We are currently in a heat wave with temperature reaching 30 degrees, so it was nice to have a fresh cooling wind blowing from the East. After paying my pools in the gamekeeper's Lodge to Goldie Locks it was time to have a dip in the draw bucket and out comes Hawthornes peg 1. Hawthorne's isn't noted for it's Silvers catches, however, I am sure there are plenty in there but due to the high population of Carp the Silver fishing gets disrupted; plus peg one is a noted Carp peg. None of this would stop me trying to catch a few Silvers though.
For company I had affable Julian Pinkett on peg 2. The pools payout was split into two matches top two overall and Silvers from each Canal. There was plenty of Willow stuff on the Canal, luckily the wind was such that my end was clear. Half suspecting that Carp might be the quarry today I chose to fish the Drennan margin pole - what an excellent piece of kit this is and can handle hollows up to 25. I feel confident to put my full strength through this pole. First rig was a 0.3 Stu Barnett paste float for both margins. The Left side was such I had to go long at top-set plus two. The right side was comfortable on just the top-set. I also set up a 4x12 Roob Steel wor banded pellet again for each margin. Finally a 4x14 Winter for the Silvers to fish at top-set plus three.
I started by potting a few hard four's down the Left side margin and loose fed a few in the right side. A few wetted micro went in over the Silvers line and with 4 mm sonubaits expander on the hook I went over where the water was not just fizzing but foaming! I was expecting to foul hook a Carp any second but instead caught a Ronnie followed by three more, a Skimmer, two Tench and a Crucian!! Activity died so refed again expecting a foul hooker, alas not I waited, the peg seemed to have died even though it was frothing -Eels? I noticed the Carp down the Left were waving the reeds in a come and get me way. So I had to give it a try so on went the paste and first try the float sailed away and my first small Carp entered the net. During the first hour I netted 19 Carp. I had been feeding hard fours with the paste through the kinder pot after each Carp which was probably too regular feeding - little and often thingy. Anyway the Carp moved up in the water intercepting the falling freebies. The Carp were coming in behind the float and dragging the paste down the steep shelf which at the best of times was hard to hold on. Not many foulers about 6 in all. So tried the banded pellet which didn't do it. The Carp appeared to be snacking rather than feeding I think. I changed to big potting and leaving whilst I picked the odd Carp off from the right side again with paste over loose fed 4's. But after two fish they would also become difficult to nail. So by switching between the two margins I did keep the fish coming but didn't feel as I got the feeding right. So in the last 20 minutes decided to put a big pot of DR's in the right side in an attempt to put and keep the Carp down. During this time I hard two proper paste bites from two proper Carp. I wish I tried this earlier!
My few Silvers which I was expecting to be about 5 lb only weighed 3 lb 6 oz. My 40 odd Carp weighed in at 125 lb 8 oz for a Canal winning weight of 128 lb 14 oz. this was also good enough for second overall.
The match was won by Gary Flinders (pictured right with some of his catch) on Westpool peg 10 with 154 lb 14 oz. Gary initially caught long over on the pole but found he had foul hooking problems so switched to the methodist catching small carp regularly on banded hair rigged pellet with Micro clamped to his feeder. gary also picked up an additional £100 for beating he Pool record. Well done matey.
The Silvers was won by Mike Jones (pictured right with the match winner and Mark Jones's kitchen) with 19 lb 4 oz of Roach from Westpool peg 5. Mike caught on his favourite whip using caster/maggot. Mike explained how he ended up playing two Carp at the same time. Apparently he hooked a Carp which, not uncommonly, broke his elastic. Mike later hooked another Carp which tangled around the rig of the lost Carp, so two Caro in one go. try that with Silvers!!
Geoff and me decided it was cool enough for an Indian so stopped at Frenchay to find the Restaurant closed and more akin to a building site. Quick drive to the Tamarind in Downend where we had a great meal in an air conditioned environment, plus a few Kingfishers to round off the day. I got back in time to see the last knockings of the England Game which appeared to Fortuitus, couldn't have sat through 90 minutes of this. Another great day in retirement.
1. Gary Flinders 154-14-0 peg 10 WP
2. Mike Nicholls 128-08-0 peg 1 HT
3. Tony Rixon 122-0-0 peg 6 HT
1. Mike Jones 19-04-0 peg 5 WP
2. Dave Wride 18-14-0 peg 3 WP