Summerhayes – Open – 2nd June 2024

Due to various leagues and club matches on Sundays, I haven’t been to Summerhayes for a while so was looking forward to this one although when I phoned Pete to book in, I was a bit disappointed when he said it was on Longs rather than Sellicks which is my favourite lake.

Nick, Rob and me met for breakfast at the bowling club before making our way to Bridgwater, when we arrived, the car park was packed with matches on both lakes. When I eventually found somewhere to park, Nick said we were on Sellicks (which is good), but with 24 anglers on it, all but one of the pegs would be in (not so good).

The draw got underway but as I was towards the bottom of the list I made myself comfortable and was hoping one of my favourite pegs (16-22 on the far side) would still be left for me. Unfortunately they all went in quick succession and by the time my name was called I was unsure what was left that I would be happy with! I stuck my hand in and had a rummage, there were only two balls left so I grabbed one and when I looked I was on 15, it’s not normally used but as 16 is my favourite peg, I wasn’t too far away and happy enough.

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It was a glorious day

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Nearly every peg was occupied today

It wasn’t all good news though as I had Craig next door on 14 and I hadn’t packed my anti-scouser earplugs! With nearly a full house, I was expecting fairly modest silvers weights with probably 15lb enough to win today and there were some brilliant silvers anglers on great pegs as well. Roy Hughes was on my left with Dan, Alex and Nick P all in a row on 19-21 and on the other side Tom and Toby were on pegs 2 and 3 with Glynn on 8 which was also the golden peg.

I set up my usual 0.2 gram Bobbies to fish at 10 metres straight out and then two lines at 14.5 metres. The side tray was very simple with lots of red and white maggots plus some Bait-Tech Special G F1 Dark.

On the whistle, I fed a throwaway top kit line and 10 metres with groundbait and began pinging maggots on the two longer swims. Starting short yielded nothing so I was soon out on the 10 metre line where my first bite was from a carp that took off and straightened the hook out. The next indication resulted in a roach but then Roy had a decent skimmer and started catching well on expanders. After an hour he had six skimmers compared to my one and it already felt like a battering was on the cards.

Going into the second sixty minutes, as expected, it was fishing quite hard, Craig still hadn’t caught and even Roy had slowed up. I wasn’t getting many indications and was basically just biding my time before going across on the longer lines (as I like to leave them at least two hours). Then the float went under and I was into a better fish that didn’t feel like a carp but was pulling too hard to be a skimmer and a lovely 1.5lb crucian popped up – bonus!

A few minutes later, I was into something else that wasn’t fighting like a carp, it kept trying to go under my nets and I was having to strip elastic using the pulla bung, this time it was a perch of a pound. Next chuck I was into another fish and this time it did feel like a skimmer but turned out to be a second crucian, this one around 12oz, so what do I know! From really struggling I’d added 3lb+ in three chucks and although by my reckoning, I was still behind Roy, there wasn’t a lot in it.

The two hour mark arrived and it was time to go across, I didn’t get the quick response I’d hoped for and when the float eventually went under, this time it was definitely a carp but the problem was I wasn’t attached to the fish but to a rig, a load of line plus elastic! I had it on for ages before the fish came off, thankfully my rig wasn’t too much of a mess and after untangling it all, I was the proud owner of a really nice little float that looked brand new.

Craig still hadn’t caught which I put down to him taking his shirt off and scaring the fish off, not a pretty sight! My next bite was from a nice skimmer and I was getting regular indications by swapping between the two lines. It was really nice fishing and I wasn’t having any carp problems as they had other things on their minds (even a topless Craig hadn’t put them off!).

After his great start, Roy was now struggling and couldn’t get a bite on soft pellet so went to get his waggler rod and bought some maggots from the shop. On his return he had a couple of fish but it wasn’t as quick as the pole so he got some more sections out of his holdall.

I was having to wait a little while for bites but the fish were a decent stamp, mainly skimmers along with the odd roach and even a little Bob Nudd! It was just lovely fishing, I did pull out of two skimmers and bumped a couple but I was really enjoying it and only landed one carp all match. Just before the all out, the float sunk from view and a big skimmer came flying out the water and I safely netted a nice 1.5lb fish to finish with a flourish.

Pete started the weigh in with Steve Collins who had 31lb 7oz on peg 24, then there were a couple of DNW’s before Nick P had 6lb 5oz of silvers, Alex on 20 had done well with 11lb 2oz and then the next few had chucked back before we got to Sam Williams who went into the overall lead with 73lb. Roy had a nice net of skimmers for 12lb 12oz and then my 35 fish went 22lb, Craig had caught a few carp but thrown back (and thankfully put his shirt back on!).

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Steve C weighed 31lb 7oz on peg 24

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Nick had 6lb 5oz on peg 21

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Alex weighed 11lb 2oz of silvers

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Sam did well on 17 with 73lb of carp

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Roy weighed 12lb 12oz of skimmers

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I had a lovely day catching skimmers, roach, crucians, a perch and a rudd for 22lb

Jim J on peg 12 weighed 24lb 1oz and then Adie went into third spot with 66lb 9oz, Glynn had 8lb 9oz of silvers, Roger C weighed 7lb 6oz on peg 5 before Tom R pipped his travelling partner to third in the silvers with 11lb 8oz and Bill ‘The Paste’ Hopping had several nets in and weighed a brilliant 118lb 1oz for a comfortable victory.

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Adie weighed 66lb 9oz on peg 11

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Bill won with a brilliant 118lb 1oz of carp on peg 1

1 – Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) – 118lb 1oz
2 – Sam Williams (Summerhayes) – 73lb
3 – Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) – 66lb 9oz

Silvers
1 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 22lb
2 – Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) – 12lb 12oz
3 – Tom Rattenbury (Summerhayes) – 11lb 8oz

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So there had been some really good weights but a lot of DNW’s which was probably down to the carp spawning and nearly every peg in. A nice pick up of £75 and I love that style of fishing, long pole and feeding lots of maggots for quality silvers. I have to say I’ve always loved the Guru F1 Pellet hook but the ready tied F1 Maggots are superb and to just the right line as well, 18’s to 0.10mm which is perfect for commercial silvers.

Rob Cox, Nick and me all bunged £2 in the pot and Craig Lyttle very kindly donated a fiver which saw the Nugget-O-Meter climb to £240.

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

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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

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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