For round four, it was back to Dillington for me, the dominant pegs up to now have been 1, 2 and 23 but the pond is in the process of having a severe hair cut with the majority of the trees being removed so how this would affect the fishing would remain to be seen. The bush between pegs 1 and 2 was still there for now so that’s where most people wanted to draw.
We all assembled at the bowling club and the breakfast was spot on as always, the anglers going to Coombe drew first and headed off and then it was our turn. I pulled out 14 on the bottom bank which although not my first choice, I was happy with as it’s a pretty consistent peg. The other two in my mini section were Nick on 16 and Les on 18 where he’d bagged up in the week. Leighton was on 2 with Bish on 1 and Parker ‘The Pole’ on 23 and the other three pegs were Neil P (peg 13), Dave P (10) and Bagger Burton on 7.
When I got to my swim, it looked nice with the wind blowing into it and some reeds to my left. I set up rigs to fish 13 metres straight out and just off the reeds. Leighton got us underway and I fed two balls of groundbait (Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark) containing hemp and casters on both lines. Starting straight out with single red maggot on the hook, I’ve had a small perch first put in and was getting regular bites from small fish.
From what I could see, Les was getting a few and Bagger Burton was catching on the whip but nobody was really bagging (although I couldn’t see Leighton or Bish). The wind was getting worse and I had to start feeding using a little toss pot as trying to use the catapult, my bait was going everywhere. I’ve had a few slightly better roach and even added two small eels (6oz and 4oz) but normally you need skimmers or chub to do well.
Around the two hour mark, bites tailed off and nobody at our end was catching much so I’ve had my first look by the reeds. I started getting bites from the odd better roach along with a Dillington barbel (gudgeon) and another small eel. Bagger hooked a decent bream on the feeder but it came off at the net and then not long after he successfully landed one.
Parker ‘The Pole’ landed a couple of nice skimmers and then I noticed loads of elastic coming out from Nicks swim before he landed a 1.5lb chub and some better fish were beginning to show. I was feeding casters and hemp quite heavily and then with an hour and a half to go, hooked into a chub, it headed to the right in open water and with sensible kit on (number 9 Dura Slip elastic and a size 16 Kuranku hook to 0.12mm) I was confident of landing it. The fish stopped and started to come to the surface only for the hook to pull out – gutted.
The Grand Wiz turned up to see how we were doing and it was also his birthday although I was rather disappointed he didn’t bring any cakes with him! While he was sat behind me I had few nice roach and then hooked another eel, not a big one but welcome all the same and then the bloody hook pulled out of that as well and it was shaping up to be one of those days.
Bagger lost a couple of better fish but also landed two skimmers and a small carp, Nick had his second chub followed by a 4lb bream and then Neil struck into a nice bream on the feeder. Time was running out and I was resigned to it not happening when the float went and I struck into solid resistance. It began to head out into the lake but then changed direction and headed up towards the willow at a rate of knots and wasn’t stopping, the inevitable happened and it snapped me. I’m pretty sure it was a carp and I really needed that fish.
The match finished and my final tally was 57 fish for 4-5lb which I knew would be well down today. We started the weigh with Parker ‘The Pole’ who had some nice skimmers for 7lb 4oz but had pulled out of a good bream as well, then Les had struggled on 18 for 3lb 5oz, Nick weighed 9lb 6oz and then my fish went 5lb 14oz.
Neil had sneaked in a couple more bream and a chub on the feeder for 11lb 5oz, Dave P weighed 3lb 6oz of perch and eels before Bagger Burton had 12lb 10oz of skimmers, roach and a small carp. Bish on peg 1 had a carp, a bream and a chub plus some roach for 11lb 11oz and then last but definitely not least was Leighton on peg 2 who had a red letter day catching bream and skimmers for a brilliant 53lb 6oz which is one of the best weights to ever come from the pond in a match.
Over at Coombe, Fieldy had the top weight with 32lb 14oz of skimmers and crucians from peg 9, Danny B on 10 was second with 24lb 9oz, Max (standing in for Rob) did well from unfancied peg 5 with 23lb 1oz which included three carp. Norts had 17lb from peg 3, Terry ‘The Toast’ weighed 16lb 13oz, Jake had 10lb 9oz on peg 7, Andy S (peg 8) weighed 9lb 15oz, Big Frank had 7lb on peg 1 and Dave Pope weighed 3lb 13oz from peg 4. Thanks to Chris Norton* and Jake Woodard** for the photos.
1 – Leighton Cox (Ilminster) – 53lb 6oz
2 – Ian Burton (Taunton) – 12lb 10oz
3 – Steve Bishop (Sharp MG) – 11lb 11oz
4 – Neil Purchase (Ilminster) – 11lb 5oz
1 – Graham Field (Ilminster) – 32lb 14oz
2 – Danny Blunn (Ilminster) – 24lb 9oz
3 – Mark Nicholas (Ilminster) – 23lb 1oz
4 – Chris Norton (Stoke) – 17lb
With two rounds to go, Norts and Leighton have pulled away from the chasing pack with three points while there are five anglers a further point adrift,
Chris Norton – 3 pts (dropping 2)
Leighton Cox – 3 pts (dropping 3)
Ian Burton – 4 pts (dropping 2)
Dave Pope – 4 pts (dropping 3)
Andy Saunders – 4 pts (dropping 3)
Jake Woodard – 4 pts (dropping 3)
Nick Payne – 4 pts (dropping 3)
Jamie Rich – 5 pts (dropping 2)
Les Braunton – 5 pts (dropping 3)
Steve Bishop – 5 pts (dropping 3)
Pounds from Norts, Nick and me took the Nugget-O-Meter to £298.
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Next up – Revels
Coming soon – Lots more match reports
Check Out – My last match