At one time I thought I would have to miss this match due to issues with the car. Luckily my friendly tackle dealer (pictured right) came to the rescue. The last time we travelled together was to the semi final of the Shakespeare 2000 match at Arrow Valley Lake. Thanks matey.
After weeks of warm overcast weather the fishing Gods were against us as we were faced with an over night frost and bright clear skies and a bitterly cold North wind. Not conducive for a Silver match where Skimmers would be the main target.
Tony and I were joined at breakfast in Woody’s by Des Shipp. As per usual the discussions turned to which pegs would be the preference – Tony went for pegs 70 or 78 as did Des. I stayed quiet as have this recent habit of drawing pegs that I say I didn’t want. In to the draw tin and Tony pulls peg 70 and Des peg 78 – and that’s how it’s done!
I pulled peg 88. As I wanted to be on Carey I was reasonably happy with this draw especially as the cold wind would be off my right shoulder, but sun in the face. This has been a fair section when it was pegs 81 to 90 but not so, since peg 96 have been included. For company I had trigger on peg 90, who kept me amused and bewildered throughout the match. Every time Trig tried to net a fish his landing net would become detached from his handle, falling in the water. So it was fish around with the handle, retrieve the net, and then use the net without the handle to net the fish. OK if you do this the once but Trig followed the same process for every fish! I guess you don’t keep a nick name for 20 years without good reason – do you Dave!
I set up a 4x14 Jolly to be fished for Skimmers at 10 meters. A Ronnie rig which I fish short but was apprehensive as to whether this would work as the water had gone clear. This peg does respond to the GB feeder so I set this up to be fished at 25 metres.
I started by feeding two balls of GB laced with a few casters and started to loose feed the Ronnie line. Out went the Jolly with double dead red maggot. I must say the presentation was spot on picking up the tow against the wind. Interestingly I didn’t get a bite until I was a metre away from where I fed the GB which shows how strong the tow was. It was soon clear that the fishing was going to be really hard as in the first hour I had only two small Perch, a Ruffe and six Ronnie’s. There were plenty of Anglers still bites less at his stage. So after re-feeding the Skimmer line I tried the short Ronnie rig and as expected this produced nothing. So back on the Skimmer line and I foul hooked a big Skimmer which I lost. I did have a couple of the 4oz specimens that live in this swim before I hooked one of two Carp, which decided me to try the feeder. So again with double red maggot on the hook I had a bite first cast which was a 6oz Skimmer, out again and again a bite straight away which resulted in a lost 1lb Hybrid at the net – bugger. Not to worry as I had it sorted - not. Out again and luckily I had hold of the rod as A Carey Carp took it on the drop and that was another lost hook. After 15 minutes bite less and had to decide whether to sit on it for the remaining three hours. Instead as the sun was now glittering over my Skimmer line I fed a whole pot of caster in to an area that the sun had already visited. One last visit over the GB line and I hooked and lost a Bream at the net – another bugger. So it was out went the Jolly with double caster over the new line and I had an 8oz Perch first put in – the sought after species. I then proceeded to bump small Ronnie’s. So I decided to set up the 4 metre whip which would nearly reach the caster swim. I then had a run of small Ronnie until the last 15 minutes when everything went dead.
I weighed 10lb dead and with 13lb framing I rued not starting and finishing the match on the 4 metre whip as I am sure that with some hard work I could have got a low framing weight – of course I would have to have known it was going to fish as hard as it did. Lack of hindsight me thinks?
The match was won by Andy Power (pictured right being presented with the winning purse of £750 by fishery owner Steve Long) with 23lb 13oz from peg 114. Andy caught a mix of small Skimmers and Tench fishing at 14 metres fishing caster over caster (no GB). Andy fed about two pints which no doubt contributed to the high number of Carp that Andy hooked. Well done matey.
1. Andy Power 23-13-0 peg 114
2. An-Ton Page 21-02-0 peg 125
3. Paul Greenwood 17-12-0 peg 96
4. Gary O’Shea 14-04-0 peg 112
5. Tony Rixon 14-02-0 peg 70 (2 Ronnie’s more)
6. Dave White 13-14-0 peg 69