Shiplate Farm Pairs Match (Hawthorn & Westpool) Sunday.
I decided in the week that good friend Darren Greenwood & Myself would have a crack at this pairs match as he doesn't have much chance to get out much with family commitments, I new he was keen as he had been assembling rigs all week & arrived to pick me up over an hour before the draw" We arrived to find their were 9 pairs fishing today & the conditions seemed ideal now the wind had dropped, It was a random draw so neither of us new which lake we would end up on, Darren chose one queue & I was in the other & so realised it would be the furthest of the lakes for me on westpool but I wasn't to thrilled to find myself on peg 4 in the narrows, Its only around 10mts to the far bank here compared to slightly further down the lake which go's over 16mts & I felt I would struggle to match any of these pegs to be honest'. Pegs 3 & 5 were empty which at least gave me a bit more room to have a search around if needed, I decided to fish around a 1ft off the far bank against the far shelf in around 3ft of water to start with so set up a 4x10 Chanti on 0.11-0.10 and an 18 808 hook, To start with I plumbed a line straight in-front of me then found two other lines of similar depth at 12mts left & right, Next up was a 0.3g pencil float to fish down the edge at 10mts toward the empty peg 5, I decided to fish at the bottom of the near shelf which was around 4ft a few feet off the bank.
To start the match I fed a ball of micro with a few dead red maggots and some hard 4mm pellets across to my right at 12mts and just a few micros at 12mts to the left, Fed a half-pot of corn down the edge on the 10mts line & began the match in-front of me with a 4mm expander on the hook feeding tiny amounts of micros via a cad-pot, After 10mins I had my first fish being a carp of 1lb soon followed by a ghost carp of 4lb', As expected it didn't last and over the next 30mins all I had was a few 6oz skimmers, I tried the more positive fed lines but neither of them produced a bite so already I had the picture the fish weren't interested in much feed? I decided to wet some micro down into a slop & began cat-potting more regularly, This seemed to work as I added another carp of 4lb along with a few smaller samples to 2lb, looking around the pegs either side of me were struggling but as I expected the pegs in the wider water seemed to be doing ok?. I kept plugging away adding what I could of the lightly fed line but I did notice the all my bites would come as the rig settled against the shelf rather than being right on the bottom.
As the match progressed things began to get really hard with just odd bites but with the guys either side of me still struggling I was doing well enough, I had been feeding the 10mt inside swim regularly all match & with 90mins to go decided to give it a try, I did miss a bite which was a promising sign but nothing followed so re-fed it & had another look on the longer lines, Oddly I couldn't get bites anywhere other than the line I had odd fish off of but they were getting smaller, I tried corn & maggot on the hook but it still failed to produce so with 45miins left put my faith in some better fish off the inside line. Back in with a single grain of corn on the hook I had a nice 6lb mirror straight away but only added another 2 skimmers off it for the rest of the match, As I though the pegs in the wider water had done ok & when the scales arrived Mark Broomsgrove had the top weight with 64lb odd , My silvers went 6lb odd & my carp went 34lb odd to give me a total of 41lb enough for 3rd on the lake which I was pleased with from where I was so all I was hoping for now was Darren to have had a good day over on Hawthorns as the top pairs would be decided on weight". Um..? Nope' Darren had a mare of a day not connecting with a single carp & his 1lb odd of bits added to my weight wasn't going to be enough for us to end up in the coin today but that's the way it goes & at east he had chance to get out on the bank, With Mark winning Westpool & His partner John Page top weight on Hawthorns with 40b odd they easily won the day so well done to them. Top silvers pair went to John Dursley & Ron Stark who again were both top on their respective lakes.
Off to Viaduct Fishery Over the next two days for the silvers pairs with traveling partner Don Sutherland & with the weather seeming settled it should be a good two days to look forward too.