As we reach the business end of the league, the only thing separating the Tart and Bushy at the top of the table is weight as they stand toe to toe trading blows like a couple of duelling piscators! Who would be the first to concede ground?
Perry High was the destination for our section today and I was hoping to avoid the pegs at the near end as they haven’t been great in recent matches with corner peg 11 at the opposite end winning the last two rounds. Breakfast at Millfield Cafe was fantastic as usual before we headed out the pond to do the draw, the Sadborow section, which included Bushy, went first and he pulled out peg 5 which has been more of a steady peg than a flier.
Then it was our turn and we all grabbed a little canister, Wing Commander Smith opened his and was on peg 11 for the third time this series and at this rate he would be seriously challenging the Tart for the title of ‘Little Jack Horner’! I had a look at my peg convinced I’d be on one of the ones I didn’t want but was actually on number 14 which has been really good the last few matches. So where was the Tart? He was on 16 which is probably the worst peg in the section so it was definitely advantage Bushy!
I unloaded the car and started taking my kit round the pond, I stopped at the Tart’s peg to have a quick chat but he was already having a bit of a crisis, he’d started to do a little bankside gardening and his landing net handle had come apart and was in the pond, I offered to lend him mine but he was straight in the pond up to his waist to retrieve it!
It had been blazing hot the day before and I’d come prepared with a cool bag and plenty of water but it was actually overcast and quite mild, my peg looked really nice with some lilies and a fish refuge on the inside to my left. I set up three rigs, a Drennan Crystal dibber to fish shallow, a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for the top two plus two and 11.5 metre lines and a little handmade float for down the edge. On the side tray I had live and dead red maggots, meat, 6mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets plus some groundbait I’d mixed up the night before.
Hoff got us underway and Les on peg 2 let fly with a salvo of cannonballs, I cupped in some meat at top two plus two before starting shallow at 11.5 metres (just for a change!), with it being overcast, I couldn’t see very many fish cruising about but that can be good as you don’t get distracted trying to mug fish. I was firing out 6mm’s while lifting and dropping the rig and would give it up to an hour depending on the response and what was happening around the pond. After about the ten minutes, the float buried and fish number one was on, I landed a three pounder without too much fuss and it’s always good to get off the mark early.
I couldn’t see the Tart but I could hear splashing coming from his direction and after half an hour it was obvious he was catching and Shane over on peg 5 said he’d had three carp already. I hooked another around the 3lb mark and it wasn’t giving me any problems only for the hook to pull out at the net. There were obviously a few fish about as I had another quite quickly and with 90 minutes gone I was up to five carp (including a couple of decent fish) and ahead of my two fish an hour target. The Tart had also had a flying skimmer and it sounded like he was catching well and by all accounts Exeter Mike up on peg 19 was also bagging.
In the other section, Bish on peg 10 had landed a couple of carp, Hoff had lost one on peg 8, Howard had one carp and a few silvers on 7, Shane and Butch were struggling on 5 and 4, the fish in Les’s peg were still struggling to get out from under his initial groundbait bombardment and Chilly on peg 1 was getting the odd fish.
It had gone quiet on my shallow line and as it was fizzing like crazy, I went out with my depth rig and a banded pellet and was sure I’d start catching on the deck but after half an hour so, I hadn’t had a proper bite and was just thinking about trying my meat line earlier than I would have liked but with quite a few carp now cruising about, I couldn’t resist having a quick go at stalking/mugging with a white 8mm Bait-Tech Dumbell in the band, a nice bright, visual bait. I had carp number six quite quickly but then hooked one which tore off and I just couldn’t stop it before it snapped me.
Not long after, the Tart wandered up to see how I was doing and said he’d had six carp (plus that skimmer he neglected to mention!) and I replied I had the same number. Just before he headed back, he said ‘Aren’t you going to strike at that?’ and when I looked back my float was just coming back up again! After he left I started catching really well and the fish were definitely having it, several times I’ve plopped the bait just behind a fish by accident and they’ve turned round and come back for it.
The sun came out and more and more black shapes started appearing, I’ve landed some lumps but also pulled out of a few. Somebody shouted across to ask how the Tart was doing and he replied he had twelve, I was one ahead at that stage but there was still the best part of two hours to go. I was still feeding meat at top two plus two and there was the odd bubble coming up but with so many fish milling about up in the water I decided to stick with it. Normally I would have fed the inside with groundbait by now but nobody I could see was catching much on the inside so I didn’t bother.
I’d just landed a decent carp when I spotted another come into range so I flicked the rig in front of it and it snaffled the bait and tore off up towards the Tart and then all of a sudden it was snagged solid and I couldn’t budge it. I got the rig and everything back but then things went from bad to worse when the next one took off at speed towards the aerator which then started swaying in the water as the fish went round it and I lost that one as well. The next one headed up towards Oz on my right and was just in open water so I was happy to let it plod around out there but then that one found a snag as well and I’d lost three on the trot. My hooklength box was taking a battering and I was sure the Tart would now be ahead of me.
In the other section, Bish and Howard were both now catching well and it sounded like Captain Smithy was getting a few up in his corner. Things slowed up a bit for me but then with ten minutes to go I hooked a carp and took my time wanting to make it count, I landed it safely and Hoff blew for the all out shortly after. I ended up with eighteen carp which I thought would go around 72lb (averaging 4lb apiece) but hopefully a little more as I had some lumps. Oz said he had six carp and that Smithy had caught well although he was saying he only had 50lb but we all know how unreliable his clicker is!
