I thought I was standing in for Chilly this week but when I got to the café, Les said I was fishing for Grandad Young instead and I wasn’t overly impressed when somebody told me I’d either be on peg 1 or 17 today. When Les opened the draw sequence envelope, I was on peg 1 – great! It’s a peg I really don’t like and it hasn’t done anything in recent matches. Apparently the wind has been blowing down that end all week but I still didn’t fancy it and I have to admit I was having a bit of a moan!
We got out the pond and there was a bit of ripple on it and all the scum was down our end which would hopefully mean there were a few fish under it. Yardie was opposite in peg 20 with Shane on his right and I had Mark G on my left. Bish and Bushy were up on the other corner pegs, 10 and 11 and the Tart was on peg 13 so I thought I’d be waving goodbye to another nugget.
No prizes for guessing the first rig out of the box was my trusty inline dibber to fish 6mm banded pellet at 11.5 metres, I also set up a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for fishing on the deck at the same distance plus a hand made pattern for fishing the 5 metre meat line. Today’s side tray had live and dead red maggots, 6mm meat and Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse 6mm pellets.
On the whistle I cupped in some meat at 5 metres before starting shallow with a 6mm banded pellet, after about five minutes Yardie struck into a carp on his inside line and then Shane on peg 19 hooked one shallow so hopefully there were a few about. Yardie successfully netted his fish but Shane’s came off. I had a couple of indications where the float has disappeared but as I struck, a fish has bow waved off, so possibly liners.
As per usual I intended to stick with fishing shallow for at least an hour, as well as feeding pellets out at 11.5 metres, I was pinging a few 6mm’s up the edge at 13 metres and feeding a few cubes of meat regularly at 5 metres. The first sixty minutes came and went without me adding anything to my nets and I thought I’d been a tad optimistic putting three in at the start! Yardie was still on one carp, Shane and Richard C next door to him were both in the same boat as me and Mark G had a couple of skimmers.
As nobody down our end was catching, I decided to stay fishing shallow along with the odd attempted mugging and keep an eye on Yardie and Shane who were fishing on the deck and if they started catching I could always switch rigs. The second hour was no different and I really thought I was going to blank and was chuntering away to myself about how much I hate peg 1, Mark didn’t help my mood much when he asked how I was doing, especially as he now had a couple of carp.
Carp were still swimming about and a couple even came in close by some lilies on my left, I started feeding a few pellets down there and flicked the rig in, I did miss a couple of bites which I think were rudd or roach. Then the Tart shouted down (thankfully I couldn’t see him) to ask how I was doing and I told him I was doing as well as I expected off this peg! He said he had seven carp and although I had a sneaking suspicion that might not be the whole truth, the smug tone in his voice suggested he’d caught.
I looked away from the float for a second and felt the pole tip get pulled round as elastic streamed out and a carp tore through the lilies, I held on and thankfully it came out without too much grief and after a brief scrap, I netted my first carp. A few minutes later I flicked the rig in and was just about to fire some pellets out when the pole was nearly wrenched from my hands, this carp headed up towards Mark and I could see the line grating against the lilies and I was just waiting for everything to go slack but then it was out in open water and carp number two was in the net.
No more indications there but as is often the way, there were loads of carp on the longer line so I shipped back out to 11.5 metres and after a few minutes, I was into another and all of a sudden I was interested again and thought I might have a chance of winning the section. I had a quick go at 13 metres on my right by the scum but no bites saw me back out trying to mug fish but they didn’t want to know.
With half the match gone, I was on three carp and the Tart shouted down again, this time he said he was on two carp and by all accounts, the pond was fishing really hard. I decided to have another go to my right but this time with a white Bait-Tech Juice Wafter in the band as I’ve done alright with them in the past and they’re easier to get through the scum. I shipped out to 13 metres and kept firing a few pellets over the top, after a few minutes, the float sailed away and carp number four was on, it was a decent 5lb fish too. Next chuck I had another to put me on five carp with two and a half hours to go.
Yardie had started catching eels on his short maggot line but Shane and Richard still hadn’t caught. I missed a couple of bites before catching carp number six and then not long after had my seventh, Shane said it sounded like I was winning the match but I thought the top end would throw up some fish somewhere. Mark had a couple more carp, caught on bread shallow, to put him on five carp plus some skimmers and I didn’t think there would be much between us.
I was still fishing up edge to my right but every time I saw some carp cruising I’d try a bit of stalking and finally one took the bait and tore off. I really needed this fish to put some daylight between me and Mark but of course it reached the sanctuary of the lilies and still wasn’t stopping, the inevitable happened, everything went slack and I hoped that wasn’t going to cost me. Time was ticking by and by my reckoning I was still a fish in front of Mark but I could really do with another.
Then with half an hour to go, the float buried and before I had time to strike the fish was off at a rate of knots, it headed up the pond and went past Mark with me hanging on with the pole tip under the water, it was either a big fish, foulhooked or both and I was just waiting for the line to slack. Eventually I started to gain the upper hand but as I unshipped to the top two I could see it was good sized common of 7lb+ (hooked in the mouth) and I really wanted to make this one count. Every time it came within netting range it would power off again and I was sure the hook was going to ping out but everything held and I netted it with five minutes to go.
I had time to go back out but that was it and Les blew for the all out, Mark said well done as the pegs at the top end had really struggled with only a few carp each. I took my gear back to the car before waiting for the scales, Bushy who was on peg 11 said he’d had six carp and Picky on peg 16 had caught some big paste fish so I certainly wasn’t counting any chickens yet. My eight carp went 35lb 6oz and then Mark had 28lb 4oz so that last carp came in handy.
Oz had also done well on peg 3 with 17lb 8oz and then the weights dropped off with Exeter Mike weighing 9lb, Butch had 7lb from peg 5, Les had 9lb 8oz on peg 7, Hoff weighed 3lb 2oz and then Smithy had 11lb 4oz and supplied some lovely double choc chip cookies! Bish weighed 15lb 4oz in peg 10 and Bushy had 26lb 8oz to go into third spot. Howard had two carp for 13lb 7oz but also lost a big fish that snapped a section, he managed to grab the top kit and carry on playing it, only for it to come off at the net!
Then the Tart had four carp for 18lb and I pocketed a magnificent piece of Torquay gold and silver (the score now stands at 5-4 in his favour). Dunner had 9lb, Mike C had 2lb before we got to Picky who had four lumps for 23lb. Richard C had 7lb 2oz, Shane didn’t weigh and Yardie had 7lb 8oz from peg 20.
Back at the results and I was called out as the winner and received a nice fat envelope containing £100 (and some more abuse for moaning about the peg!), Mark was second with Bushy third and Picky fourth.
1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 35lb 6oz
2 – Mark Garner (Chard) – 28lb 4oz
3 – Steve Bush (Chard) – 26lb 8oz
4 – Alan Gage (Chard) – 23lb
A – Steve Osborne (Chard) – 17lb 8oz
B – Brendon Ions (Tackle Trader) – 18lb
C – Alan Dunn (Chard) – 9lb
With one match to go, the Tart is leading Bushy by 20 points and basically as long as he catches a fish he will win the league and he’s already talking about having a Guru crown and cape made for his official coronation as League Champion!
Next up – Summerhayes
Coming soon – Another great review
Check Out – My last review (below)