Thursday, 8 June 2017

Disgruntled - not really my thing

Two years ago, this month, I was invited to join in with an open match at Beaver Fishery. If you read the post from that day, you will see that I was under equipped and lacking in most of the basic skills. Even so I still managed to score well enough to put me in tenth place. I was really pleased with myself and decided to have another go. Over the past two years I have joined in with most of the opens at Beaver, only missing the odd one here and there, due to work commitments. Oh, and I did manage to oversleep on one occasion!

Mostly, the time spent has been enjoyable but recently I have realised I am really not cut out to be a matchman. In two years I have not got any better at it. I have never had that competitive streak. The first few matches taught me a lot. The guys that fish the matches are a great bunch of friendly blokes and made me feel welcome but like anything you have to put the hours in to be any good at it. Most of these guys spend every hour they can match fishing, and a lot of them are out at least once a week and many of them more than that, just match fishing. I don't want to spend the limited time I have to fish, practising for the next match, which is what seems to have happened.

I want to spend more time just fishing for whatever takes my fancy, when and where I like. I am not saying I will not join in with the odd match here and there, because I am sure I will, but for the time being I am going to concentrate on my pleasure fishing, experimenting with bait and expanding my rig making skills, while getting some time in on the pole.

The June Match

This week I fished the match at Beaver. I decided to take minimal gear and to leave my long pole at home. I ended up with a feeder rod, a pellet waggler rigged with a Sodafloat and a 5m tele-pole fitted with a medium strength elastic to cope with the F1s that Jeff's Lake is full of.

The new Sodafloat
The plan was to fish the method feeder to start with and then, as the fish moved up in the water, to pick them off with the Sodafloat. Finally to collect them from the margins in the last hour. Nice simple plan. It started well with the first decent sized F1in the net within the first five minutes. Almost immediately another F1 was hooked. It was fighting hard and I was probably too overenthusiastic. It bumped off. Two more fish were also lost almost at the net. That was it. I must have spooked all the fish out of my swim. I was stuck on Peg 11, which is not my favourite peg but I am not using that as an excuse.

My final catch placed me last - again!
Now I could not find the fish on the bottom, up in the water or anywhere else for that matter. I probably lost more fish than I caught. The fish in the lake are getting a fair bit bigger than they were when I first had a go at this and I have not really taken this into account. I did manage to land one from the margin on my tele-pole but that was it leaving me with six fish, four F1s, one ghost carp and a tiny roach. I was encouraged by the fact that although my weight was only good enough to give me last place, the others were not all miles better than me.

Last!- Well, at least I caught some fish this time
I have fished from the other pegs along this bank and done much better. Except last time, that is, when I managed to blank. That was back in April as I did not make it to the May match due to work commitments.

Around midday I suddenly realised for the first time that I really was not happy. It was not the lack of catch, although that did not help, but I was thinking about my next pleasure trip. I think what drove it home to me that I was not enjoying this was two-fold. First I realised I was forcing myself to practise, or rather not wanting to practise. I don't want to spend days practising for a match when I would rather be doing my own thing. Then at this match, I was pegged next to a young lad who a year ago was catching next to nothing and enjoying every moment. From that day he has spent every spare moment he can practising on this lake and improving his skills to a level far above mine. It is great to see him improve and to see how much pleasure he is getting out of it. For me however, I really do not want to spend that much time just pulling F1s out of Jeff's Lake one after to other to build my match skills.

It may sound as if I am disillusioned because I have been placed bottom in the last two matches I have entered I really don't think that is it. I think I have performed poorly because I have lost my enthusiasm for match fishing and that has affected my preparation and performance on the day.

It is so easy to get swept along with something and end up doing it because it is there, time for a change. I will give the matches a rest for the time being, I have not entered any more at the moment and that means I will be going fishing when and where I want and for as long and short as I want. Great!