A beautiful crystal clear Autumn day welcomed us. Real clean fresh air. I needed this, as I am still trying to clear a cold (man flu) that I have had for two weeks.
Colin Golding did his usual of putting 24 pegs in the draw for 19 anglers. Guess what, once again three of the best peg were not drawn! As far as I am concerned this does not give the venue the best possible result and hence the best publicity it well deserves.
There aren't many pegs on Bridge that I have not got to grips with yet - except peg 24, which I drew today. The peg is strange - it has many features. It has a deep narrow channel (nine foot deep) between the island and bank, hence if you are trying to catch Skimmers can be susceptible to Carp intrusion. My chosen Ronnie line has a topography like a lunar landscape - up and down, with sharp shelving. Round to the left is a bay which I decided would be my Carp line. The opposite island can be easily reached with 11.5 metres of pole. To the right is also interesting and is also a potential Carp swim.
I started by loose feeding caster for the Ronnies on the top set, whilst feeding wet 4mm coarse pellet into my left carp margin swim. I knew straight away that the bigger Ronnies were not feeding (although later I did had a pounder). I decided that there must be Carp about so tried the paste over the caster, with no avail. Back on the caster and a foul hooked Carp! I decided to go on to the Skimmer line and for about two hours caught 4oz Skimmers regularly. I then hooked and landed a strange looking Carp of about 2 pounds - it looked like a cross between a Grass Carp and a Mirror - um.
I noticed that Bill Ferris and Colin Golding were catching small Ronnies and Skimmers and probably beating me. So in the last hour I went in to my LH Carp swim with paste over 4 mm wet pellet and had two big Carp for about 25lb. I then proceeded to lose three similar sized Carp - one broke 0.18, one pulled out, the other was lightly hooked. At the whistle I was playing my third big Carp which was landed well within the 15 minute rule. I dis try fishing over to the island, and as previous experience, I have yet to catch anyting of note.
I weighed 11lb 4oz of Silvers and 31lb 08 oz of Carp for a total of 42lb 12 oz. This gave me third overall and third in the Silvers. Wouldn't it be nice if you knew what everyone had in their nets at any one time - a bit like "hindsight being a wonderful thing". If I had stayed with the Silvers I would have picked up, if I had started on the Carp earlier I would have picked up!!
Dave Bacon (pictured top right) won the match from peg 17 with six Quality Carp for 48lb. My mate Bob Warren (pictured right - with his catch of Carp) was runner up from peg 30 with 43lb 12oz (delighted to have beaten me by one pound - well done matey). Bob caught his fish on straight lead, waggler and pole.
1. Dave Bacon 48-0-0 peg 17
2. Bob Warren 43-12-0 peg 30
3. Mike Nicholls 42-12-0 peg 24
4. Pete "the real" Phillips 31-06-0 peg 10
5. Bob Feltham 23-14-0 peg 3
6. Chris Snow 19-13- 0 peg 7
1. Bill "Maggotman" Ferris 15-08-0 peg 25
2. Colin Golding 14-06-0 peg 26
3. Mike Nicholls 11-04-0 peg 24