Rob B has an annual 2 day match at The Glebe and I’m lucky enough to get invited (unlike IanSi’s THREE DAY match where I don’t get invited). This year we had 18 anglers and on the first day we were on Pools 6 & 7. I’d been helping Rob B with the draw and when there was just two of us left to draw the two pegs left in the bag were 86 and 98 the end pegs on each lake!.
Peg 86 is the most famous peg on the fishery but I’d only ever drawn it once and that was on Sconey’s Monkees vs Shandies match on the “feeder only” day, yes I’d drawn the best pole peg on the fishery on a feeder only day!. So I was delighted to draw peg 86 on Monday, accompanied by the usual derogatory comments from all and sundry.
Getting to the peg I could see that there was a decent breeze from slightly behind but mostly from right to left…perfect. Because I’d been struggling lately and knowing that the lake had been won the day before by somebody fishing the pellet waggler, I took my full complement of feeder rods plus my pellet waggler rod. First thing to be set up was the pellet waggler…ah…forgot to bring any floats !!. Decided not to fish the pellet waggler but for some bizarre, unknown reason I set up the feeder and even more bizarrely I started the match on the feeder. Although I say it myself, my casting was pretty good. I had 7 casts, hooked 3 fish and landed one…is there anything more frustrating than to play a fish from that far bank only for it to come off about 3ft from the landing net. I have absolutely no idea why anybody does feeder fishing !.
Whilst I was pretending to be a feeder angler the wind had done a sneaky little shift, meaning that the ripple had completely disappeared from my side of the lake. There were dozens and dozens of carp swimming about in the ripple on the far side but as soon as I started trying to catch on my 5 metre line I feared the worst, the float that Wilkie had sold me was faulty, it wouldn’t go under, I must remember to send it back to get a replacement. So I steadily went through my repertoire, try my edge swim, try the edge swim on the other side, try the long edge to my left, try the corn line again…it must work soon. I’d gone through plans A, B and C, in fact I was probably around plan K or L. This simply couldn’t be true, I was on the most famous peg in the world, a peg that I firmly believed that a half decent angler fishing with his back to the water could still get 100 lbs and I was struggling, completely bereft of ideas. I’d caught the odd fish, in fact I caught 3 in 4 casts from my right hand margin before it died and I had 2 or 3 fishing long, tight to the bank on my left before managing to foul-hook one and trash my rig.
With about 90 minutes to go Roy Marlow wandered along. I was in tears by now. Roy didn’t know whether to call The Samaritans or try and help me. Luckily he chose the latter and set me up in his normal style i.e. find 4ft of water and fish there. He made me put more sections on the pole although I drew the line at using a section with writing on it. Fishing into the corner and feeding sloppy groundbait containing lots of dead reds I soon had my first bite…missed it. Rinse and repeat…missed that one as well. Third time lucky and a nice four pounder in the net. Next cast I hooked a much bigger one. Played it for ages then it fell off. “You pulled too hard..another ten seconds and it would have been in the net”. I told him not to be so silly, it was foul-hooked. He said I was a crap angler which I thought was cruel. I caught one more and he wandered off. I then hooked a few more, most were foul-hooked and came off. I got fed up with this and did eventually catch a couple on my corn line but at the whistle I knew that I’d failed miserably…I’d blown the best peg in the World. Roy wandered back and I told him that his method was useless, you just foul hook loads, to which he replied that he could only get the fish into the swim for me, it was up to me to catch them. He did promise to teach me how to avoid foul-hookers in another lesson at a future date.
As I wandered down to the far end of the lake to start the weighing in it became obvious that it had been a very hard day indeed, nobody was admitting to catching too many, in fact with only me to weigh in the top weight was 65 lbs 4 ozs, I managed to weigh in just 4 ounces more, 65 lbs 8 ozs for a lake win. That must be the lowest weight ever to be caught from that peg and the most embarrassing win that I’d ever had.