As I took some of my kit back to the car, I asked how the others had done, the Tart was admitting to fifteen carp and said he’d clicked 54lb plus he had 6lb of silvers, Carl said he had around 30lb, Exeter Mike had thirteen carp, including some lumps plus a few skimmers and Pup on peg 20 said he’d struggled. We started the weigh in with Captain Kipling (aka Smithy) and he’d suffered a top kit breakage but luckily he knows someone who does repairs! After two weighs his total was 61lb 12oz and the Tart was saying he didn’t have that!
Oz on peg 13 weighed 24lb 4oz and then it was my turn, my first net went 27lb, the middle one was 21lb 12oz and the last one weighed 31lb 10oz to give me a total of 80lb 6oz so not too bad an estimate for once. The Tart was next and his silvers went 4lb 12oz, his first carp net only had two in which weighed 9lb 10oz, his next net banged the needle round to 36lb 6oz and when he pulled his last net net out, it was obvious he was well out with his estimate (did we really expect anything less!) and I was sure he’d done me. The needle settled on 29lb 4oz and once Exeter Mike had added it all up the Tart’s total was 80lb so I was still in the lead (just!).
Carl had 36lb 4oz on peg 17 and then it was Exeter Mike’s turn, he had 4lb of silvers and then his first six carp went 35lb 8oz, when he pulled out his second carp net it was going to be very close again and the Tart called it at 39lb 4oz to give him a total of 78lb 12oz which put him in third spot. Pup was last to weigh and had 26lb 8oz from peg 20.
In the other section, Bish had the top weight with 57lb 8oz followed by Howard with 42lb 8oz, Chilly with 34lb 12oz, Hoff with 30lb 2oz, Shane had 26lb, Butch weighed 15lb and Les didn’t weigh but at least he wouldn’t have to carry any groundbait back to the van!
So a much needed section win and seven points for me although looking through my records, my best ever match weight at Perry Street is 80lb 6oz and with the fish I’d lost and missed today, I should have beaten that. To be fair, the Tart and Exeter Mike have both done brilliantly from pegs I really wouldn’t have fancied and in the end it was really close with just 1lb 10oz between the top three.
The Sadborow lads got back and once again Bushy had won the section with a brilliant 122lb 5oz to just edge ahead of the Tart in the league. Mark G was second with 55lb 7oz from peg 7, Paul H was third from peg 8 with 45lb 11oz, Rich C weighed 34lb 12oz from peg 9, Mike C had 15lb 2oz from peg 3, Picky had 11lb 6oz from 1 and Rocking didn’t weigh on peg 4.
1 – Steve Bush (Chard) – 122lb 5oz
2 – Mark Garner (Chard) – 55lb 7oz
3 – Paul Homewood (Taunton) – 45lb 11oz
Perry St Low
1 – Steve Bishop (Chard) – 57lb 8oz
2 – Howard Watts (Torquay) – 42lb 8oz
3 – Andy Winter (Chard) – 34lb 12oz
Perry St High
1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 80lb 6oz
2 – Brendon Ions (Tackle Trader) – 80lb
3 – Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) – 78lb 12oz
I had a nice pick up of £95 with the superpool and have moved up a place to fourth in the league, just a point ahead of Hoff and a point behind Exeter Mike. Although there are a few potential banana skin pegs in the sections, I can’t see anybody else challenging Bushy and the Tart as they slug it out for the title leaving the chasing pack battling for the minor places.
Steve Bush – 45 pts (539lb 6oz)
Brendon Ions – 44 pts (503lb 10oz)
Mike Hosgood – 39 pts (321lb 4oz)
Jamie Rich – 38 pts (306lb 13oz)
Mark Hollister – 37 pts (290lb 6oz)
Mike Smith – 33 pts (334lb 2oz)
Howard Watts – 32 pts (213lb 9oz)
Shane Jeffrey – 30 pts (273lb 6oz)
Steve Bishop – 29 pts (243lb 7oz)
Carl Everton – 28 pts (210lb 12oz)
Here’s a list of the framing pegs in each section so far,
5 – 5 times (won 1)
7 – 4 times (won 3)
2 – 3 times (won 2)
8 – 3 times
9 – 2 times (won 1)
4 – 2 times
3 – 2 times
14 – 6 times (won 2)
5 – 5 times (won 2)
11 – 5 times (won 2)
10 – 4 times (won 3)
4 – 4 times (won 1)
1 – 3 times (won 1)
7 – 3 times (won 1)
17 – 3 times
19 – 3 times
8 – 2 times (won 1)
13 – 1 time (won 1)
20 – 1 time
2 – 1 time
16 – 1 time
Lastly, here’s the Nuggetometer and I’ve pulled another one back on the Tart, can I draw level at Todber Manor next week?
Also I popped into Somerset Angling during the week to pick up a few bits and pieces and it was lovely to have a chat with former England International and Kamasan Matchman of the Year, Mike Stone. If you haven’t checked out Baz’s interview with Mike, it can be found here and is a great little read!
More exciting news from Somerset Angling, ‘DURLEIGH FESTIVAL 2019 (27th Aug-30th Aug inclusive) will henceforth be known as the MATRIX DURLEIGH FESTIVAL 2019 thanks to a generous sponsorship deal adding £1000 of Matrix match gear to the prize fund.
Given the popularity of this event can anyone who has booked-in please make sure that their entry fee (£90) has been paid by the JULY 31ST. Those competitors who fished all of last years festival have priority.
There is an absolute maximum of 48 pegs and I have a waiting list so don’t miss out, if I have not received entry monies by JULY 31ST your place will be offered to those on the waiting list.’
Next up – Todber Manor
Coming soon – Another great review
Check Out – My latest match below