Summer Bagging – Jamie Rich

I was back at Sadborow for round six of the Chard AC league and really looking forward to it as the pond was still fishing well and the lowest weight in the last match was over 60lb! Another great breakfast at Millfield café before we headed to Perry St to do the draw. As we had a little way to travel, we would draw first and I was over the moon to see peg 9 was my destination for the day. It’s a great peg and it won the last match with over 112lb, although I was a little concerned that, after it being scorching hot last week, it was now fairly overcast and a lot milder so I wasn’t sure my favoured shallow approach would work today.

After a short drive we reached the pond and the open water pegs were black with fish! My swim looked lovely with loads of carp swimming about and I was sure I’d catch up in the water. Peg 9 is on the outlet and there are loads of features on the inside to the right but I’d also been told it was snaggy so decided on a three-line approach, shallow at 11.5 metres (surprise, surprise!), meat at 5 metres and a margin swim to my left. On the side tray I had 6mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets, 6mm Strawberry Mighty Meat and red maggots.

On the whistle I cupped in a modest amount of meat at 5 metres plus meat, maggots and pellets on the margin line before starting with the up in the water rig. It didn’t take long before lots of elastic was out all around the lake although it took ten minutes before I latched into my first fish, I was feeding pellets and lifting and dropping the rig and started to catch really well, every time I hooked one I’d fire out half a dozen pellets and unship a couple of sections before feeding again and also feed some meat by hand on the shorter line. Pegs 4 and 5 had flown out of the blocks but if the last match was anything to go by, it wouldn’t last.

After an hour I had 11 carp and was doing well but from what I could see everybody was catching and there were carp everywhere. I could see the odd carp at 5 metres when I fed a few cubes of meat so dropped the shallow rig on that line while I fed the longer line and it worked a treat, the float sailed away and another carp was on, if I didn’t get a bite after a couple of minutes I’d go back out to 11.5 metres and several times I didn’t have time to feed before the pole was wrenched round. The second hour was brilliant and I added another 14 carp, I was sure sport would slow up but going into the third hour bites were still coming thick and fast and if the bankside grapevine was to be believed, I had a healthy lead and I started to think a really big weight was on the cards.

By the halfway point I had 35 carp and as they probably averaged 3lb apiece, I had around 100lb with three hours to go! During hour four, sport started to slow and I was having to chase fish around a bit and even mugged a couple but I only added another six fish. There were fish blowing on the five metre line so with two hours to go, it was time to try it where hopefully they’d be lined up, I lowered the rig in and fed a few cubes of meat via a toss pot but the float just sat there! I was still feeding pellets on the longer line so if nothing else, hopefully the rest would do it some good.

I was just about to give it up as a bad job when the float dipped a couple of times before sliding away and a fish was on, I landed a small carp and then missed a bite next chuck and I started to think they were queued up, I missed another bite and then the float just sat there again. I had a brief try in my margin swim with double maggot on the hook but never had a bite so it was back out shallow but to be honest it was a bit of an anti-climax! I did manage to stalk a lovely golden koi/ghostie of around 4lb and added another carp to put me on 44 with an hour to go.

So although it was obvious I wasn’t going to do a huge weight, I was still hopeful I’d beat my biggest ever match weight of 121lb 4oz which has stood for years but the pond had switched off and everybody was struggling now. I tried the short line again but I couldn’t get a bite anywhere and when the all out was called I hadn’t added any more fish in the final sixty minutes.

We started the weigh in with peg 8 who set the pace with 84lb 7oz before it was my turn and after five weighs my total was 120lb 6oz, only my third ever ton although I was a bit gutted as I only needed a pound to beat my best ever match weight! The chap on my left had 91lb 6oz then there was a 45lb 14oz followed by 85lb 7oz and 82lb 8oz and once again the weights had been really close.

Back at the results and the top weights in the other two sections were 68lb 2oz and 64lb, so I’d won the section, lake and match and had a nice pick up of £90. I’ve moved up into third place in the league with three matches to go so fingers crossed for more of the same in the coming weeks.

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Tight Lines

Jamie Rich

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