Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Second Match...

What a result - I'm happy!
An early start was the order of the day. I did not want to be late as there is only an hour before the start of the match and by the time I have found which peg I have been allocated and set up, that time goes very quickly. This was compounded by a need for diesel for the van and the queue to get in the filling station at 5:45AM! After joining the back of a queue on the M25 caused by "PEDESTRIANS IN THE ROAD" according the the matrix signs, I made it to Beaver in time and joined the back of the queue, to get into the fishery, when the electronic gate opens at 7:00AM. There seemed to be a lot of queueing going on this morning...

The normal run of proceedings is a six hour match in two sessions of three hours starting at 8:00AM. Today, after a straw poll of competitors it was decided to put the start back to 9:00 AM and go straight through. The reason for this is to give competitors extra time to set up and in future, the later start will mean most will get longer in bed. Unfortunately that is not me. If I leave any later than 6:00AM it will take me twice as long to get there. Today that meant a bit of standing around the burger van drinking tea - not a good idea with six hours of no break fishing in front of me!

Fishing from the other side of Jeff's Lake - Good of them to place a nice red, round target for me to aim at
I had drawn peg 15. This is on the opposite side of the lake to where I have fished before so it was all unfamiliar territory. I set up with the intention of working the feeder for the first hour or so and then on to the pellet waggler. The first thing to do was to prepare my method mix. I poured a good amount of my Two Dog Groundbait into a bowl, added some lake water and mixed it thoroughly. This transformed my hands to an interesting shade of yellow from the mixing. I left it to absorb the water while I set up the rest of the gear.

Once everything was ready to go I checked the groundbait mix and riddled it. I also pushed all the trimmings from the punched Bacon Grill hook bait through the riddle. I suppose that makes it two dog and a pig mix... Ten minutes before the start of the match the mix was checked for consistency and riddled again. It makes a friable mix that will hold together when squeezed in the hand but easily broken down again by rubbing it between the hands

The whistle went and it was one quick cast to check distance and clip up. I reeled it back in and put a punched lump of bacon grill on the hair. I then laid the hook and bait in the bottom of a small Preston mould and filled it with the groundbait mix, leaving the bait showing so it will free itself almost immediately it landed.  The first cast landed on the spot. I was planning on giving it my standard 40 seconds and if nothing happened, retrieve reload and recast. However it didn't get that far. I had barely got the rod settled on the rest when the tip bent double and I had a fish on! First F1 of the day. This went on for a while catching two or three in a row then a gap for a while and again two or three at a time.

After a couple of hours I tried out the Red Dog groundbait mix, first with coloured meat and then with corn both plain and the red chilli corn that I used to devastating effect last time out. I even tried plain Bacon Grill... Nothing. I went back to the Two Dog mix with the plain, large punched bacon grill. First cast, fish on. I decided to carry on fishing the method and continued to fish until midday. The bites had slowed so I had a dabble with the pellet waggler. After half an hour I was not getting anywhere so I went back to the proven method mix and bacon grill, and the fish kept coming. Not at the rate I was getting fishing the lake solo but enough to convince me I was going to catch more fish than last time.

The rain that was promised arrived in the afternoon but it was only the odd shower and my new lightweight bib and brace over-trousers and the old cagoule, I have had sitting in the back of the wardrobe, came into their own. The weather dried up and the five minute warning was 'sounded'. At this point I cast out a couple more times and then... Wham! the tip bent double and it was fish on - and for me it was BIG fish on, the largest fish of the day for me, a very nice example of a common carp!

The weigh-in came and the results were posted - 27lb (Pictured right) and seventh place! I was delighted. Second match and I was actually catching fish, more fish than last time and higher in the placings - does it get any better? Well, maybe but that will do for now.

With that I have put myself down for the next one in September. Now you know I said I was not interested in match fishing? Cancel that!