What’s good about team fishing is that you can’t get ridiculed for drawing a flyer. Or can you? Fate put me on peg 85 apparently the best Carp peg in the southern hemisphere. Having a quick chat around and I discovered that Dave Roper was on peg 86 the previous day and caught 25lb of Silvers on the waggler with caster, hooking the occasional Carp. That will do me then. Arriving at my peg I found myself sandwiched between the second best angler in the South West Rip Off and the best in the SW and future world champion Des Shipp. I knew Rip Off would find it difficult to compete from peg 81 (so long as I could keep him out of my swim) as it has variable form, but Des, well end of story really.
I untangled the Silvers waggler and the Carp Slaying straight lead (just for team orders). And because there was plenty of time I also set up a 4x14 Jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres I was surprised how deep the lake is at this end. At this stage Des started to do a dance on the bank as he had forgotten his waggler rod, he paced off for 10 minutes and came back with Neil Mercers waggler rod a 12 and a bit footer as apparently there was nine inches missing from the tip (good one Neil – but not good enough).
I started buy cupping in 100 ml of casters at 11.5 metres which I only ventured over with double caster for 5 minutes – end of. I started on the waggler with double dead red fished over loose fed caster – loose being the operative description because the casters were going everywhere. I was soon in to my first Ruff – a male of the species – one point then. I quickly followed this up with a female – much easier to unhook. Next I believe I foul hooked a Carp which I played for about one minute before the hook pulled free. I then hooked and landed a 9lb Carp. I then definitely foul hooked another Carp which I tried to stop going through Des’s swim breaking me so I took the opportunity to up the hook length to 0.16 from my favourite 0.14 G Line, plus reducing the hook size to an 18 - 808. Next fish was another 9lb Carp that would not lift its head and was difficult to play out I thought for a long while it was one of the lake beasties. That was it for the Carp as I think they had had enough of me and backed off to the end of the spit. Good, as I started to put a few Silvers together, Skimmers to 2lb, but they were far and few between. At 2 minutes to 3 o clock I decided to fish the lead for 7 minutes, Starting on four dead reds - nothing – switched to corn – time up and back on the Silvers waggler, landing another 1lb Skimmer and loosing a 2lb Skimmer on the whistle. My two Carp weighed in at 19lb 3oz and my Silvers 9lb 7oz putting me 6th overall and 6th in the Silvers – not quite good enough.
Although we gave him half a rod and reel line that was 2 mm thick Des (pictured right with half his catch of nine Carp) still won the match from peg 86 with 70lb 4oz. Des fished the straight lead for an hour and had one Carp on corn, subsequently switching to the waggler fished at 40 yards where he caught another seven Carp. Des caught mostly on corn hook bait with the odd fish falling to maggot. Des fished at variable depths with most fish coming shallow (half depth). Des had a similar experience to me with the fish backing off out of reach. Des fed very little because the furthest we could feed was 25 yards.
The Silvers was won by Paul Elmes (pictured right) from Spring Lake peg 24 with 21lb 8oz. Paul caught Skimmers at 14.5 metres on double red maggot fished over GB.
This was the end of the series and I thought it was well run by Rip Off and manic Mallin - they make a good team, thanks guys.
Team wise Team Westerleigh (pictured right) won the overall league by a big margin – see Tony Rixon’s blog for the ins and outs. Well done lads - the team to beat – again!
1. Des Shipp 70-04-0 peg 86
2. Neil Mercer 62-01-0 peg 8
3. John Howell 59-10-0 peg 18
4. Ryan Shipp 42-08-0 peg 15
5. Dean Mallin 40-07-0 peg 78
6. Mike Nicholls 28-10-0 peg 85
1. Paul Elmes 21-08-0 peg 24
2. Matt Parsons 15-13-0 peg 7
3. Tony Rixon 11-0-0 peg 81