Packington (Away Team) – Sunday 5th July – I Wuz Robbed !

As you know, I retired from blog writing a few weeks ago but I’ve been getting grief from people who want to read about The Glebe. I’ve decided to do a few more blog posts, mainly about exciting or unusual days. I’ll be more careful about who I mention and what I say about them, hopefully I’ll keep myself out of trouble this time.

AS I mentioned in an earlier post, the away team are a bunch of about a dozen anglers who fish little matches (knock-ups might be a better description) on the Sundays when there isn’t a Glebe members match. We fish these matches at Packington or if the lakes there are booked we fish one or two pools at The Glebe.

So on this particular day we were on the high bank of Geary’s Lake at Packington. As we walked along deciding which pegs to put in the draw I made a note of Peg 15. The right hand bank does a sharp left leaving you a lovely edge to fish along the right. At the draw I proudly announced that I was going to draw 15 (I had nothing to do with the draw, it was all done by John Duncan). Lo and behold, out came peg 15 !.

Big Geary’s holds skimmers and proper carp, some of the other Packington Lakes were hit with KHV and are now stocked with F1’s. The carp in Big Geary’s go from a few pounds to really big, you probably don’t want to hook the big boys on the pole. Sitting at my peg, there’s a nice cut-in along the bank at about 10 metres, this looked to be the ideal spot to target, even though it’s only about 12″ deep, together with another area a couple of metres out from the bank in 4 or 5 foot of water. Winds were light and it was sunny, far from ideal conditions for skimmer fishing. Cupping in slop containing casters, dead reds and a few grains of corn I fed both swims and then started by fishing the deep swim. I was soon getting bites on dead reds but the skimmers were so small I wasn’t convinced there was actually any flesh and bones inside that blob of slime that i kept catching. Anybody that has fished with me will tell you that I soon get fed up with catching little un’s, I’d rather wait forever and catch a proper fish than have to keep cleaning slime off my hook length. I started switching between JPZ’s and corn on the hook and began to catch a few proper sized skimmers, up to about 2 pounds. You had to wait for bites but at least it felt like I was putting something in the net, rather than having to clean 3 ozs of slime off my hands for every 4 oz fish that I caught.

About halfway through the match the sky over towards Birmingham Airport began to turn a very nasty black colour. The wind picked up and in no time at all the rain started. I’d been having a quick look down the edge all through the day but except for the odd skimmer the house had been empty. As the rain started everything changed. The float buried in my edge peg and…carp on. I landed some including a 15 pounder and lost a couple that swam off towards Birmingham. The swim was solid, cast out, wait 2 seconds and hook another carp…amazing stuff. The rain stopped and the bites slowed down, but I still kept catching a few. 100 lbs is a good weight on that lake, so I’d put in one net. After a while I thought I’d better put my other net in !.

We fished till 5 pm and I was catching the odd one right up to the all-out. We have these silly rules on the away team matches, the angler to get closest to their estimated weight gets £12, the one furthest away buys the Magnum ice creams for the other anglers. You’re not allowed clickers or any other counting device. I’ve never won the “honesty prize” but I’ve bought the ice creams plenty of times. This was my big chance…they have a 60 lb net limit there and on that particular day the Packington staff were doing our weigh-in. Once I’d asked what the net limit was, and what happened if you were over (you get knocked back to 60 lb) I had no hesitation in guessing 120 lb. The first net had the 15 pounder in it, we weighed that separately then John lifted the remainder and tipped them straight back…he said there was about 75 lb still in the net. Second net was closer but still had around 65 lb, so that too was given 60 lb. Yippee…I was spot on…I’d won the honesty prize !. They wouldn’t pay me. They said I cheated by putting too many fish in the net. It didn’t help that the person who was most vociferous about the incident was one of the organisers who happened to be in the lead for the honesty prize at that time (it’s a bloody sight easier to estimate your weight when you’ve caught bugger all). They even tried to make me buy the ice creams…how could that be ?.

I did win the match, they didn’t pay me the honesty prize and I flatly refused to buy ice creams. An interesting day !

Incidentally, on the following Packington match I drew peg 9, halfway along a straight bank, down a set of rickety steps that aren’t easy for a pensioner with dodgy knees and with nothing much to recommend it. Again got fed up with catching blobs of slime that might or might not have actually had a fish inside it. Switched to my right hand margin with corn on the hook, only caught one carp but won again, this time with 73 lb, proper skimmers plus a single carp. I quite like Packington !.