A chance text conversation with Mike Walker led me to head down for this match, I fancied a change from the usual, so rang Somerset Angling and booked in. I haven't been to Durleigh or any other big reservoir for a few years now, so an expensive trip to Veals yesterday - unplanned, I was going to use what I had in the garage, but ended up with a new reel and new braid to load on it.
Yesterday afternoon was spent spooling up the braid, making and adding shock leaders to the braid and a mono spool and sorting out my big feeders from the back of the garage, all good, just needed to draw on some bream..... in case I was up the shallow end, I did put a couple of whips and rigs in and picked up 2 pints casters and 4 pints of maggots - they'll always keep in the freezer if they aren't used.
So, onto the draw and I plucked 13 out of the bucket, meaningless to me until I saw it, close to the canal that comes into the reservoir, some weed in the margins, so I did wade out and try and get over it with the whips I would be using.
First things set up were two feeder rods, one for fishing 60 turns of the new reel I had bought and 30 turns of an old faithful reel I have had for a while, started with a big bomb and had a cast around, but couldn't find any area that felt harder or more gravelly than the rest of the lake bed.
Once the feeder rods were set up and sorted, two whips set up, 4m, to try and clear the weed fronds and get into 2' 6" of water, one with a 1g float and a 4" hooklength immediately below the olivette, the other 0.8g with 12" below the bulk.
Next up, sort out the bait and I then realised that my worms were nowhere to be seen, can't believe I managed to leave them at home, but I did, must be getting old!! Decided that I'd still try the cage / traditional feeder route, so both rods had big feeders on ready at the start, no hooklengths attached, as I intended to have at least 10 casts before putting the hooklength on and starting fishing.
The day didn't get any better when the first cast fell short and then on the retrieve I knew the feeder wasn't there, on closer inspection, the link swivel had broken - great start, but worse was yet to come, another big weight forward feeder clipped on a new swivel, and this time it hit the clip, perfect until I struck to release the bait and the line had wrapped round the tip, breaking it...…
New tip fitted, feeding finished and 3 small fish later, I decided after an hour and a half to just have a days fishing and picked up the whip, I had a run of catching perch from micro to 4 oz, then the odd small hybrids and roach showed up. I alternated between the two rigs to keep the fish coming, albeit some of them were a bit small. Introducing some GB seemed to get a better stamp fish with fewer bites, but by this time, I had plenty of pike activity disrupting the peg.
I just got my head down and fished the whips for the last 4 hours of the match, finishing with 7.480 Kilogrammes, which I think was 6th on the day, some bream showed up on the very end peg at the shallow end and pegs 7/8 by the point, also put a few bream together, but the rest struggled.
I didn't take a picture of the weigh sheet, it wasn't straightforward.... with some weights in KG, another in lbs and no peg numbers on one sheet, I knew Id missed out on the overall and I missed out on the section, that was won with 9KG, if I had fished the whip the whole match I would have been on for 10.2KG - still it was a nice day, well done to Mike Walker on coming second with 17KG and to the other winners whose names I don't know.
Not a brilliant picture, but a poignant moment of reflection as the Battle of Britain flight passed over, one of only 2 Lancaster's left flying...