A Match PB! – Jamie Rich

A couple of really enjoyable matches to report on in my latest round up, the first one I was standing in for someone at Perry St Pond and drew a decent peg in the shape of peg 7 and it was a golden peg too!

I got to my peg and as it was overcast I couldn’t see any carp swimming about but I’d still have a go fishing shallow for a bit. I set up an inline dibber to fish 6mm banded pellet at 11.5 metres, a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for the 5 metre meat line and a hand made pattern for fishing up the edge to my right at 10 metres. Today’s side tray had dead red maggots, 6mm meat, Carp and Coarse 6mm pellets & some Special G Gold groundbait.

It was already raining quite hard and looking like being another miserable day, the match organiser got us underway and I cupped in some meat at 5 metres plus three pots of loose groundbait down the edge before starting with the shallow rig and pinging out a few pellets. Exeter Mike on my left started down the edge with bread and had a carp within ten minutes and then added a second quite quickly to get off to a flying start.

I hadn’t had a bite yet but would give it an hour before trying the other lines, there were odd carp being caught on the far bank but it was already looking like it could be hard going today. Just as we passed the half hour mark, my float buried and I had my first carp, it was a decent 5lb fish too. Things got even better when I added a second before the end of the first hour and it was a similar sized fish.

I had two more in the second hour and although not fast and furious, two carp an hour is normally there or thereabouts in these matches. Quite a few people had one or two fish and it was all pretty close. It was still raining and if anything, it was getting heavier and starting to get cold, not ideal conditions for fishing shallow!

The rain was causing problems in other ways too with several people complaining about sections stuck together and one chap even managed to get his cupping kit stuck which was rather problematic! I must admit I had a little chuckle sat there thinking quite smugly that I couldn’t remember the last time I had some pole sections stuck together.

No more indications shallow so when the lad on my right had two more carp to put him on four fish, it was time to try something else so picked up the top two plus two rig which I’d been feeding from the start, baited up with a cube of meat only to find sections four and five very stuck together! I think that’s what they call karma! With that idea out the window, I decided to try on the deck at 11.5 metres and after about five minutes, I had what looked like a really good bite but as soon as I struck, I knew I’d foulhooked a fish, it tore off at a rate of knots and the hook pulled out.

Next put in, the rig had barely settled before going under, the strike was met with solid resistance but it wasn’t doing much, I shipped back carefully and was sure it was a bream but as I got down to the top three it woke up and my bream turned into a 3lb carp! I tried shallow again and foulhooked another carp that wasn’t on long before trying up the edge for the first time, I did have one indication but it just wasn’t happening. Back out shallow and I had two fish in quick succession to put me on seven but there were several people on the same number of fish and the lad on end peg 20 was admitting to eight or nine.

The whistle signalled the end of proceedings and it was all very tight, the scales started at peg 1 and it had been a struggle for most and by the time the scales reached me the top weight was 21lb. I knew I had some decent fish and thought I had around 29lb (four 5lb fish and three at 3lb) but actually weighed 34lb 4oz so they were a little bigger than I first thought. I was still leading with half the anglers weighed and then we got to Les Braunton and his seven carp went 29lb followed by Mark Hollister next door and he had exactly the same weight. I was still leading as we headed down the home straight and then we got to Alan Gage (Picky) who was last to be weighed, in his first net he had some lumps for 23lb 6oz which meant he needed 11lb to win and when he pulled out his second net, it was obvious it was going to be tight but I knew he’d done enough, it was called at 11lb 14oz to give him a total of 35lb 4oz and I missed out on a bumper payday by a pound, well done mate! I still had a nice pick up of £80 for second place.

The following week I booked into the Saturday open at Todber Manor. I’d really enjoyed it when I fished it last year and caught 97lb for nowhere! I got to the venue in good time and paid my pools and got a coffee, the draw was announced and when I opened my yellow ticket I peg 48 Hill View staring back at me, a proper bung hole!

