Bela has at last moved in to his new abode. Very nice bachelor pad it is too. As has now become custom we stopped for breakfast at Canards Well, where we were joined by John Bennett and Gordon Cannings.
Before I start on the fishing I must have a rant about how this match was advertised – “Carps AC Christmas Match”. I, along with many other anglers fishing today was expecting the usual Christmas fare as prizes, alas not– just the usual cash payouts. I suggest such matches should be advertised as they are - a normal club match and not to purport to be something else – all very disappointing. Fur and Feather matches have been a wonderful tradition for many, many years and we should do all we can to retain them and not just throw them away in this fashion.
In to the draw bag an out pops peg 129. Yet another day fishing along side a spit. Bela joined me on a spit drawing peg 80!! I really don’t understand why peg 80 is always preferred in the draw over peg 79, which in my opinion is a much better peg?
There has been plenty of Carp coming to meat and straight lead from pegs 129 to 132 and the opposite numbers 114 to 110. So whilst walking to the van I decided that I would only take the straight lead rod. After unpacking I decided to add the Silvers waggler rod – just in case, but wouldn’t set up the pole! Arriving at the peg I changed my mind to add two pole rigs – a 4x10 Drennan Chop for the corner between the bank and the spit – a 4x14 Jolly for the Skimmers. I also untangled the waggler and straight lead rods. On the whistle I fed the Skimmer line at 11.5 metres with caster and a few chucks of 8mm meat, followed by a pot of caster along the spit. However, I started on the straight lead with meat pulled through a hair rigged band. After 15 minutes I was bored, but noticed fish blowing on the 11.5 metre line, so out went double caster and first put in I hooked a Carp rather than the big Skimmer I was anticipating. Unfortunately I lost it at the net from a pull out. Next put in the same again – another lost Carp – that was it for this line for the rest of the match even though I kept trying it in desperation rather that anticipation. Time for the waggler with triple dead reds on the 16 hook fished over loose fed caster. This resulted in my sum total of Silvers 1lb 6oz comprising two Skimmers and five small Ronnie’s. I did have a 5lb Carp before this swim died. In to the corner margin with double caster and the float buried and a decent fish – unfortunately it wasn’t a big Perch or Tench I was craving for, but another small Carp. That was it for this line!! Back out on the wager with double caster and another small Carp was all I had to show for my thrashing about. Whilst feeding the caster in the catty I had the occasional elastic pull off the pouch or the frame, but for the first time ever I had both elastics pull off the pouch at the same time, leaving the pouch and casters in one hand and the catty frame and elastic in the other. I found this very amusing – for a second. With twenty minutes left I decided to start packing up so launched the straight lead again and after ten minutes the whole rod bent round and Carp number four in the net. Out again and another rig tidied away when the rod went round again and Carp five in the net. My total Silvers and Carp weighed in at 26lb 2oz for unlucky thirteenth overall ( worth a tin of buscuits me thinks). I wish I could fish the straight lead for longer – perhaps it will come with age!
The match was won by Howard Webb (pictured above centre with the Silvers winner – the white spots aren’t bubbles or Fairies but bloody great rain drops on the camera lense) with 114lb 9oz from peg 110. Howard caught on the straight lead fished into the end margin. Howard caught on Tesco’s meat balls in tomato juice. However, Howard went on to explain how he cuts his balls up and the punches them for the hook and that Sainsbury’s brand is a bit tougher and ASDA’s are ---- at this point my eyes glazed over. What I will say is that Howard does get some right rap rounds as us on the opposite bank could see his “drag ins”, I was left wondering how many rods he loses using his balls.
The Silvers was won by Nick Collins with an incredible 37lb 6oz of Skimmers from Carey peg 78. Nicks weight was “head and shoulders above anyone else” – words not usually associated with Nick, I know! Nick caught on both the pole and a waggler using single caster over loose fed caster on the waggler and potted on the pole line. The majority of his fish came to Nick’s favourite waggler method. Great weight on the day Nick - I’m envious.
1. Howard Webb 114-09-0 peg 110
2. Ray Hayward 112-15-0 peg 119
3. Dave Roper 63-01-0 peg 77
4. Darby 54-0-0 peg 112
5. Nick Ewers 50-12-0 peg 130
6. Glen Calvert 45-10-0 peg 128
1. Nick Collins 37-06-0 peg 78
2. Steve Jackson 18-05-0 peg 76
3. Phil Cardwell 16-10-0 peg 116