I arrived in plenty of time after picking up teaboy Aide on the way, it looked perfect with no wind but the evidence of an over night froze & the forecast for a day of rain would surely make things difficult as far as the fishing goes? Only Eleven of us But not bad payouts as far as the top five went but the bonus peg monies which had accumulated wouldn't be added to the payouts as stated for some reason, Apparently it was last year so why not this time??.
Jeff Sparks was running the show & Chatting to John Fudge before the draw I told him I fancied peg 35, The next thing you know it was draw as todays 'ON Running' Bonus peg". The draw format was done on who qualified first, back to John Who Qualified last week, I was around the 5th to draw & it was still in there, Not for me though as I ended up on peg 12, Quite happy with the draw as a few fish were caught here last week & I had plenty of room as we all did, I joked with John with him last to have a peg he would probably end up on it' And he did!" I would have my money on him to do well as there seemed to be some decent skimmers up here last week & that's what would make the difference today.
I set up two 0.2 pencil floats on 0.13-0.10 one with a PR412 hook for maggot & the other an 18F1 pellet hook for expanders, The depth was pretty uniform around 4ft which was a bit less than I had over the far side last week, I had Jeff next to me on peg 11 & Rodger Russell around from me on peg 15 which was side on towards me, On the all-in I fed a nugget of micros at 7mts with a couple of dead reds, A ball of G/bait/Micros to my right at 13mts & a ball of a different mix the same distance to my right with a few pinkees & dead reds added. I started on the short line with a single maggot just looking for a quick bite, 15mins on this line without a sign even when trying soft pellet on the hook, Onto the left hand line with 2mm expander on the hook to start with but not a sign, Onto the other 13mts line with maggot & pinkee & nothing here! One hour gone & not a sign, Owe dear" I had already seen some fish being caught on the road bank at the top end as I expected, & Jeff next to me had a couple of small skimmers & a bonus 1lb tench.
Things weren't looking good, I kept switching lines & even tried starting a couple of new lines fed a bit differently but I just could not get a bite.." I didn't give up though & after hooking & landing a carp after two hours I went back in the same place at 13mts & had a 3oz skimmer in the fin! Two hours gone & my first fish in the net' The next hour wasn't much better as I added another two small skimmers & a tiny roach. I could not get a sniff on soft pellet, 2mm or 4mm' I decided to stick to maggot on the hook cad-potting small nuggets of F1 G/bait over the top, Eventually I started to get signs of fish but unfortunately most were carp but did have a better 12oz skimmer in between, It hadn't stopped raining since we started & nearly everything was soaked, My hands were freezing & I was having a job to concentrate at times, By 2pm I had had enough, I was just about to call it a day when I hooked what I thought was another carp & shipped straight back but it was a skimmer over 1lb". If I could manage another nine of these in the last 90mins or so I was sure it wouldn't be far off the pace so head back down again then! I would like to say this happened but it wasn't to be, I did manage a couple more skimmers to 12oz & a few more small fish all on either dead of live red maggot but still no signs on my other pellet' lines. I was glad to here the whistle as I couldn't wait to get warmed up" Jeff Had struggled for the rest of the match but hadn't seen me sneak a couple of skimmers so didn't think I had much & Rodger had called it a day with over an hour to go. When the scales arrived John did well on the bonus" peg to finish with 15lb odd with a few 10lb weights below him, Jamie Parkhouse below the motorway was admitting to 12lb but weight 8lb odd" my turn & I finished with 5lb odd which was a result considering the first few hours' & Jeff ended up with 3lb, Back at the results & John Had easily won the day catching on expander mainly & had a couple of good skimmers to 3lb, He picked up £90 on the day for the win but the added bonus of £94 from the bonus peg! so well done John, It was close for the back up weights with ounces separating the framers. Had a disappointing day, Fully expected this to be right up my street but unfortunately it seemed I just wasn't in the right area on the day as the three of us struggled for any bites, That's fishing though so hopefully the next few days improve for me"
Full results -
1st John Fudge (Sedges) peg 35, 15lb 3oz. £90 plus bonus peg £94.
2nd Roy Hudges (Summerhayes) peg 8, 10lb 12oz. £70.
3rd Dan Pither (Royal Marines) peg 33, 10lb 11oz. £50.
4th Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) peg 38, 10lb 8oz. £40.
5th Martin Addicott (Summerhayes) peg 27, 9lb 3oz. £30.