Back to Viaduct today for the penultimate round of this popular silvers league, As normal Donald picked me up but the first thing I did this morning was assemble a small bomb rod with a ground-bait feeder before he arrived as it was blowing an absolute wholly at my place & the forecast for it to get worse in some pegs today it could make all the difference?' We had are normal hilltops breakfast before arriving at the fishery & on first glance it didn't appear to be to bad as far as the wind went but after taking a wander around the lakes before the draw their was certainly some pegs I was hoping to avoid! After a warming cuppa it was time for the draw & I wasn't far from the front as normal, I Happened to draw the my most talked about peg at this fishery this year peg 112 on Cambell Lake, It was a draw I did fancy even though the conditions have changed a lot to the previous round but arriving at my swim it didn't look to promising as I was the first one with the wind coming at me which would make fishing the long pole very awkward'.
I had a chat with Dick Bull who drew the peg on the Thursday cost cutter match who told me he had caught skimmers to 10oz on the long pole with caster on the hook over casters & Ground-bait but the conditions were nowhere near the same today so wondered if I could make it work? I set two rigs up to fish at just short of 15mts for my sins' one being a 4x12 wire wonder on 0.11-0.09 and an 18 PR412 hook And the other being a heavier 4x14 wire wonder on the same line but with an 18 PR434 hook, Depth wise I had about 4ft straight out in-front & about 6inches shallower at 2 O'clock to my left, I also plumed a swim at 9-10mts which was just over 3ft deep but the talk on the bank before the match was people were struggling to catch any decent size fish at short range so it would be a bit of a gamble?. On paper I looked to be in a tough section again today with Steve Kedge on peg 110, Geraint Powell next to me on peg 111 who were both doing well in the league,
As well as that man again venue expert & league leader Dan Squires on peg 115'& Alan Oram on peg 114.
I started the match by feeding 3 balls at 15mts in-front of me laced with casters, fed 2 balls with just a few casters & Dead Red Maggot on the 15mt swim to my left & fed 2 balls with worm added on the 10mt line, This took me about 15mins in the wind & already I felt knackered" What was making things worse was the fact the wind was swirling all over the place', I started the match on a small ground-bait feeder towards the middle of the lake with dead red maggot on the hook, After 30mins all I had was a couple of small roach so I switched to a single grain of corn on the hook hoping for a better fish? It didn't happen & after another 30mins all I added was a skimmer of 4oz again on maggot, At this stage I was already falling behind as Geraint was catching small roach on his short line, Steve was doing the same & also had a few & Further up I had seen Dan net a fish as well as Alan Oram next to me so it was time to battle against the elements & try the long pole lines.
Starting with double caster on the hook straight in-front of me I missed a bite before having a 1oz roach' Not what I was hoping for at that distance! Nothing followed so I switched to the other long line with a small piece of worm on the hook, I bumped what felt like a better fish straight away but then couldn't buy a bite so it was time to try the shorter 10mt swim. With singe dead red on the hook I had a couple of small roach so decided to try a small piece of worm fished 6'inches over depth as it was beginning to tow against the wind which had now increased" I was just about to have a rethink when I hooked a better fish which turned out to be a bream over 2lb' Well that more than tripled my weight and caught up with Geraint's small fish as such which boosted me back up the section as it seemed to be fishing hard at the moment. I added a couple more smaller skimmers to 10oz before I felt the need to re-feed it with a small ball and venture back out to the long lines, For some reason I just couldn't catch anything decent & after being turned around on my box a couple of times in the wind it was going to be a case of trying to make the most of the shorter line. I decided to feed another swim to my left at 10mts with a ball of dead red maggot & Chopped worm in the hope I could pinch the odd fish off each?. Back on the original 10mt line again with worm on the hook I added a couple more 10oz - 1lb skimmers before landing a 2lb Tench after a bit of a battle on light elastic". It did seem to disturb the swim as I couldn't get bites after so decided to feed another small ball & rest the swim. I had a quick look on the long lines again without success so back again on the shorter swims, I tried the new line first and had a skimmer of 12oz but when shipping back disaster struck' I broke down on the wrong section, placing my number 4 behind me on my net bag I netted the fish only to turn around and find it had gone! B**locks". It must of blown in & I only got it back this week from being repaired!. luckily I had another in my bag so was able to carry on' The rest of the match was spent picking up the odd skimmer off of each of the 10mt swims either on dead red maggot or bits of worm, I felt going into the last hour I had overtaken Geraint who had had a 2lb plus skimmer to go with his roach & Steve seemed to be struggling on 110 although Dan had netted a few by battling with the wind on his long line and after taking another smaller skimmer of each line major disaster struck & I hooked a carp, Well you would expect the hook-length to snap but owe no, my spare number 4 section did meaning the whole lot was now traveling across the lake towed behind a carp!". Nothing I could do for the time being but it meant the last 30mins all I could do was fish a small bomb over my pole lines as I had no pole to fish with..! luckily for me Paul Elms on the opposite bank peg 132 had managed to hook and retrieve it for me with minutes to go but after just one more 1lb skimmer on the bomb along with two carp one of which I landed' I felt I may of had a few more skimmers if I could of fished the pole? When the scales arrived Dan was leading the section with 14lb odd but I felt I had a bit more than that? pleasingly I had 19lb odd which was enough to give me another section win in the league which I was hoping for, Back at the results It turned out to be another close match With Chris Boulten on peg 126 winning the day with 21lb odd mainly catching on the long pole with maggot over ground-bait, Even better for me as I had managed to finish 2nd overall again picking up another £100 along the way as well as keeping me up near the top of the table with one match remaining in two weeks time. A Hard & sometimes frustrating day as far as the weather went but with the wind the way it was I felt it pushed the better fish closer to are bank than we had expected, I spent most of the day fishing the heavier 4x14 rig set over-depth to keep the rig as still as possible, I didn't feed to much & Only re-fed when I felt confident the fish had backed off. Look forward to the final round when theirs all to play for with regards to the final standings.
Full Results -
1st Chris Boulten (Un-Attached) peg 126 Cambell, 21b 3oz.
2nd Dom Sullivan (Maver) Peg 112 Cambell, 19lb 9oz.
3rd Tony Rixon (Mosella/Veals) peg 53 Lodge, 19lb 6oz.