It was already a glorious sunny day and there were fish topping everywhere. I set up a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for fishing corn at top two plus two straight out and another rig featuring a hand made pattern for fishing the inside up towards the point at 8.5 metres and with all the fish moving about, I couldn’t resist setting up my favourite dibber. On the side tray I had corn, dead maggots, Bait-Tech 4mm and 6mm Carp and Coarse pellets plus some softened micros that I’d added some Special G Dark too.

On the whistle I cupped in some micros, dead reds and corn at 5 metres plus the same at 8.5 metres up the edge to my right before starting with a 4mm expander on the short line. I gave it about ten minutes but never had an indication and the guy on my left was into fish straight away on the feeder and I had to try something else. I really fancied having a go shallow so picked up my faithful dibber and banded a 6mm pellet before shipping out to 11.5 metres and started regularly firing out a few 6mm’s while lifting and dropping the rig.

It didn’t take long for the float to bury and I was soon landing a nice 5lb mirror, there were obviously a few fish there as I had another about 4lb next chuck and after an hour I had ten carp between 1lb and 6lb for around 25lb or so. There’s a net limit of 66lb so I reasoned I’d put twenty carp in a net before starting another.

The second hour started well for me with four fish in fifteen minutes and I was bagging but then I hooked a fish that was obviously foulhooked and ran me ragged, I got it within netting range several times and I could see it was hooked in the bum which caused me no end of problems trying to reverse it into the net. It’s always fifty-fifty with foulhooked fish and I was just starting to think I had a chance when the hook pulled and as I’d spent ages faffing about, my catch rate suffered although I still had another ten fish in hour two.

I was still getting some decent carp along with smaller ones and the odd carassio and then I’ve hooked a proper lump, I had it on for ages and when it surfaced it was a big mirror at least 10-12lb and I was pretty much in control with the fish not really doing a lot and then the hook pulled out of that one as well, gutted and just knew that fish was going to cost me.

The wind got up and started to make presentation a bit awkward so I started to feed 4mm’s by hand on my 5 metre line in case it got any worse. Also every time I looked behind me to ship my pole back, the chap behind me on peg 49 was into a fish. I honestly had no clue as to how I was doing, I was catching well and felt I was doing better than the anglers I could see on my left but the blokes behind and on the opposite bank all looked like they were bagging and obviously there were the anglers on Ash and Homeground lakes as well.

I kept expecting sport to slow but the bites kept coming and although not crazy it was steady fishing and after four hours I was up to 39 fish and at this rate I knew I’d beat my heaviest match weight of 121lb which I caught at Coking Farm years ago. Going into the last couple of hours, I started catching some big 2-3lb carassio and they don’t put up much of a fight so my catch rate improved and I was up to 52 fish with an hour to go. I started missing quite a few bites which I think were probably carassio and I did bump a couple of fish including one with five minutes to go. My clicker was reading 66 fish but I had no idea what weight I had as I was in uncharted territory!

As the scales got closer, I had a look at the weigh board and the top weight so far was 121lb odd and I hoped I had a little more than that. My second and third nets went around 90lb between them and then I struggled to lift my first net out, it was called at 65lb to give me a total of 155lb 14oz and my new biggest match weight by some way!

Then the bloke behind me weighed 156lb 6oz (ouch!) and Allan Oram was next and he said he’d had a bite every chuck but had a lot of small fish, after several weighs and going over in one net his total was 177lb 5oz Back at the results, I was hoping I’d done enough to frame but then I heard there were a couple of 180lb plus weights on Homeground and also a 163lb on peg 58 so I won my section and picked up £35. There were also some huge weights of silvers, with Mark Harper setting a new match record of 89lb 4oz which didn’t last long as Dave Roper had 89lb 8oz of bream and skimmers from peg 84 on Homeground – what a venue!

Follow my weekly exploits at www.againstmenandfish.com

Tight Lines

Jamie Rich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.