Todber Manor – Silvers Open – 29th June 2024

I enjoyed fishing the waggler in the last match and was hoping for another nice day doing the same but then Guy threw a spanner in the works by winning the midweek open with nearly 50lb of skimmers caught shallow on meat and never had a bite on the waggler!

After meeting Nick, Norts and Parker ‘The Pole’ for breakfast we headed to Todber, only nine fishing today but on the plus side it meant peg 63 wouldn’t be in! I had one of the last two tickets and before I opened it, Duffers was keen to have a side bet, when I had a look I was on 66 which is a really great area although Duffers had Guy’s winning peg from Wednesday. Norts drew 75 on the end, Nick was on 69 and ‘The Pole’ was next to me so we’d have a chuckle whatever.

Along with a 3 gram insert waggler, I also set up a little 0.3 gram Guru F1 Slim for the top two to hand and a little 0.2 gram rig for top two plus two. On the side tray I had maggots, casters, 6mm meat and corn.

We got underway and I fed some casters at top two, pinged some corn on the waggler line and threw some meat at top four before kicking off short with single maggot on the hook. It was an unusually quiet start and after ten minutes, I only had one 8oz skimbob. The waggler was next and with it actually not being windy for once, I really thought it would be good but half an hour elapsed without any indications.

It sounded like it was fishing quite hard as Dave and Lee on my left hadn’t had much yet and nor had Parker ‘The Pole’. Dropping in on the meat line, I started catching skimmers and the odd roach but was missing loads of bites, losing two leapers also didn’t help and then I hooked what felt like a proper one, only for that to come off as well!

Although I was now doing okay, the number of bites I was missing was ridiculous, I tried altering depths, bulking the shot above the hooklength and even tried hair-rigging the meat but nothing really worked. Steve P was now catching the odd big skimmer on the long pole with corn and even caught his first ever catfish of around a pound so I was going to rename him Parker ‘The Pussy Hunter’ but that just sounds plain wrong!

I had a quick look short with caster for one small skimmer, back on the waggler I had a roach and then a decent skimmer in as many chucks but that was it and although I was being quite busy I wasn’t putting much in the net! PTP wasn’t catching loads of fish but he was getting some big ‘uns and when I heard Nick shout down he’d caught eight decent skimmers and a tench, I needed to improve my catch rate somehow.

Guy turned up while I was on the waggler yet again and asked if I needed to borrow another BB shot and then after I chucked that up the bank to save further embarrassment, he watched me suffer missed bite madness on the meat and offered lots of helpful advice (yeah right!). Steve had a couple more big skimmers and Dave on my left also started catching on the long pole and I didn’t know what to do next.

At this point I descended into headless chicken mode, another look on the waggler resulted in two skimmers and then nothing, I started a new line down the edge to my left for a couple of roach and then thrashed about fishing the meat for very little. With an hour to go I fed a big pot of corn and casters at 11.5 metres and went straight over it with corn on the hook.

I had three 6-8oz skimmers and pulled out of one in quick succession but any thoughts of a big finish didn’t last long as I then couldn’t get a bite, another look on the waggler was fruitless and my match just faded to a disappointing end.

The scales started at the other end and as they worked their way down the lake, when they reached Nick I went up to see how he’d done. Looking at the weigh board, Duffers was leading the way with 30lb 9oz so I paid him my nugget, Nick went into second place with a nice net of skimmers and that tench for 25lb and then Steve came close with some big skimmers for 23lb 8oz. My 54 fish went 15lb 11oz, Dave had 14lb 12oz and then Lee on 62 weighed 10lb. Photos courtesy of Todber Manor*

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Duffers had a nice net of skimmers to win with 30lb 9oz*

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Nick was second with 35lb of skimmers and a tench*

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Parker ‘The Pole’ was third with 23lb 8oz of big skimmers and a little catfish*

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Norts on 75 weighed 15lb 12oz*

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I had 15lb 11oz of skimmers and roach*

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Dave on 64 weighed 14lb 12oz*

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Martin had 13lb 5oz on peg 73*

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Lee had 10lb on peg 62*

1 – Darren Duffield (Ilminster) – 30lb 9oz
2 – Nick Payne (Ilminster) – 25lb
3 – Steve Parker (Ilminster) – 23lb 8oz

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Close weights again with a couple of fish separating the top three and then just 2lb between the next four places and everybody has lost fish. Personally, I’ve fished an awful match and ended trying too many things, chasing my own tail and disappearing up my own bottom when I probably should have kept things simpler and tried to do them well!

Norts kindly added £2 to the Nugget-O-Meter which is now at £265.

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 – River Parrett

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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