I have just returned from holiday in Sorrento – Italy with the Special One. I must say it was a good choice of hers. I have visited many wonderful places in my time but the Amalfi Coast is without doubt the most beautiful. And there is also the food – Bottlelinos and Pizza Hut will never be the same again!! The nearest I got to fishing was watching the locals boat fishing in the Bay of Naples from small rowing boats, jerking hand lines whilst rowing with the other hand. I am not sure what they were catching, but it definitely wasn't Ronnie's. The picture right shows the Bay of Naples with Vesuvius (an active Volcano) in the background.
Having just returned home I wasn’t as mentally prepared for this match as I usually am. However, the plan was simple – fish for Silvers for the first three hours with the anticipation of securing some coin and the second half fish for team points!
This plan was good in respect that I didn’t have to worry about which lake I fished, but was secretly hoping for Sheppard’s. Charlie Barns came back from the draw with peg 21 on Dabinett. Great Carp peg, but also with plenty of open water which will invariably holds Silvers too. Having settled in the peg and looking around the section I found myself in Carp Slayer paradise – Rip Off on next peg 20, Steve Denmead on peg 19, Rod Wotton on peg 1, Chris Davis on peg 12, Dean Mallin on peg 7, Mark Broomsgrove on peg 6 and so on. So my plan was looking even more promising - for this Lake anyway.
I decided on two paste rigs, one for the RH margin at full depth, one at 10 metre on top the bar. Then the important rigs – a 4x14 Jolly for Skimmers to be fished at 5 metres with Soft pellet or Maggot and my Ronnie rig, also for use with Maggot. I fed the 10 metre line with 4’s and micro in equal proportions, quickly followed up with a 125 ml pot of 50/50 maggot and wetted micro at 5 metres. I started with the Ronnie rig, loose feeding with maggot (basically over the 5 metre line). I had a run off Ronnie’s and Rudd with the occasional Hybrid. I then had a 3lb Carp which aren’t that easy to land on the Ronnie rig as it causes a lot of disturbance. With that landed I tried over the 5 metre line and had a few 4oz Skimmers before I latched in to another 3lb Carp. Playing these fish totally unsettles the silvers. Back on the Ronnie rig and another run of Silvers, however, if I fed too much the Carp would disrupt the swim. It was very difficult sorting the feed pattern, but the best I could work out was feed heavy and fish it out. I had been feeding the RH margin from the start with 4’s and noticed a blow so had a dob in with paste and after counting to 120 and without any indication (if there is any indication I start the count again) wrapped it in. So that was the end on the paste for the day (and probably for the rest of the season). I decided to concentrate on the 5 metre line adding a Kinder pot to keep a mix of micro and maggot going in. With two hours to go I had a period on foul hooking Carp – five in a row in fact. It then settled and I had a run to the end of Carp to 3lb and Skimmers to 12oz. My 10 Carp weighed in at 37lb 13oz and my Silvers 21lb for a total of 58lb 13oz. This put me tenth overall and second in the Silvers by a miserable 6oz. However, this only gave my 4 ½ section points – drawing with next peg Steve Denmead. On the whole it was mission accomplished. I purposely didn't mention the team performance as I noticed we had two 1 pointers!!
The match was won by Des Shipp (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 103lb 15oz from peg 41 on Yarlington. Des started at 5 metres on soft pellet, swapping later to hard pellet shallow in to both margins. In the last half hour Des decided to switch to caster over to the far bank weeds with double caster on the hook, landing a quick 10 more fish, which made the difference on the day. Today proves once again that match fishing it’s not about luck as Des won the County Championship on this venue the day before (which I predicted on one of my earlier blogs). However, what is lucky is Des selling his roof tiles for more that the cost of new one’s (that’s what Bela told me – jammy beggar)!! It is only a matter on time before Des is the crowned World Champion.
The Silvers was won by Steve Seagar with 21lb 6oz from peg 15 on Sheppard’s Lake. Steve caught mostly 1oz Rudd and Ronnie’s on single maggot fishing short.
I must say Rip Off (who seems to have a fatal attraction to Blackberry bushes) and Dean Mallin do a great job running the league and also taking on the weighing in (picture right proves this – can you name the anglers hiding in the Sedges - you might miss Jason Radford though)?
1. Des Shipp 103-15-0 peg 41 Yar
2. Rod Wotton 98-01-0 peg 1 Dab
3. Dean Mallin 89-04-0 peg 7 Dab
4. Paul Elmes 77-13-0 peg 16 Dab
5. Tony Rixon 70-14-0 peg 20 Dab
6. Mark Broomsgrove 69-0-0 peg 6 Dab
1. Steve Seagar 21-06-0 peg 15 Shep
2. Mike Nicholls 21-0-0 peg 21 Dab
3. Kev Perry 19-0-0 peg 3 Shep