Thorney Lakes – Ruthie’s Cup – 19th May 2024

Last year we fished Ruthie’s Cup in memory of Chris’s daughter for the first time and we raised a tidy sum of money along the way. It was held on Wednesdays and a few people struggled to fish all four rounds so this year it would be held on Sundays so hopefully everyone could make it. In another change, along with twelve anglers at Hebditch’s Pond, there would be another section of four at Thorney. Earlier in the year the sections and rotations were drawn and I ended up with the Grand Wiz, Burnsey and Norts so a great laugh was guaranteed and we would be at Thorney for the first match.

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We all assembled at The Ranch for breakfast and were well looked after by Kirsty before heading to our respective venues. We had four pegs on the island and they’re normally really good for silvers although some carp would be required to win. I really fancied peg 14 as I’ve done well there previously but pulled out 16 on the end which still looked really nice with a bed of lilies about two thirds of the way across. Norts was on 15 so we decided to have a nugget on our silvers weights, Burnsey drew 14 and the Wiz was on the other end.

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The fish would be split over three nets (small carp, bigger carp and silvers) with any double figure fish recorded and returned straight away along with any crucians and there would also be a half time weigh in.

I set up a couple of 0.2 gram Bobbies to fish two lines at 11.5 metres straight out and angled to the right and todays side tray contained maggots, casters, worm, micros and some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark. It was shaping up to be a scorching day so plenty of sun cream was applied before the Wiz got us underway. I fed straight out with a sloppy mix of gb, chopped worms, casters and micros while the other line received a pot of loose groundbait and casters.

Starting on the wormy line it soon became apparent there were loads of small rudd as I couldn’t get a maggot through them, worm wasn’t any better so I tried double caster which helped to a certain extent but I was still getting the odd little fish. After around ten minutes, I hooked a slightly better fish which turned out to be a gorgeous golden rudd. Swapping between the two 11.5 metre lines, I was getting the odd 6-8oz skimmer, Norts next door was getting a few as well and also reported that Burnsey had already caught a couple of decent carp and a 2lb skimmer to lead at this early stage.

There were quite a few crucians averaging a pound being caught, weighed and returned, I had a couple and then landed a nice big 2lb+ skimmer. Norts was fishing further across just off some lilies and was getting more bites than I was although he’d pulled out of several better skimmers and been beaten up by three carp! I decided to start a new line at 14.5 metres towards the lilies and fed some choppie mix and left it for twenty minutes to settle.

First put in on the new line with double caster, a positive bite resulted in my second big skimmer followed by a nice crucian next chuck. It was short lived though and any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared with just odd smaller fish off all three lines as we headed to the half time break.

We started the weigh in with the Wiz who had 4lb 8oz of silvers and a carp of 4lb 1oz, Burnsey then stormed into the lead with 4lb of silvers and 34lb 2oz of carp, Norts weighed 8lb 3oz of silvers and mine went 8lb 8oz. The crucians would all be totted up and added at the end. So although it was looking like first in the section was out of sight already, there was nothing between the rest of us for second and it was all to play for in part two.

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At half time, Burnsey was way out in front with 38lb 2oz

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Norts had some nice skimmers for 8lb 3oz

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I had 8lb 8oz of skimmers, roach and rudd

As it was a blazing hot day and Norts had forgotten to bring a cold drink, he headed off to the on-site shop to see if he could get some supplies during the mid match break. The allotted half an hour soon passed and there was still no sign of him returning, we waited a bit longer and then Burnsey messaged him to see where he was and he just replied that we should crack on.

As no feed had been going in, it was like starting the match again and all I could catch was those tiny rudd. Our intrepid explorer returned five minutes later and he hadn’t missed much, it turns out the shop didn’t have any bottles or cans so he ended up driving to the nearest town to get some cold drinks.

I wasn’t putting much in the net at all apart from a few small fish and was just going through the motions, hoping that some decent skimmers would rock up. As far as I could tell, the other three weren’t catching much either and with a quite a few lumpy carp cruising around, it did cross my mind to set up a mugging rig as it wouldn’t take a lot to finish second in the section.

With around an hour to go, I struck into a decent skimmer which leapt out the water and came off! Next chuck, the float buried and there was yellow hydro everywhere as a carp took off up towards Norts before doing a u-turn and burying itself in the lilies on the inside to my left and there was no way this was ending well. It was solid and I’ve eventually had to grab the elastic, something gave and the rig came back in a right mess with the eye pulled out of another of my favourite floats.

Well, that made my mind up and I got another rig out, a little Drennan Crystal Dibber to fish banded pellet and started pinging a few 6mm’s out and lifting a dropping the rig. I was getting the odd indication which may have been small fish but then saw a carp headed my way so flicked the rig in front of it, the float buried and a rather large fish went berserk!

Even with black hydro I couldn’t do anything with it and was beginning to suspect it wasn’t hooked in the mouth. After having it on for ages and ages, it buried in the same bed of lilies as the last one and I was just waiting for it to snap me any second. It finally came free but my next problem was how on earth was I going to get it in my landing net, it was huge! After several pitiful netting attempts, I managed to chip pan a big common hooked in the arm pit.

I weighed it straight away and at 15lb 9oz, it was a useful bonus! After all that fannying about, there wasn’t much time left but I did manage another smaller carp before the end of the match. The Grand Wiz had caught some more decent skimmers along with a couple of carp and with four crucians, his total was 27lb 1oz. Burnsey added another 17lb 4oz to his first half total to easily win the section with a brilliant 55lb 6oz. Norts weighed another 3lb 8oz of silvers and with his earlier crucians, his total was 14lb 15oz.

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The Grand Wiz caught some decent skimmers in the second half

My other carp was 7lb 3oz and along with some silvers, that big carp and three crucians, I weighed 36lb 15oz which was second in the section and I picked up £20. There was also the little matter of a pound side bet, my silvers total was 11lb 9oz and Norts had 11lb 11oz to take a nugget off me but he told me to stick it in the charity pot, cheers mate.

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It had been relatively hard going at Hebditch’s, Harry was top with 32lb from peg 10 followed by Roy Worth with 31lb 5oz and Chanter who had 25lb 7oz.

Section D (Thorney)
1 – Andy Burns (Stoke) – 55lb 6oz
2 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 36lb 15oz

Section A (Hebditch’s)
1 – Steve Chant (Somerset Rig Company) – 26lb 7oz
2 – Nick Payne (Ilminster) – 20lb 3oz

Section B (Hebditch’s)
1 – Roy Worth (Yeovil) – 31lb 5oz
2 – Andrew Chandler-Privett (Stoke) – 17lb 11oz

Section C (Hebditch’s)
1 – Harry Hebditch (Stoke) – 32lb
2 – Craig Lyttle (Stoke) – 25lb 7oz

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Thanks to very kind donations from Chanter (£5) and Norts (£2) plus the pound he took off me, the new Nugget-O-Meter total stands at £214.

Craig Lyttle very kindly donated his £20 winnings to the Ruthie’s Cup charity pot, lovely gesture mate.

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 – Revels

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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