Arrived early and had a walk around - what a beautiful autumn day. There was a light breeze blowing to the far end, however, there was very few signs of feeding fish anywhere. It was going to be a hard match especially as the sun was promised to be out for most of the day. I had a look on the notice board to see the latest news - no news is no news - pictured right.
A good turn out with a very welcome contingent from Swindon taking us to a full house. If you are planning to come next Sunday make sure you book in with Dave Haines.
Dave drew three golden pegs - 2, 6 and 14 again. I was hoping to avoid the curse of the golden peg. Peg 20 would have been my choice. Alas not into the draw bag and out comes peg 14 again! There must have been a conspiracy as Dave Willmott shout out that his magic trick had worked again, I then heard lots of anglers shout look out - too late someone eager to get to another golden peg reversed into me, luckily he hit me on the back leg muscle rather than bone. I was sore for a while but soon recovered once I got down the steep bank and started fishing. Dave Willmott had drawn next to me on peg 15, could have done without him there. Whilst placing the kit I found a dead line hidden in the bushes. God help anyone found doing this this - quite rightly Brad was very upset about it.
I decided to fish the same two paste lines as previous matches. However, bearing in mind that I had 13 lb of accidental Skimmers here last match I added a 4x12 Winter Titan for a silvers line to start on whilst the Carp settled over my feed, which was a pot of micro on the top-set line and a ball of GB on the top-set plus four down the margin towards the sedges. I started on CW and C at full depth at top-set plus two. With a big worm on the hook I was soon playing a 3 lb Mirror Carp! Not what I was expecting but welcome all the same. I then started to get bites from tiny Perch it was very noticeable that the Ronnie's weren't feeding. I soon abandoned this as I could see Carp swirling over the GB. So went long with the paste and had a couple of small Carp but I was getting lots of liners and a few foulers. Was this the effects of the GB? As last time I kept trying the short paste line which seemed devoid of fish. Everyone appeared to be struggling and with lots of fish showing over to the far bank got the waggler out and decided on maggot. I feed some LR's which the fish seemed to like. I fish double LR on the hook and was soon getting liners but none seemed interested in my hook bait the water is about 4 inches deep so was fishing 6 inches over depth! I did foul hook a small Common which lead to throwing the towel in on the waggler. Back on the short paste line and had two better Carp in two put-ins. I then started to foul hook fish which lead to a very frustrating hour, during which Dave Willmott started to catch down his edge on corn. A lean hour followed. Dave said he had about 55 lb I reckoned on I had 40 lb. I started to wonder if the fish had gone off the paste, but stuck with it and during the last hour the better fish rallied up putting 60 lb in the net during this period, whilst Dave's catch rate faded.
I finished with 1 lb 4 oz of Silvers taking my overall weight to 99 lb 10 oz and at last breaking the curse of the golden peg coming first overall. Dave was second with 81 lb 5 oz. So plenty of fish in this area.
The Silvers was won by Ian Barker (pictured right with the match winner - he did have his trousers on) with a low weight of 6 lb 7 oz of better Skimmers from peg 8. Ian Caught on maggot.
It was back to the Bells with the usual suspect and Paul Elmes who had fished for Bathampton scratch team the day before in the second division national - well done to them winning promotion. Paul explained he had to drive 15 miles to drop off Neil Mercer, then drive 35 miles to his peg!!
1. Mike Nicholls 99-10-0 peg 14
2. Dave Willmott 81-05-0 peg 15
3. Paul Elmes 64-07-0 peg 21
1. Ian Barker 6-07-0 peg 8
2. Kevin Bamford 6-0-0 peg 4