Pensioner Wins Summer League Match
Sorry – I just had to do that headline. All week I’d had Simon Skelton teaching me how to draw flyers, so in went my hand (left one of course) and out came…Peg 30 – end peg on Pool 1 !. We had a particularly high class field today, with Andy Findlay standing in for somebody on holiday so add him to Andy Kinder, Arron Morton, Kev Sims, Andrew Williams, Jamie Jones etc and it wasn’t gonna be easy.
Actually, although pleased, I wasn’t jumping with joy. I’ve only drawn Peg 30 once before and I didn’t do brilliantly from it. Usually, if people do well from it they either “mug ’em” or fish long along the right hand margin. I’m not good at either of those, so remembering Roy Marlow’s mantra of “do what you’re good at” I decided that I’d set up a 5m corn line, a rig for the left hand margin and a couple of rigs for the right hand edge, one groundbait one and one for pellet.
There wasn’t exactly any ripple, it wasn’t flat calm but the wind was in my face and slightly towards my end of the lake. The little bays along the rushes to my right were full of scum and floating reeds, and there were quite a few carp eating stuff off the surface. I started as normal, fed a big pot of hemp & corn on the 5m line, then fed some groundbait in both margins, First cast on the corn line and I missed a bite…that’s a good sign. A couple more casts and I’d hooked my first carp..and it had promptly come off!. That was to be a recurring thing throughout the day, I guess that I lost one fish in every four or five. I presume that they were foul-hooked, I did land one hooked in the head and another hooked in the belly later on.
I eventually put a carp in the net, plus the odd skimmer, but the skimmers were small, only about a pound each, I’d been spoiled by the three pounders that I caught from Pool 6 last week. I could see that the anglers in the next couple of pegs were catching a few, both on the corn line and long – they were both beating me. After a couple of hours and with half a dozen carp in the net I gave in to temptation and had a look down that right hand edge. It wasn’t easy, you kept getting hung up on floating reeds and when I did get a fish it turned out to be a tiny tench or a brown goldfish when I fished maggot plus a couple of small carp on pellet. A proficient angler would have caught lots down that edge, and Chris Needham would have mugged the arse off the peg and probably have broken the match record…again!. However after an hour, and remembering “do what you’re good at” I gave myself a good talking to and went back on the corn line. Apart from a 10 minute period trying my left hand margin I stayed on the corn for the rest of the match.
As the match wore on I could see that I was overtaking some of the anglers that were beating me earlier on, and that was the incentive to just stick to what was working rather than looking to catch even faster. I still kept losing plenty of foul-hookers and tried all of the old tricks of messing with the depth, changing the feeding pattern i.e. heaving BIG handfuls in, but nothing seemed to have any effect. At the end of the match I’d fed 5 tins of corn and a fair bit of hemp. Speaking to Andy Kinder afterwards, he’d fished corn and had exactly the same experience of losing lots of what appeared to be properly hooked fish.
At the whistle I weighed in 186 lbs and was very proud of my ‘split’ between 3 carp keepnets, 51 lb – 51 lb – 54 lb plus some skimmers. I’ve NEVER been that close on weights and assure you that it was a total fluke and will never happen again!. The next two anglers both weighed in over 100 lb, then it was a couple of the top anglers in my section, first Arron weighed in 170 lbs, then Kev Sims weighed in 150 lb…I’d won my section!. As it turned out, the rest of the lake hadn’t fished brilliantly and I’d won the match…WooHoo!.