Members Match – Sunday 14th June

The rain had cleared away and although it wasn’t exactly hot (I kept my hoodie on all day), it was pleasant with a light wind and sunny intervals. There were around 40 members out on this first match of the Glebe season and once again I managed to draw an end peg!. Peg 98, the first peg on Pool 7 stuck to my fingers. I’ve now drawn pegs 96, 97 & 98 in consecutive matches, how weird is that?. Now don’t get me wrong, Peg 98 is a very good peg but it doesn’t suit my style of fishing at all. You need to fish long towards the pipe where the water comes in from the stock pond but that pipe is about 17m away from the peg. When we got to the car park I had to suffer the usual banter of “it’s black”, “you could walk across them”, “do you need to borrow a couple more keepnets”, “jammy fecker” etc etc and yes, there were lots of carp cruising around on the surface, although they did do a bit of a disappearing act at about the same time as the starting whistle.

I’ve drawn this peg a couple of times before and I’ve never done any good from it, as I’ve said it doesn’t suit the way that I fish. It’s a peg where you need to fish long. Even in my younger days I was useless at fishing long, I could never hold a pole and catapult bait at the same time, I was hopeless. Now that I’m old and creaking from arthritis there’s no hope of being able to wield 16 metres of pole, in fact on Sunday I tried fishing 12.5m and after just a few minutes I had to give up, the pain in my wrist was unbearable. I don’t really know why, but I’ve never got this peg to respond to the 5m corn method. I talked to Gordon ‘Corn King’ about it and he said exactly the same thing, for some reason corn isn’t really successful in this particular peg.

At this point I was running out of ideas. I remembered a match last year where an angler on this peg had a decent weight of fish by fishing caster with a rod and centrepin reel…I hadn’t brought any casters…not a rod and reel!. Oh well, I plumbed up on the corn line and also identified a couple of patches along my right hand margin that might produce the odd fish. I thought that maybe I could do the skimmer trick that worked so well yesterday and there was another area further along the bank that looked a bit inviting.

On the whistle I tried ‘mugging’ a fish, using a long line, float set 6″ deep with a 6mm pellet on the hook and using 12.5m of pole. I thought that I maybe had a bite which I missed, but after only about 10 minutes I’d given up, that method was simply too painful. I then spent the next 45 minutes trying to get a bite on my 5m line but it was all to no avail. After just one hour of our six hour match I was in BIG trouble. I’d run out of options and as ‘Bad Barbara’ (Gordon’s wife) walked past on her way to the car I was already fishing my edge peg, much to her amusement…nobody fishes their edge pegs until a couple of hours from the end of the match. I caught one fish down my long edge, then nothing, so decided to put the light rig on and try to duplicate yesterday’s effort with the skimmers. After 5 minutes a slight indication on the float and a minute later it buried…with a very angry 10 lb carp on the other end of the line. That wasn’t according to the script. Fed a bit more GB soup and soon another carp joined it’s mate in my net. Where were the skimmers?, the answer is that I just don’t know, I think I caught 6 skimmers in the end. Switching between my two edge pegs and mostly fishing liquid GB with dead reds or corn on the hook I caught slowly but steadily through the match. I had a totally dead period between 2pm and 3pm where I don’t think that I had a single bite but they came back again for the final two hours. As the final whistle was blown I estimated that I’d got 160 lb. It was a lifetime best for estimating, I’ve NEVER got this close to my actual weight, I weighed in 159 lb for a most unexpected lake win. The overall match winner was Kev Russell from Peg 28 on Pool 1. He caught shallow feeding casters whilst fishing maggot on the hook, then switched to catching in the margin using groundbait and dead maggot for an excellent 269 lbs.

I guess that the moral of this story is hat you should follow Roy Marlow’s advice. Whenever someone asks him how they should fish a particular peg he tells them to do what they’re good at. Glebe fish can be caught by every method under the sun but you won’t be successful trying to do something new just because it worked for someone else last week. That reminds me of a big important match earlier in the year. Journalist and excellent angler Alex Bones was struggling to catch on Pool One. Roy walked up to Alex and gave him the usual advice of doing what you’re good at. And “what’s that?” replies Alex to which Roy says “taking pictures”…cruel…so very cruel!.