I always try and get out a couple of times over the festive period and talking to the Tart he said he’d be up for a knock up at Sadborow, a venue I’ve really enjoyed fishing the last couple of years after not fishing it for a decade!. I’d also been contacted by Derek Hounsell, a lad who used to fish with Chard many years ago. He’s fairly recently got back into fishing along with his partner Beki and got in touch to say he enjoyed reading the blog (cheers mate!). They’ve mainly been fishing Sadborow and Perry St and when I said we were having a little match over Xmas, he said they’d be up for it.
A few of us met at ‘Spoons for breakfast and as always it was pretty good although it could have been a bit hotter and they didn’t have hash browns so we had chips instead and I’m not sure where I stand on chips for breakfast, it just doesn’t feel quite right! As Derek and Beki were meeting us out the pond, we would do the draw out there. It was really foggy and there was a definite chill in the air.
Hoff was in charge today as Les has been grooming him (which sounds a bit creepy!) to take over for a while, joking aside, they are huge boots to fill and I, for one (and I’m sure everybody else in the club) would like to say a massive thanks for all he’s done for nigh on forty years, now you can just enjoy your fishing mate, you deserve it.
As there were only a few of us it would be draw and choose and of course I managed to pull out last but one choice! I really fancied peg 5 behind the island but that went early on with Derek picking it, I decided on one of the open water swims, peg 2. After everybody had chosen where they wanted to fish, I realised I had two empty pegs to my left, which hopefully would be a bonus!
I set up three rigs, a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp for 10 metres and top two plus two, angled to my left, a 0.3 gram Drennan Margin Crystal for dobbing bread and a little handmade pattern for the margin to my right. On the side tray, I had Bait-Tech micros and 4mm Carp and Coarse Pellets plus dead reds, corn, bread and some 4mm Xpands.
Hoff got us underway with a rather pathetic toot of his newly acquired whistle (more practice needed) and I fed micros, dead reds and a few grains of corn on all three lines before starting with the dobbing rig in open water. I had a couple of little knocks but after ten minutes, apart from Hoff who had a couple of small roach, nobody had caught and it had been an unusually slow start for this normally prolific venue. I had a look on the inside with the dobbing rig but nothing again apart from a few tiny dips on the float.
Hoff then had a couple of carp in quick succession and not long after Derek got off the mark as well. I was back out fishing bread in the open water when the float buried only for me to miss it! To make matters worse, the Tart on corner peg 8, latched into his first fish. Next chuck my float buried and a pleasing amount of grey hydro came out on the strike, I played it carefully before netting a three pound carp. I stuck with the bread a little bit longer but with Hoff and Derek both catching regularly, I had to try something else.
Picking up the deep rig, I slipped on a grain of corn, shipped out to the longer line and fed a few micros, dead reds and a couple grains of corn via a little toss pot. A carp quite quickly signalled a decent spell with most of the bites coming after I’d lifted the rig a floats length out of the water or dragged it slightly left or right. I was also feeding some 4mm’s by hand on the short and margins lines although with the water being so clear I wasn’t convinced I’d catch in the margins.
After around two and a half hours, I was up to eleven carp and although I was a couple of fish behind Hoff and Derek, I was at least keeping pace with them and crucially I was a few fish in front of the Tart. Les on peg 9 had a couple of carp and even had a surprise eel and Beki on my right had landed a nice fish. My bites were slowing up so I tried double dead reds and first chuck the float went straight under but a tiny perch wasn’t the intended target. Hoff had slowed up as well although he did land a decent skimmer, Derek was still catching quite well and looking good to win on his first outing with us.
Hoff started catching on his shorter line so I came in on mine but the float just sat there, back out and I had a 2lb plus skimmer and then another carp. Most people were catching fish in twos and threes with nobody really putting a run of fish together (with the exception of Derek who was still catching steadily). I was falling further behind the Hoff and although I felt I was just ahead of the Tart, there now wasn’t much in it.
There were a few carp showing shallow and the Tart mugged one, so I had another go with the dobbing rig but never had a touch, quite a few fish were moving in the two empty pegs to my left and I was starting to wish I’d picked peg 3 instead. I tried the shorter line but this time with an expander on the hook, it took a while to get a bite but then the float slid away and I landed a decent carp. Next chuck the float buried on the drop and as soon as I hooked the fish I knew it was foul hooked and sure enough it came off.
I then missed a bite before catching another carp and it felt like there were a few fish there but then, predictably, I couldn’t get a bite. With around an hour to go it was looking like Derek would win comfortably and with Hoff still catching odd fish, he would be second but third place wasn’t as clear cut with it being close between me and the Tart and Les had started catching well on bread. I had a quick go in the margins but no bites and I decided to fish the short line for the remainder of the match.
I missed several good bites on expander before catching a 2oz roach so switched to corn and had a 12oz skimmer followed by a 5lb carp, then with about ten minutes to go, I missed four ‘unmissable’ bites in quick succession. Hoff hooked a fish and then blew to signal the end of the match. I ended up with 17 carp, 2 skimmers and a roach, I shouted across to ask the Tart what he had and he replied he’d clicked 47lb and as I thought I might have 50lb, this was going to be close!
After packing up we went to weigh in Derek first, despite his protestations that he’d only caught small fish and didn’t have 50lb, we all knew he’d done well! After several weighs his total was 89lb, well done mate, an awesome debut! I was next and my silvers went 3lb and my two carp nets weighed 50lb 2oz. Beki had a nice carp of 5lb 2oz and then Les had 41lb 12oz.
The Tart was next and his total was 40lb 6oz so some Torquay gold would be heading home with me, last but not least was the Hoff who weighed 73lb 15oz for second place.
1 – Derek Hounsell (Chard) – 89lb
2 – Mark Hollister (Chard) – 73lb 15oz
3 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 53lb 2oz
It was nice to get out after being cooped up for two days, the banter was excellent as ever and I picked up £20 for third but more importantly I had a nugget off the Tart which is better than any Xmas present!
Next up – Perry St
Coming soon – Another trip down memory lane
Check Out – My last match (below)