edge, but its a bit shallow and never produced a bite, the short meat line remained devoid of fish, as did the long line out to the tree. Thankfully the LH edge did come to life, I was fishing 16m to a tiny divot in the bank, pinging 8mm pellets, with a banded 8mm pellet on the hook. It started off slowly with a small tench, then a skimmer, before the first carp took an interest, it shot into a snag and I had to pull for break, the 0.18 hooklength parted. Next drop in another not far of double figures , then not long after another. The next bite I lifted into resulted in a much more savage response, the fish charged off as if it was foul hooked, but I didn't think it was, the rig held strong and a fish around 17lb joined the other in the net.
I caught in the same manner, pinging the 8mm pellets at 16m, just pulling the hookbait up the shelf, intermittently until the all out and I was admitting to 115-120lb. The scales gave me 126.13, so not too far out, as my tench roach, skimmer and 3 stockies went 7lb odd. Thankfully that was enough for the section win, it was never going to trouble the top weights on Campbell, but at least I'm not out of it with 2 rounds to go, although there is some stiff competition!!
Stopped in the Farrington Inn for a welcome cold beer on the way home - nearly like the old days -except we didn't stay until closing time.......