Returning to hospital tomorrow for another x-ray on my hand and still un-able to fish it made sense to pop up to Shiplate Fishery which is nearly on my doorstep to see how the match on Hawthorns & Westpool canal lakes would fish, With the draw at 9.30 I had a chance to have a whip around the local car boot sale but didn't find any bargains so arrived early enough to share a cuppa with owner Steve Oliver before giving him a hand to record the draw with my lovely wife (Thought I Best Say That").
Their were a few new faces today including Gabriel who had only fished the main lake before so was having his first try on the canals, Recording the draw I noticed Gabo ended up on peg 14 Hawthorns but a draw what caught my eye was venue resident Steve Howell who had drawn peg 12 on Westpool which I class as a good area and being he knows every swim on the lakes' I fancied him to do well.
With the match starting at 11am I was asked by a couple of anglers before hand what I expected the top weights to be so stuck my neck out to say around 70lb but we would see..? I also predicted Hawthorns would come out on top but with owner Steve thinking otherwise we had a quid on it just to see if I could get a pick-up even if I wasn't fishing" lol.
I caught up with about 30mins underway on Hawthorns lake and already it looked as if a few fish were going to be caught as a few had been netted already, Russ Pecker on peg 10 had was playing his second fish as I walked past,
Next to him on peg 11 Tom Magnel also was into a decent early carp,
When I arrived a Gabo's swim for a break on my chair he also was also playing a carp although I think he might have had a bad case of wind judging by the picks'
With the signs promising on this lake I had a wanderd around to Westpool to see how things were going. First up was Jamie (End-peg) Parkhouse on, you guessed it' end peg 2 in the narrows who was also playing a fish as I got there,
Further up the lake Ron Stark looked to already be running away with the silvers pool adding fish to his net regularly but what I did notice was the amount of pollen which had blown off the trees onto the lakes surface causing problems for the anglers at the top end of the lake, I arrived at Steve (Peanut) Howells peg and he was fishing tight over to the far bank with worm on the hook and was catching quite well adding a few carp as well as a few silvers,
Peanut in action.
Next to him Pete Sivell on peg 11 was also sneaking the odd fish from tight over on hard pellets feeding pellet with the catty over the top,
Going onto the 3rd hour it had gone a bit more overcast and some what cooler especially on hawthorns lake and when I returned to Gabo he was struggling to add to the 6 early carp, Further down his lake it was much the same story as after an initial burst of fish it seemed that the lake had slowed a lot, Anglers were admitting to 4 or 5 fish tops so he was still well up there and just had to try and add a few more in the second half of the match, Back to Westpool and Jamie on peg 2 was still adding the odd carp fishing tight over on hard pellets feeding the same.
Returning to peanut Pete had informed me he had been bagging and the match was already over but Steve was having none of it admitting to 40lb which seemed to be an average weight across both lakes with just over an hour to go, Pete swim had all but dried up and apart from the odd carp it looked between Jamie & peanut to win the lake, hawthorns was still to tight to call with 3 or 4 anglers admitting to 40lb plus but some big fish can turn up late down the edge on this lake so their was all to pay for, As I walked past Mike West me had hooked a good fish in the tail and was making every attempt to net it'
With 20mins of the match remaining it was to close to call but I went back over to Westpool as I just thought Jamie on peg 2 might just sneak the win as he was still adding the odd smaller carp,
Back down to Peanut before the all-out I was just in time to see him hook a last minute fish which turned out to be around 6lb so was a right bonus to go with a few smaller samples taken in the last 40mins,
His Late Lump'
At the weigh-in it seemed Steve had made the right choice by fishing across all day on the worm over ground-bait as catching those few extra late fish pushed his net up to 67lb odd which would be hard to beat,
Part of Peanuts catch.
working are way back towards peg 2, Ron stark had a nice days fishing on the silvers front catching 24lb of mainly chub on worm down the track ending the day with 24lb odd,
Ron's Silvers catch.
Jamie was last to weigh and wasn't far off his estimation putting 55b on the scales,
I missed the weigh-in on Hawthorns as it was already done by Carol but it turned out there were a few late fish caught as Julian Pinkett on peg 3 had a few big fish down the edge on maggot over ground-bait just to pip Peanut to the win with 68lb.
Match winner Julian Pinkett.
Well it turned out I was close in my guess weight but even better with Julian winning off Hawthorns it meant I did take a quid off owner Steve". It turned out to be a very close match and a couple more fish made all the difference which makes for a good result, Really hoping to have something put back on my hand tomorrow which will enable me to fish but not to optimistic so will have to wait and see, Be back out on the bank covering more matches if things don't go my way so look out" lol.