At the all in I fed 6 big potfuls of 6mm Skrettings pellet on the 5 metre line and a couple in the margin to my right and waited for my first fish. Bait for the day was going to be exclusively paste.
Right from the start I was being plagued with strange bites that just lifted and dropped the float without really taking the bait properly. Sometimes the float would just sit under the surface about an inch and stop. Eventually I got fed up waiting for the float to bury and hit a few of the strange bites. However this only resulted in foul hooking the Carp and the net result being a scale on the hook. MicktheChippy was sniggering away to himself in the next peg every time this happened, still at least he was happy. Eventually I managed to snare a decent fish which just came straight to the surface so I slid the net under it. Looking down it was a lovely looking carp and when weighed went 16lbs 4ozs. Eddie was on hand with his camera and took a few shots before I returned it to the lake.
Despite the problems I was having these were nothing compared to Simple on Peg 34. He had like me been struggling a bit and eventually hooked in to a Carp that took him straight under the bushes. Whilst trying to get it free his top three came away from the rest of his pole and just sat their like excalibur. Now Simple may be his name but he's not silly, he knew if he waited long enough Malc would come round and retrieve it for him however before Malc had chance to arrive Mitch on the next peg offered to help and just stripped off to his under crackers and jumped in.
As soon as he was in the water you could hear camera shutters going off from all around the lake, (poor Mitch). Soon enough he'd retrieved the top kit and was helped from the lake by Simple. Alas the fish had long gone.
My day turned out to be a frustrating one with foul hooker after foul hooker coming my way and by the end of the match I'd got 16 scales sitting on my side tray. I did manage to land 3 more fish and ended with a total of just 56lbs 120zs, not what I was hoping for especially as I'd had my usual £1 side bet with Peter 'Mugger' Morton.
As the scales made their way around it soon became clear that the lake had again fished hard for many, the eventual winner on day one being Dave Moore from Peg 8 with 116lbs 12ozs. More than half the field had however had less than 50lbs so I somehow managed to end up in 9th place. Better than that though was the news that Peter had really struggled from his least favoured peg 13. Recently he's drawn the peg on quite a lot of occasions and I think his heart just wasn't in it. His 39lbs 8ozs meant that after more than 18 months I'd finally won a £1 coin back. Hurrah !!!!!! My partner Tim and I were struggling in the Pairs competition and were in 9th place after day 1, in the lead were Dave Moore and Paul East (nomorelongwalks) with 13 points.
The handing over of the coin was duly photographed for posterity amongst rather a lot of banter from the assembled masses.
The evening was spent like every other year with a fine barbie and the comsumption of more than enough Lager before I finally retired to my car around 1am. I was quite surprised how chilly it felt in the car when I shut the doors and got ready for sleep so looked for my sleeping bag, Bugger, I'd left the bloody thing at home. All through the night I kept waking up probably as I was shivering so much, by the time I finally got to sleep I was wearing 2 sweatshirts, 2 polo shirts, 2 pairs of trousers and a coat and was still freezing!!!!!!!. I woke the next morning around 6.30am still absolutely frozen so decide to get up and see if anyone else was about. A few were beginning to stir so I stopped for a chat with one or two before scrounging a cup of Coffee off of Malc to warm me up. With the draw not for a good few hours I made up some new pole rigs and a couple more balls of paste before grabbing a bite to eat.
The draw for day two was eagerly awaited by everyone and some hoped they would not draw any where near where they had been the day before. Peter was of course one of these, and I could see he was hanging back a bit waiting for a few others to draw before trying his luck. Webbo however had other ideas and said that the bottom pair from day one would draw first. Unfortunately for Peter he and Dirk were in last place so they would be first in the draw bag. With drums rolling Peter dipped his hand in the bag and was pleased to see he'd got Peg 20, then his head seemed to drop when he realised where it was. It was not an area that had fished well of late so it looked like he may be in for another hard day.
My peg for day 2 was to be peg 32, yet another fancied peg, and right next to the car park so a nice short walk.
For company today I had Clive on peg 31, Dave Moore opposite on peg 9 and Gemma "The Minx" Doyle on peg 8.
There are 2 lines to fish on this peg, one at 7 metres diagonally towards peg 9 and the other over the top of the small bush along the bank to my left. At the all in I baited both lines with copious amounts of 6mm pellet and waited. The wait was a long one and 3 hours into the match I was fishless. Mind you I did have couple of scales on my side tray. Clive on the next peg was also struggling.
From where I was I could see Peter and knew he too was having a difficult time, this meant that if I could get a few fish feeding I might just have a chance of taking yet another £1 coin back. John , the lake owner, came round and suggested I feed a lot more along the margin line as this was always good for a few fish late on in a match so I upped my feed rate. Try as I might though I couldn't get anything that even resembled a bite and by the end of the 4th hour I had only 1 fish in the net which I'd caught at 7 metres. Clive by now was picking up the odd fish so there was hope for me yet and not much later I struck into Carp number 2. By the end of the match I'd caught just one more Carp and knew that I'd cocked up yet another flyer.
From what I'd seen Peter had yet again suffered a mare but I wasn't sure exactly what he'd caught so I'd have to wait for the scales to see if a miracle had happened for the 2nd day running.
The scales showed that Gaz Malman had easilly won the match with a fine 165lbs from Peg 37, 70lbs more than the 2nd placed angler which was Methodgob with 94lbs. By the time we reached Peter the others were giving him a fair bit of stick, by the time he'd weighed his fish he was getting plenty more. A meagre 16lbs 40zs was all he had to show for his efforts however I knew I'd not got much to weigh but thought I'd probably done enough. My fish were put on the scales and there seemed to be a sharp intake of breath from everyone following the weigh in, the good news for me was my fish went 19lbs 4ozs. I'd done it, 2 £1 coins from Peter in consecutive matches, unheard of before and unlikely to happen again so I was delighted. Peter took all the banter he received well and congratulated me on my fine weekends work. I've got a sneaking feeling he hasn't heard the last of it yet though.
and after a short while announced that DavetheFish and Alex Malman had pulled back a deficit of 12 points to overtake Dave Moore and Paul East to win the Maggotdrowning.com Pairs Championship for 2009.
The good news for me was I'd somehow managed to secure 2nd place in section by default on day 1 so picked up a little beer money.
As is always the case the weekend was a fabulous success, thanks must go to Dave 'Webbo' Webster for organising the whole thing and to John and Pauline for providing a fine fishery even if the fish didn't really want to play ball.
As a footnote I've managed to work out where it all went wrong for Dave and Paul on day 2,
Paul was obviously totally stunned and confused after his day 1 placing so much so that he couldn't find his peg on day 2 and fished in the middle of a field.
Roll on next year, I can't wait.
My next trip out will be the annual Southern Intersite match at Monk Lakes so keep checking back in for my report on the days events. With any luck my run of luck winning £1 coins from Peter will continue.