Summerhayes – Open – 26th December 2023

Boxing Day and it was back to Summerhayes, the first task was to find somewhere for breakfast and after driving to three separate places that were all closed, I was running out of options but Greggs in Bridgwater services came to my rescue! When I arrived at the fishery, there was a decent turnout of 14 including Bruce Hunt who I haven’t seen for a while.

Pete announced the draw starting with the golden peg which today was peg 15, when my name was called out, I fancied being on the far side again but drew peg 6 which is still a good area for silvers. Martin Addicott was on 8 and Bill was the other side of me on 4 with Bruce down on peg 2. In a complete contrast to Xmas Eve, there was no wind or rain and the pond was flat calm. While we were getting ready, there were lots of skimmers and roach topping (along with carp of course) and it looked like we’d be in for a good day.

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Looking down the pond from peg 6

The same two rigs were set up as last time, a 4 x 12 Preston F1 Maggot with a bulk and two droppers for two lines at 11.5 metres plus top two plus one and a 0.2 gram Bobbie with spread shot to fish across at 13 and 14.5 metres. The side tray contained maggots, disco pinkies and some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark.

We got underway and I fed the short swim and two 11.5 metre lines with a modest amount of gb and flicked a few maggots across to the island. After five biteless minutes on the short line I went out to 11.5 metres and really thought I’d catch straight away but it’s just not happened. With nearly half an hour gone, I haven’t had a bite or seen anybody on our side catch although Alex over on the golden peg had landed a carp.

Finally there was a sign of life when I had a little dink on the float but it didn’t develop, a few minutes later, Martin had a carp from over by the island and then I looked back at my float just as it went under and I had a small roach to get off the mark. Next chuck I had a roach followed by a decent skimmer and was getting a few indications now as were Bruce and Bill who had both landed big skimbobs as well.

I was catching odd skimmers by swapping between the 11.5 metre lines but was already a couple of fish behind Bill who was landing fish steadily. After an hour I had a look on the top two plus one line where I’d been feeding maggots since the start and the float’s gone straight under as a nice roach took the bait. I gave it another five minutes but no more indications so it was back on the longer lines.

With around two hours to go, I was doing okay and didn’t think there was much between me and Bruce although I still couldn’t seem to make any inroads into Bill’s lead, every time I caught one to inch closer, he’d get one as well. I’d been feeding maggots across for 3.5 hours so it was time to have a look at 13 metres. I was expecting it to be really good but it actually took a little while to get a bite but then I’ve had a really nice spell catching roach along with the odd skimmer and also hooked a fish that tore off but didn’t feel like a carp and a 10oz perch was a nice bonus.

After pulling out of one and losing a leaper, it went a bit quiet so I rested it and had another look on the 11.5 metre lines, I did miss a couple of bites but when Bill had another skimmer, I had to go back over. It still wasn’t really happening so with around 45 minutes remaining I’ve added the 14.5 metre section and gone further across. I was getting odd bites and added a few roach and another skimmer, I also hooked and landed my first carp.

Not long after I was into another decent fish that I initially thought was a small carp but as I got down to the top kit, it wasn’t giving me any problems and then a lovely 12oz crucian popped up. I added a few more fish and netted a roach just before the all out. Bill slowed up during that last period but I still wasn’t sure I’d caught him up, my final tally was 25 fish (1 perch, 1 crucian, 11 skimmers and a dozen roach).

The scales soon arrived at Bruce and when he pulled his net out, he had some big skimmers for 12lb 7oz and I wasn’t at all sure I had that! Then Bill also had a cracking net of fish that went 12lb 14oz and it was really tight. I pulled my net out and was hugely relieved when the display on the scales read 13lb 8oz but there were still several silvers anglers to weigh on the other side.

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Bruce had some big skimmers for 12lb 7oz

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Bill had a lovely net of skimmers and roach for 12lb 14oz

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I had 13lb 8oz of skimmers, roach, a perch and a crucian

Martin A had 21lb 14oz of carp (and one skimmer), Bob A and Jim had chucked back and then Wes on 13 had 2lb 12oz of silvers. Alex on 15 weighed 3lb 14oz of mainly roach and then Dan P went into the overall lead with 35lb 2oz.

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Martin Addicott weighed 21lb 14oz on peg 8

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Dan P on 16 was second on the day with 35lb 2oz

Nigel Bartlett had some quality roach for 4lb 4oz, Rob B didn’t weigh on 19 and then Rob Dodd had an excellent 68lb 1oz to go into the lead, Adie B on 22 had 29lb 13oz and Martin Heard weighed 17lb 8oz on 24.

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Rob Dodd won comfortably on peg 21 with 68lb 1oz

1 – Rob Dodd (Summerhayes) – 68lb 1oz
2 – Dan Pither (Summerhayes) – 35lb 2oz

1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 13lb 8oz
2 – Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) – 12lb 14oz

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I picked up £50 for winning the silvers and I loved every minute of that, the weather was nice, catching quality silvers and only hooking one carp all day, just perfect!

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 – Acorn

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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