After getting back from Thailand late on Wednesday night, I wasn’t actually sure where I was going to fish this weekend and decided on Summerhayes as I haven’t been since the silvers final last year! I was up early and it was already looking like being a glorious day, I had a quick pit stop at the Little Chef in Ilminster before heading to Bridgwater. On arriving the car park was already busy as there was a match on Longs as well as ours on Sellicks.
Pete was away so it was left in Adie’s capable hands to run todays match. After a coffee, it was time to draw, by the time I got to the bucket there were only two balls left, fellow blogger, Lee Williams (check out his blog here – Lee’s blog) asked me to pull out a ball for him and he ended up on 20 and then I had the last ball and was pretty pleased when I saw I was on peg 17. It’s normally a decent area for silvers although some of the regulars said the winning weights have been coming from the other side in recent matches.
Rigs were the usual 0.2 gram NG Mini Gimp to fish top two on the right and a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil for two lines, straight out at ten metres and then down the track at ten metres to the right and lastly a top two plus one line. As always my side tray was nice and simple, Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse micros that I’d soaked the night before plus 4mm Xpands for the hook, I also mixed up some of the new Bait-Tech ‘The Juice’ groundbait which I was trying for the first time, it smelt divine.
Also regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of Tubertini 808’s for my silvers soft pellet fishing and I’m not really one for changing for the sake of it, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is my motto but I’ve been hearing loads of good things about the Guru F1 Pellet hooks so the last time I was in Tackleuk I picked some up. I also bought some Guru Pure Fluorocarbon line and tied up some 16’s to 0.10mm.
Adie shouted the all in and I cupped in a few micros on the top two line and then half a pot at five and ten metres before potting in two balls of groundbait down the middle ten metres to my right. I started at top two and after five minutes, had my first fish, a little 2oz skimmer. It was a further fifteen minutes before the next bite which was a slightly better skimbob of 6oz or so and with half an hour gone I’d only had two bites so it was time to try the longer lines.
I had another little blade on the ten metre micros line before foulhooking a carp which came off and then hooked a fish that didn’t feel like a carp but I’ll never know as it came off as well! The next fish didn’t feel like one either and sure enough a nice crucian around a pound popped up so after the first sixty minutes I had about 1.5lb and although I wasn’t bagging, if I could carry on like this, I didn’t think I’d be far off as 8lb was enough for second in the silvers in the last match.
Steve on peg 18 was getting a few carp and had landed a nice skimmer, Lee was catching odd fish although I couldn’t really see how Roy Hughes was doing down on peg 23. The two guys on my right were also fishing for carp by the looks of it and silvers maestro Roger Russell was on 13 although I hadn’t seen him have much so far.
I switched to the groundbait line for the first time and had a decent spell, landing an 8oz tench and two half decent skimmers in quick succession, both the skimbobs coming just as the rig settled, then I bumped one and things went a bit quiet but I was up to 3lb after two hours and still on target to do 9-10lb. Then Steve had a big eel that looked to be getting on for 2.5lb and wiped out all my hard work in one fell swoop!
I was dripping in a few micros on the top two plus one line every time I shipped out but would try and leave it for at least four hours before trying it. The third hour was pretty good and I had a few more blades plus a couple of 6-8oz skimmers to put me on around 5lb at the halfway point. I also foulhooked a couple of carp and what felt like a skimmer and came back with a small scale on the hook. I went back over the ten metre line and hooked a nice skimmer first put in but it came off shipping back and then couldn’t get a bite.
For the rest of the fourth hour it was a struggle and I only had one more skimmer to put me on 5.5lb, so with two hours to go, I came on the top two plus one line for the first time. It took a while to get a bites and I had a couple of small skimmers and then had one of 6oz or so but it was quite slow going, then after half an hour I hooked a good fish that plodded about and then a lovely big skimmer of 2lb came to the top and boosted my weight.
The two blokes on either side were now catching carp really well and it probably did me a favour that I had no silvers anglers around me. I had another little tench and even a nice 4oz roach and with an hour to go, I was just thinking that although I’d hooked a few, my carp net was still empty, I should have known better as I then landed three on the trot!
With thirty minutes to go, the float slid away and I struck only to feel solid resistance before a big 2lb+ skimmer came flying out of the water, it was still on but then it leapt again and came off, just to rub salt into the wound, it jumped a further two times giving me the fishy equivalent of two fingers! I really thought that was going to cost me, I did manage another little tench and a couple more hand sized skimmers before the end.
My final tally was 27 fish (3 tench, 1 crucian, 1 roach and 22 skimmers) which I hoped would go 8-9lb but I was admitting to 7lb. I packed up and as I took my gear to the car, I asked how the others had done, Steve and Lee had both caught really well in the second half of the match and Roy had also done well and said he had four crucians as well.
I caught up with the scales just as they’d finished weighing Chris Boulton on peg 2, after four weighs his total was 141lb 14oz, then Mark Leahy had 95lb 3oz on peg 4, Chris M had 6lb 5oz of silvers on peg 6 and then it was Rob Birch’s turn and he had 6lb 11oz. Scotty Russell had turned up for a walk and asked if I’d beaten that and I said I reckoned I had 7lb, he laughed and said ‘That’ll be 12lb then!’, I said I had nowhere near that.
Darren Kempson had 40lb 3oz of carp on peg 9 and then Gary F had 71lb 10oz on peg 11, Roger had 5lb 8oz which included a nice tench. Jim Jenner on peg 14 had 91lb 3oz and then Wayne on peg 15 had 26lb 2oz. It was my turn next and I came in for some stick when my silvers went 11lb 2oz. Steve had 89lb 14oz which included 5lb 6oz of silvers and then Lee had woefully under estimated when he weighed 111lb 4oz after admitting to 66lb (at least I was only 4lb out!!).
Roy was last to weigh and his crucians went 4lb 8oz and he added 98lb 13oz of carp to give him a total of 103lb 5oz and third place. It had fished pretty well with the top three all weighing over 100lb and then there were three 90lb+ weights. I won the silvers, picking up £34 and qualified for the silvers final in October.
1 – Chris Boulton (Summerhayes) – 141lb 14oz
2 – Lee Williams (DT Floats) – 111lb 4oz
3 – Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) – 103lb 5oz
1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 11lb 2oz
2 – Rob Birch (Summerhayes) – 6lb 11oz
A really enjoyable day and as for the Guru hooks and fluorocarbon, I was well impressed and I love The Juice groundbait already!
Next up – Perry St
Coming soon – My next review
Check Out – My trip to Thailand (below)