Dillington Pond – The main species are roach, rudd, perch and chub. Other secies present are bream, tench, crucian carp and eels.
Met at the Crown per usual, drew peg 2. When we got to the pond it was a lot lower than usual due to a farmer abstracting for his potatoes! As a consequence we were all sat in thick glutinous mud. It was a lovely day and there were fish topping everywhere. I had Butch Baker on peg 3, Vince was supposed to be on peg 1 but due to an all night party, he turned up, was sick and went home again! My mate Andy Langdon was the next peg along on 9.
The match started at 10:00 and I cupped some chopped worm in at 11 metres. I started on the waggler up in the water, the first two chub I hooked, I lost in the thick weed – not a great start. Spraying maggots, casters and hemp, I started catching loads of small perch along with the odd chub and slightly better rudd. I could see most people catching well, including Andy. We always have a £1 side bet and as we are both highly competitive this often seems more important than the main prize money.
By the end of the second hour I had over 40 fish including three chub around 12oz-1lb apiece. The match was six hours in duration and I set myself a target of 100 fish which I thought would give me a good weight. Three hours in and I was still catching well, the usual banter around the pond was missing which I took to mean people were catching and keeping their heads down and concentrating. I shouted across to Andy and asked if he was ‘bagging’, he replied he was doing ok and had caught a bream of 2lb+. I reckoned this put him ahead of me and I started to fear for my quid.
On double red maggot I had been catching loads of small fish along with the odd better one. I decided to try caster in a bid to sort out the better fish, this worked a treat and although I was having to wait longer for the bites, I started catching quality roach of up to 1lb. I found by casting out and feeding and drawing the float back over the feed I was getting most of my fish on the drop. If I missed a bite I would feed again and repeat the process up to three times per cast.
Among the roach I also had another chub and an eel around the 1lb mark, which was fun trying to land with all the weed around. Approaching the last hour I was getting quite a few ‘iffy’ bites, I moved a number 10 Preston Stotz up to the float and added a number 11 to dot the float down further and hopefully show the bites more clearly. This worked to an extent and although sport was slower I kept putting the odd fish in the net.
Looking around the pond it seemed the action had slowed for everybody. Andy was still catching the odd fish and I thought I was catching better than him even to the extent of pulling back enough fish to cancel out his bream. He had a spell on the pole and landed five good roach quite quickly while I kept pace with a couple more good roach of my own. When the whistle blew to end the match I hadn’t quite reached my target, landing 99 fish.
When the scales arrived I really wasn’t sure what weight I had although I was pretty sure I had double figures. The scalesman, Robin Cox, said that Barney Crockett had been catching roach well all day and all of a sudden I wasn’t so sure of how well I’d done. I pulled my net out and it seemed like a good weight, the scales settled at 18lb 14oz (my biggest weight at Dillington yet) and I knew I must be in with a shout. I followed the scales along our bank and Barney weighed 11lb odd from peg 5.
Back at the results Andy asked how I’d done, I told him and he replied he’d had 16lb 9oz. When Robin read out the results it was confirmed I’d won (my third match on the trot at Dillington) and picked up £55 plus the £1 side bet from Andy who was second.
1st – Jamie Rich – 18lb 14oz
2nd – Andy Langdon – 16lb 9oz
3rd – Barney Crockett – 11lb 12oz