As usual we met in the Crown Inn, Ilminster for the draw. Upon our arrival Robin told us(me and Andy) that the match was to be held on Dillington and not Curland as we expected. I wasn’t too disappointed as I’d won the last three matches I’d fished on this venue. I drew peg 8 which put me on a bank on my own, on the bank to my right I had Neil Dring and my mate Andy and on the left hand bank there was Justin, Janders, Barney, Robin and Martin Heard. On the opposite bank to me was Stuart Brown (Fred).
I set up a 3AAA waggler with the bulk around the float and three number eleven Stotz down the line culminating to a size 18 B611 to 0.12mm hooklength. I also set up a chopped worm rig to fish 10 metres to my left (towards Justin), this consisted of a 0.6 gram float again ending in a size 18 B611 to 0.12. Justin had won the last match here (which I didn’t fish) with 18lb+ on the whip, he’d set one up today so it would be interesting to see how he got on.
On the whistle I put a full cup of choppie on the 10 metre line and started on the waggler feeding maggot, caster and hemp with double red maggot on the hook. The action was instant and I had six chub to a pound and a half in the first half hour. After this excellent start it slowed although I was still getting odd fish including some nice rudd along with another couple of chub. Looking around the pond, nobody seemed to be setting the world alight. In the previous match I’d caught well on caster later in the match, and today I was feeding it hoping to catch on it later. After a couple of hours I tried it but it was pretty unresponsive. Previously I’d found that fishing caster I wasn’t getting plagued by the hordes of small perch that inhabit the venue.
Into the third hour and the sport had slowed for everyone, Justin was catching the odd roach and rudd on the whip but elsewhere it just seemed to be the odd perch showing. There had been quite a few better fish showing between me and Neil so I had a couple of casts there and started getting bites, had my first roach along with some rudd and a couple more chub although I did lose two chub in the weed.
From all the muttering I was guessing Andy was having a bit of a mare. Little did I or he know just how bad things were going to get. His waggler came off it’s attachment but the wind blew it into the side, lucky or what? as he got off his box to retrieve it he clipped his pole with his boot and there was an audible crack and his number eight section snapped in half. As his Daiwa Tournament pole had cost £2500 the section wouldn’t be cheap to replace. He sunk to his knees with his head in his hands, not a happy man. After he’s calmed down somewhat he shouted across “Still at least I got my float back!” which raised a laugh all round the pond.
With around an hour and a half left there wasn’t much being caught at all, so I thought it was time to try the pole. I put a worm on and first put in the float buried and a small perch was the culprit, next chuck and it’s twin was in the net. This wasn’t the response I’d hoped for so I fed another cupful of chopped worm and left it for five minutes. After a short fruitless spell on the waggler, it was back on the pole but this time with caster on the hook. After a few minutes the float disappeared but this time something was pulling back, a spirited tussle followed before I netted a good eel around the pound and half mark.
I was feeding caster over the pole line and next put in I had a small roach, then a rudd and then a twelve ounce roach. It then went quiet before I had two smaller eels and another decent roach. I then had a chub on the drop and another eel, a bit later the float went and I hooked a good fish which turned out to be a bream of over three pounds. With half an hour to go Andy had packed up and wandered over looking rather dejected, he reckoned I was easily winning although you can never be too sure. While he was behind me I missed a couple of bites before hooking an eel which came off in the reeds by my feet. Andy commented that he’d brought his bad luck with him, I did catch another roach right as the all out sounded.
As I waited for our set of scales, Justin stared weighing in his bank, top weight was Martin Heard with just under 5lb’s until Justin plonked 10lb+ of mainly roach on the scales. I was pretty sure I’d beaten that and thought I had around 15lb, in fact my 35 fish (11 chub, 1 bream, 4 eels plus roach, rudd and perch) went 20lb 7oz which was enough for 1st place and £55 plus £5 off Janders and a nugget off Andy which just about polished off his day! Justin was 2nd and Neil 3rd with 6lb+.
I was really pleased because besides being my best weight at Dillington this was also the fifth Ilminster match I’d won on the trot, probably one of my best runs ever. All good things come to an end though, I’m at Chard reservoir again next week so we’ll have to see.