Charity Pairs Match – Jamie Rich

I always look forward to Barney’s Pairs Open and as per usual, it was well attended, with 18 anglers fishing this year. When everybody had arrived and finished eating it was time to draw, I went up and pulled out peg 3 at Hebditch’s pond for me and peg 7 at Dillington for my partner Justin Charles. He was pretty happy with his peg as he’d won the open off it a few weeks back, my peg was on the far side towards the end and not the best of areas to be honest.

We got out the pond and it took me two trips to get all my kit round to my peg, it was pretty windy for everyone with the exception of the angler on peg 1 who had the wind off his back. I set up two rigs, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for fishing three lines at 10 metres and a Carpa 2 for fishing the margins left and right, both rigs had size 16 Kamasan B911’s to 0.12mm.

On the side tray I had some Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse 2mm micros that I’d soaked the night before with water infused with ‘The Juice’ and corn and dead maggots which I covered with water and gave a good glug of the same. On the all in I cupped in half a pot of micros with a few grains of corn at 10 metres straight out, a full pot of micros and some corn at the same distance to my right and micros and dead maggots to the left before feeding the margins and then starting straight out with corn on the hook. The rig settled and after a couple of minutes, I had an indication which I missed and I thought there must be a few fish there but next chuck the float just sat there!

The two lads opposite me were into fish straight away but I hadn’t seen anybody else catch. I tried corn on all three of my longer lines but no more bites, so I put two dead reds on and went over the maggot/micros line. When the two anglers on my left both had a fish I thought surely it was only a matter of time before I latched into one. I tried straight out and then the right hand swim and after half an hour I finally had a bite and landed my first carp. I then foul hooked a fish briefly but any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared and by the time the first hour was up, I’d only added one more carp.

Nobody was really bagging and after flying out of the blocks, the anglers on the opposite bank had now slowed up. My next two fish came from the middle line and I thought it would be a case of nicking a couple of fish off each line before moving but despite rotating around all three longer lines, I had no more indications and ended the second hour on four fish. I potted in some micros before trying the margin swims but no indications and I didn’t stay there long. The angler in peg 1 had a couple more fish but the lad next door was still on one and it was looking like it was going to be a hard match. Two more fish in the third hour from the right hand line and I thought I was doing okay and gaining ground on the early leaders opposite then I saw the guy on my right land a fish on the feeder and I shouted up to ask how many he had and wasn’t expecting him to say he had twelve as I hadn’t seen him catch up to that point.

Despite trying the other two ten metre lines, the only place I could get a bite was from the right hand line on ‘Juiced up’ double dead reds with quite a few bites coming after I moved the rig slightly. A bank walker said there were quite a few anglers who only had one or two fish so I was doing okay and while he was with me I had another carp to put me on ten. I thought my right-hand neighbour was favourite to win the lake but if I could keep catching odd fish I was still in with a shout of a decent result.

The angler on peg 1 was still catching but I didn’t think there was much between us, I did bump a couple of fish but was fairly pleased when I ended the match on fourteen and thought I probably had around 35lb as they looked 2-3lb apiece. I packed up and walked up to watch the weigh in, the first angler on our side of the lake had 6lb 8oz and then the chap on my right had twenty-two for 28lb 9oz and his carp had been on the small side, I was next and it looked like it was going to be close but after two weighs I was just short with 28lb 1oz and way off with my estimate. Next door 8lb 4oz before the lad on peg 1 said he had nineteen carp and when he pulled his net out, they were decent fish, after three weighs, his total was 42lb 14oz which put him in the lead. We got around the other side and after a great start sport had slowed up for them, the top weight was 24lb 8oz followed by 12lb 13oz and then the weights dropped right off.

Then it was back to the pub for the results to see how our partners had done, it had been hard going for most at Dillington with just 8lb 11oz needed to win the lake. Justin had finished third out there with 5lb 15oz so with a combined score of six points we finished up in third place and picked up some money. The top two pairs tied on three points so it was decided on weight.

Steve and Cindy at the Royal Oak, Ilminster laid on some lovely food for the anglers and it will be the last time as they have sold the pub and the club and all the anglers would like to say a massive thanks for looking after us so well and for all their support. Thanks also to Rob for running another great match and to the Hebditch family for the use of their pond. As always the peg fees are donated to a charity of Harry Hebditch’s choice and this time it was Moorfields Eye Charity, a fantastic cause. Everybody put some money in the collection, including Steve and Cindy and Steve Hurford went round the pub with the charity box which added a fair bit more and the proceeds of the Sunday night quiz also went in the pot and the total raised was £215, just brilliant.

If you’d like to donate to this brilliant cause or find out more about it, just go to the link below

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Tight Lines

Jamie Rich

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