Summerhayes – Open – 3rd March 2024

Only one match this weekend as Parker ‘The Pole’ and me headed to the Big One at Farnborough on Saturday. To be honest, the show has become very carp orientated but it’s still a good day out with the likes of Garbolino, Nu-Fish, Nytro and of course Guru well represented. The latter’s stand gets bigger and better every year and they had some great deals plus lots of new products on display.

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Guru’s Andy Bennett was on pole alley duty

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We even featured on Guru’s social media!

I really enjoyed the show but when we popped out to the catering area for a spot of lunch and it was nearly £20 for a chicken wrap, chips and coffee, it was a bit of a shock to the system to say the least!!

So after a day talking fishing and handling loads of tackle (ooooh, matron!) I was looking forward to getting my rod out (stop it!) on Sunday. Waking up to a hard frost wasn’t in the script though but apparently it was supposed to brighten up later.

I thought we’d be on Longs this week but when we arrived it was on Sellicks again which I was a little disappointed with after a nightmare last Sunday (I’m still having flashbacks!). 14 fishing today including Toby ‘I’ll Be Back’ Burrell and Chris W who had a day off from his caring responsibilities as Geoff was elsewhere!

As always the banter was superb as waited for the draw and when somebody (who shall remain nameless to retain their dignity) sat down and went straight through one of the benches, they didn’t come in for much stick at all!

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The broken bench was marked as out of commission

The draw got underway, starting with the golden peg which was number 5 today, normally a good area. I was around midway down the list and praying for a peg on either side, anywhere but that top end. As people began drawing their pegs, the swims on my wishlist were disappearing at an alarming rate. When Toby got number 4, a great silvers peg and with him on a blistering run of form, I could only see one outcome today.

Nick pulled out 23 on the far side which can be good and then it was my turn, the golden peg was still in there, I rummaged around, grabbed a ping pong ball and opened my fingers to reveal number 13, one away from where I was last time and I was seriously gutted. It’s not even a good silvers peg in the summer let alone this time of year, especially after a hard frost. I’ve obviously done something to seriously upset the drawing gods and went back to check under my car for dead black cats, magpies, nuns or leprechauns!

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Pete had to hide the rope and any sharp objects

At least it was shaping up to be a nice dry, sunny day although the pond was flat calm with most predicting a low-ish winning silvers weight of 6-10lb. As we were taking our kit to the pegs, Toby suffered a transporter malfunction, was this a sign?, a chink in the cyborg’s impenetrable  exoskeleton, had the wheels literally come off?

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I hadn’t moved far from last week

The same two rigs were set up, 0.2 gram Bobbies to fish two lines at 11.5 metres and across to the island at 14.5 metres. The side tray for today contained red maggots, disco pinkies, micros, 4mm expanders and some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark.

On the whistle I fed one 11.5 metre line with a little loose groundbait and a few pinkies while the other received some micros and then I flicked some maggots across to the island straight in front and angled to the right. As expected it was a slow start and after thirty minutes I hadn’t seen anyone catch any silvers yet, I glanced back and my float had gone. The strike resulted in solid resistance but thankfully the carp was fairly docile and I netted a five pounder without too much trouble.

I did hook another carp that snagged me in the margins and that was the sum total for the first hour, two carp hooked, one landed. So not a particularly inspiring start but from what I could see nobody was setting the world alight, Roy on 18 had a couple of silvers and I’d noticed Nick swing in two or three roach. I tried the micros line but a further 15 minutes passed with no more indications so I had my first look across to the island.

It took a while to get a bite and I hooked a roach only for it to come off shipping back. I was feeding two areas across so with no more indications on the left, I went to the other side and finally put something in my silvers net when I landed a decent 6oz hybrid. A couple of roach followed before I had a nice 12oz perch and I was getting a few bites.

Despite it being a gorgeous day, the pond was fishing rock hard with hardly any carp being caught, and apart from Roy who was landing some nice skimmers, not many silvers were showing either. By swapping between the two lines by the island, I was getting the odd roach and skimmer along with hooking quite a few carp and I was getting most of them out, even on a 0.08mm bottom.

As we headed towards the end of the match, I was expecting more carp to start showing but it didn’t really happen, Martin A on my left had a couple but Hollywood down on peg 20 didn’t hook one all day! Roy was now catching skimmers really well and looking like making it three on the trot after winning on Wednesday and Saturday.

With around an hour to go, my bites tailed right off so I got the dolly butt out and went further along the island which resulted in a few more fish including a carp right on the whistle. I finished up with 28 silvers (4 skimmers, a hybrid, chublet, perch and roach) and the scores on the doors for the carp were 13 hooked with only 2 lost.

First to weigh was Bill ‘The Paste’ on peg 2 who had done well with 27lb 2oz of mainly carp, Toby had really struggled for 2lb 11oz of silvers and a 9lb 1oz carp so perhaps he is human after all! Chris W chucked back on 5, Mark Leahy had 21lb which included a big goldfish, Jim J on 9 weighed 9lb 5oz and then Big Bad Bob had 8lb 13oz.

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Bill had 27lb 2oz on peg 2 for second place

I was next and my carp went 33lb before my silvers net added 8lb 6oz, Martin weighed 20lb 15oz and then Roy had a lovely net of decent skimmers for 23lb 7oz. Hollywood didn’t weigh on 20, Dan T had some nice skimmers for 6lb 3oz, then Nick on 23 weighed 7lb 12oz of silvers and last but not least was Craig who had 17lb including a very impressive 2oz chublet!

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I managed a win with 41lb 6oz which included 33lb of accidentals!

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Roy had a lovely net of fish to win the silvers with 23lb 7oz

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Craig weighed 17lb which included a gorgeous little chublet

1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 41lb 6oz
2 – Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) – 27lb 2oz

1 – Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) – 23lb 7oz
2 – Nick Payne (Ilminster) – 7lb 12oz

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So a rather unexpected win but also a very welcome result after last week! An enjoyable days fishing, some gorgeous weather for a change and a handy pick up of £65 rounded off a lovely weekend.

Nick and me added £2 each (for yesterday and today) to the Nugget-O-Meter which now stands at £96.

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 – Todber Manor

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

Check Out – My last match

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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