It looked like being a gorgeous day as I arrived at the Crown for the draw with the sun blazing down. All the anglers who fished the last match were here along with Yeovil Angling Centre boss, Scotty Russell. I didn’t really mind where I drew as long as it wasn’t the pumphouse as that swim hasn’t been kind to me. The draw was announced and I hung back until that peg (number four) had gone, that honour went to Graham Field, unlucky mate! I drew peg nine which turned out to be the same peg as I was on in the last match.
I set up the same two rigs as last time, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float for ten metres and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp float for the inside by the reeds, both rigs had 0.12 mm bottoms and size 18 Kamasan B611’s. I plumbed up and after all the rain we’d had the ten metres line was actually a little deeper than last time. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Supermatch and added a some hemp, casters and maggots. On the whistle I cupped in three balls at ten metres and two on the inside. I hadn’t brought a waggler rod with me this time as I didn’t catch on it last match.
I went out on the longer line with caster on the hook and had a decent roach first put in followed by three more roach. I then bumped a fish and all I could catch was small perch, I shouted up to Frank who was two pegs away to see how he was getting on and he’d had a couple of fish as well. Barney on my left was catching small fish but even at this early stage it didn’t appear as if the pond was fishing as well as expected. After the first hour I had 13 fish although after that early burst of roach all I could catch now was small perch. Rob Birch netted a decent chub and Scotty on the opposite bank had landed a good perch.
The second hour was much the same, small perch along with the odd roach and I reached 30 fish, things were definately slowing on the longer line so I cupped in another ball of groundbait and came on the inside where I had been steadily feeding maggots and casters. I didn’t get the response I wanted, only adding a handful of small perch. Although it was still really hot there were some ominous looking black clouds over my shoulder and I was glad I had brought my waterproofs. I was now back at ten metres and the swim was dead! and from what I could gather it was the same round the pond, Frank was really struggling and Barney was catching the odd small fish.
Then the heavens opened and we had torrential rain for over an hour and during that time I only had a couple of perch and an eel around the pound mark from the inside line. I tried double maggot but I still had to wait ages for a bite and then it was only small perch. Going into the last hour and a half it was a real struggle although Scotty had started catching some big eels and was favourite to win. Both my swims were dead now and I was soaked, I went back on the long pole with caster on the hook and missed a bite on caster before catching a roach, I then had three eels in three chucks and was back in the hunt although by my reckoning a long way behind Scott.
I had two more eels and with two minutes to go a good bite which I missed! Barney had a stonking perch right on the whistle and I reckoned he had probably done me. As we packed up it started to hail and I found it hard to believe I started off in a t-shirt and was now wearing full waterproofs and neoprene gloves! Once again I had the scales so I walked up to weigh Rob Birch in and he had a nice chub and loads of small fish for 5lb 14oz and I didn’t think I had that either. Neil Dring also had a chub (which I didn’t see him catch) and weighed a level 3lb, Barney’s last gasp perch weighed 2lb 8oz and with all his small fish he weighed 6lb 11oz. As always people started to ask what I had and I’m legendary for underestimating my weights but I honestly thought I had between 4 and 5lb.
Frank and Robin Cox threatened to throw me in if I was wildly out today and when my 51 fish weighed 7lb Robin grabbed me and started to drag me towards the pond! We both ended up on the floor and he got a wet shirt! After the rest weighed in, Scotty was the clear winner with 13lb 2oz which included some huge eels, Jake Woodard was second with 7lb 11oz of mainly roach, rudd and perch from peg one and I hadn’t seen him catch bugger all! Roger Russell was third and won his section with 7lb 4oz and I was fourth and won my section and picked up £20 to keep my yearly winnings total chugging along.
After four matches in this league me and big Frank are leading with two points each (dropping our worst two results), the trouble being that a couple of matches clash with the Langport League so I will have to drop those. Next week is round two of the Langport teams of five so lets hope my good run continues.