River Isle – Hollowlegs League – 14th January 2007

During the week, Baz Morgan (a very good angler from Langport) phoned me for advice on setting up a blog after reading mine. During the conversation he said he might fish the match today and when I arrived at the Crown he was there. 19 anglers eagerly awaited the draw and everybody was hoping to draw a golden peg as the fund had now reached £110 which meant whoever won would take home the tidy sum of £200.

Martin Heard drew peg 14 (where I won last week) and Baz drew 126 at Isle Brewers and Malcolm Levy drew 133, again at Isle Brewers, all three were golden pegs and capable of winning. I drew the remaining golden peg, which was number 24, a decent chub peg but it hasn’t done a lot this year. Everybody was sure the golden peg would go today.

On my arrival at the peg, it looked quite nice, if a little pacy. The peg has a bush opposite and a tree to the right, I set up a gram and a half Drennan Carbo to fish by the bush with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 with white hydro running through the top two sections. I also set up a two gram Carbo with 0.14mm bottom and size 14 B611 combined with black hydro for fishing lobworms and bread. I started by the bush feeding hemp and caster with single caster on the hook, no bites after five minutes so I switched to the heavier rig and went above the tree with bread. Bread didn’t bring any bites and a lobworm also met the same response and then I got snagged on the bottom and lost the rig!

So back to the bush then, first put in and the float slid away, I thought I’d missed the bite but a minnow was the culprit! at least I hadn’t blanked. Next chuck I had a small dace on double caster, I had a couple more tentative bites before sitting biteless again. After winning the first Hollowlegs match, my next two results were poor so I really needed a good result today. Switching between single and double caster, lobworm and bread made no difference and it was a real struggle. I even set up another heavy rig to try above the tree again but no bites here and it was back to the bush.

I then had a bite and struck to find a decent fish on, the trouble was the elastic wasn’t coming out!, the line had wrapped round the pole tip. I shipped back very gently but with the pole tip jolting against the fish something had to give and the hook pulled through the knot – bugger. By now all thoughts of winning the golden peg had gone and I just wanted to get decent section points. Eventually with about an hour to go I hooked a decent chub on double caster and thought if I could get a couple more it would elevate me in the section. This was shortlived and no more bites were forthcoming until quarter of an hour before the end when the float went and before I had time to strike, elastic was pouring out the pole tip. After a brief struggle I netted a chub of about two and quarter pounds, lobbie was it’s downfall.

With ten minutes to go, I really thought I might get another but it didn’t happen. I didn’t need my clicker to tell me the final total, two chub, one dace and a minnow. Janders wandered down with the scales and said that Martin weighed 8lb 4oz from peg 14 and that the other two pegs (including himself) hadn’t weighed in. I was suprised and a little disappointed when I only weighed 4lb 11oz as I thought the chub were bigger than that.

I got back to the pub and Baz had weighed an amazing 29lb 10oz from peg 126 to win the match and the golden ball (that’s the last time I invite him over!), but fair play to him as he bought everybody a drink. Neil Dring also enjoyed a good day with 19lb 1oz from 125 and Martin was third. I actually managed to win my section by default and picked up £20 plus a ‘squid’ off Andy, who blanked. More importantly I had two points in my section, I just need three more good matches to give me a chance in the league!

Overall the river actually fished quite poorly apart from those two pegs, saying that, the way the match weights are going I wouldn’t be suprised to see the match record go before the end of the season, that currently stands at 35lb odd. Next week is the seventh match in the Crown League which I’m currently leading but I need another good result, wish me luck.


Posted by Jamie Rich

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