Summerhayes – Open – 24th December 2023

It was back to Summerhayes on Xmas Eve and the match was on Sellicks which is my favourite lake. After a quick stop for breakfast with Parker ‘The Pole’ we headed to Bridgwater. 12 of us fishing today including Bill ‘The Silvers Slayer’ Hopping who had on a very impressive hat!

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The wind was howling down the lake so I was hoping to draw the top end where it was a bit more sheltered. Pete announced the draw and when my name was called, I pulled out peg 16 which is towards the top end and one I really like as it’s wide and you can also ship back without having to go over the fence.

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I set up a 4 x 12 Preston F1 Maggot with a bulk and two droppers for two lines at 11.5 metres plus top two plus two and a 0.2 gram Bobbie with spread shot to fish across at 13 and 14.5 metres when the wind allowed. The side tray contained maggots, disco pinkies and some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark.

On the whistle I fed all my lines with a little groundbait and a few pinkies before starting on the top two for five minutes to allow the longer swims to settle. I’d literally only just started when a strong gust of wind blew my top kits and 14.5 metre section in the lake. The section began to fill up with water and sink but luckily I managed to grab just before it disappeared – phew!

After that near disastrous start, I’ve gone out on the left hand 11.5 metre line with double pinkie on the hook, a positive bite after a couple of minutes resulted in a tiny little carp of less than half an ounce which I put straight back. Next put in I had a nice roach and was getting regular bites, after an hour I had 3 roach and 2 skimmers and was doing okay as far as I could tell, Zooner hadn’t caught yet although Alex over on 12 was getting a few.

By switching between the two 11.5 metre lines I was catching odd roach and skimmers but then Jess hooked a decent fish which he thought was a carp only for a 2lb+ tench to pop up and basically wipe out my early lead in one fell swoop! Not long after he added a nice perch as well. I could see Alex was still catching but I couldn’t tell if it was roach or skimmers.

I was still getting odd fish and a couple of times I’ve toss potted in groundbait and had a bite straight away over it including one big skimmer that was probably 2.5lb, next chuck I had one of a pound and I didn’t think there was much between Zooner and me although he was starting to hook a few carp.

With about two hours left, I’ve had my first look over where I’d been feeding maggots since the start, I was expecting it to be good and had a decent roach quite quickly but that was it. I did try 14.5 metres a couple of times but it was hard work in the wind for little reward and I only had one more roach (and a carp).

Dropping back on the 11.5 metre lines, I now couldn’t get a bite there and with Alex still catching, I had to try something else. It looked like he was getting some fish on the inside towards the corner so I plumbed up against the bank on the inside to my left. The float flew under but a carp tearing off wasn’t the result I wanted. I had it on for ages and when something gave I thought it had snapped me but the rig came back attached to some weed, line and another float so I think I’d actually hooked the other rig rather than the fish.

With only half an hour to go, I went back to 11.5 metres hoping the rest had done it some good but after 15 minutes I hadn’t had a touch but when I went move the rig there was a fish on but it came off so possibly foulhooked. Zooner was into another carp and as I glanced over my float sunk from view only for me to miss it and then Pete signalled an end to proceedings.

I finished up with 19 fish (10 skimmers and the rest roach) plus a solitary carp and I was sure Alex would win the silvers but I was hoping I might sneak second. As always, the scales started round the other side with Rob B the first to weigh, he had 8lb 1oz of carp and a 6oz skimbob, Jim Jenner weighed 6lb 6oz and Bill on peg 6 had 10lb 12oz.

Adie Bishop on 8 went into the lead with 22lb 6oz, Martin Heard had 13lb 13oz on peg 10 and then we got to Alex, he had some quality roach along with a nice crucian but didn’t have many skimmers and weighed a level 9lb which I still thought would be enough. Zooner had 6lb 15oz of silvers plus 11lb 7oz of carp which put him second overall so far.

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Adie went into the lead with 22lb 6oz

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Alex weighed 9lb of silvers on peg 12

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Zooner had 18lb 6oz which included 6lb 15oz of silvers

My single carp was 2lb 8oz and then when I pulled my silvers net out, it was going to be close and I was sure that last fish I lost was going to cost me but the digital scales read 9lb 2oz and I was leading the silvers with four pegs to go. Big Bad Bob and Kev O didn’t weigh, Parker ‘The Pole’ had 8lb 12oz on 22 and Dan T on 24 weighed 11lb.

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I weighed 9lb 2oz of skimmers and roach

1 – Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) – 22lb 6oz
2 – Jess Jordan (Tiverton) – 18lb 6oz

1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 9lb 2oz
2 – Alex Kerr (Summerhayes) – 9lb

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I picked up £45 for winning the silvers and have qualified for next years Champion of Champions Final in November so a really nice day (apart from the weather!).

Steve P donated a pound and one from Zooner takes the Nugget-O-Meter up to £32.

There’s still a great offer running if you fancy treating yourself to some new fishing gear, use the exclusive discount code AgainstMenandFish10 to get 10% off when you shop online at Somerset Angling

Also I still have copies of my book available from eBay here or Amazon here


And if you could spare five minutes to leave a nice review on Amazon, it would be very much appreciated.

Next up – Summerhayes

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

Check Out – My last match

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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