Sunday was Stoke’s last points match of the year and Trinity Waters was the venue, with the drop in temperature, a tough day was on the cards with most predicting 8-10lb to be a good silvers weight. This match would also decide the winners of the Championship, Rose Bowl and Silvers Bowl trophies. I had been in contention for all three (plus the Memorial Shield but lost out to Nick P in the final round), going into this match, the Silvers Bowl was the only one I could realistically win.
With a seven point advantage I was in a healthy position but Nick could still pip me at the post and just to make things interesting we drew next to each other on the far side and I also had Parker ‘The Pole’ on my left.
I set up a 0.6 gram Drennan Pencil with a size 18 SFL to 0.11mm for 13 metres plus a 0.4 gram for a line at top kit plus two. On the side tray I had maggots, disco pinkies, casters, worms plus Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark groundbait.
On the whistle I fed a little nugget of groundbait plus a few pinkies on the short line and then cupped in a soggy ball containing chopped worm and caster at 13 metres. I started at top two plus two with single pinkie on the hook, Nick had a small roach quite quickly and then not long after I had one as well. Over the next thirty minutes, I had half a dozen small fish but was itching to have a look long.
The first bite at 13 metres resulted in another small roach so I tried a worm head and after a little wait, I had a positive indication but the strike was only met with a modest amount of yellow hydro coming out before I netted a little 3oz skimbob. Nick and Steve P were catching roach along with the odd hand sized skimmer, no more bites on worm so I went back to single dead red maggot and started getting a few fish but just couldn’t get any quality.
The anglers on the far bank were struggling as well, the Grand Wiz and Chris Haines were catching small roach on the waggler but nobody was setting the world alight. Nick Veale who was down on peg 8 walked past to get a big carp weighed and at 15lb 2oz, it would be a handy bonus today.
I was still getting odd fish but it was hard going, then ‘The Pole’ struck into a fish and when loads of elastic came out we all thought he’d hooked a carp until a big 5lb+ bream popped up! Not long after, Nick was into a decent fish which looked very skimmer like but turned out to be a 7lb carp!
Around the halfway point, I finally hooked a decent fish but after initially thinking it was a skimmer, it soon became apparent it was a rather lumpy carp. It wasn’t going crazy but I just couldn’t do anything with it, the depth of the rig wasn’t helping as I had to unship at the top kit to be able to use the pulla kit but after an age I finally netted a fish that was probably 10lb.
While I was faffing about, Nick landed a 1.5lb skimmer and Norts on the other side of him had also caught a couple of better fish. I was still getting the odd 4oz skimmer and as long as I could stay in touch with Nick, it would be difficult for him to pull back the 7 point deficit. Of course he then hooked a fish that wasn’t doing a lot and while I was praying it would be a carp, it was almost certainly a decent skimmer. As he was gently unshipping at the top kit, I looked back at my float just in time to see it go under and I struck into a good fish which I would have bet my house on being a bream.
Nick safely landed a 3.5lb skimmer and as I shipped back, my fish still wasn’t doing a lot and I have to admit, the old butterflies were going a bit! Just as I was about to break down at the top two, the fish started to pull a bit more and all of a sudden it had turned into a poxy carp and a large one at that! As far as I could tell, hardly any carp had been caught so I decided to try and make this one count and to be honest, despite being bigger than the first one, it didn’t give me as much trouble and I landed a lump of 13-14lb.
That was pretty much the last of the excitement and the remainder of the match just sort of fizzled out with only odd small fish being caught. After packing up, we went down to start the weigh in with Terry on the end peg, he’d caught a single carp of 10lb 13oz plus 1lb 13oz of silvers including a stunning roach of 1lb 9oz. Nick V had a nice net of silvers with skimmers, quality roach and an eel for 7lb 5oz, he also weighed another carp of 10lb 7oz to go with the one from earlier and his total of 32lb 14oz wouldn’t be beaten today.
Norts had 6lb 4oz of silvers and then Nick’s carp was a level 7lb and his silvers weighed 6lb 11oz, I was next and my two carp went 23lb 10oz and my silvers added a meagre 2lb 14oz, Parker ‘The Pole’ had that lovely bream plus some bits for 6lb 14oz and then last to weigh on our side was Steve H who had an F1 of 1lb 11oz and 15oz of silvers.
Back at the results and the other side had been really tough, Dave Pope on peg 30 had the top weight with a carp of 10lb 15oz, the Grand Wiz weighed 10lb 4oz (including 3lb 1oz of silvers) Hainsey weighed 4lb 7oz of roach, Oscar had 2lb 9oz of silvers, Derek G on 24 weighed 1lb 15oz, Burnsey had 3oz and Roy W on 28 didn’t weigh.
So Nick V had the top overall and silvers weights, I finished second and picked up £55, Dave and Nick P were the section winners and Steve P took the silvers prize by default. In the Silvers Bowl, I scored 9 points giving me a total of 84 which was enough for my name to be the first on the new trophy, it was a close run thing though with Nick scoring 13 points to give him 81. Terry won the Club Championship and the Rose Bowl.
1 – Nick Veale (Stoke) – 32lb 14oz
2 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 26lb 8oz
A – Nick Payne (Stoke) – 13lb 11oz
B – Dave Pope (Stoke) – 10lb 15oz
Steve Parker (Stoke) – 6lb 14oz
The total for this years Nugget-O-Meter was £457 but thanks to the fantastic generosity of an anonymous donor, I was able to hand Chris an envelope containing £500 for the clubs charity which goes to Yeovil Hospital Oncology Unit. It’s just my little tribute to my parents as it would’ve been my mum’s birthday last week and it’s the anniversary of my dad’s passing on Monday. Massive thanks to everybody who’s donated or contributed over the last year, your kindness is very much appreciated.
We’re up and running already for next year with £7 in the pot thanks to the Grand Wiz, Norts, Burnsey and Rob Cox, awesome stuff chaps!
And if you could spare five minutes to leave a nice review on Amazon, it would be very much appreciated.
Next up – Landsend
Coming soon – Lots more match reports
Check Out – My last match