Five Looong Days…

Feel like I’ve been going through a poor run at the mo and not fishing great. Often happens when I’ve got stuff going on behind the scenes and burning the candle at both ends…

First up was the £1,000 match at Tunnel Barn on Saturday and I pulled out peg 23 on Top, which I didn’t fancy one bit, especially with the wind blowing down to the bowl all week. Was going to throw the towel in after two hours, but tried a couple of things and eventually caught a few F1s to give me a bit of food for thought for the forthcoming Masters. As expected, all the weights came from the windward ends and it seems they are even more dominant at the moment with the fish being so moody.

Sunday was the second round of the Matrix Commercial Champs at Larford. I drew peg 15 on Match Lake in a right section of death with Phil Canning and Pete Caton further to my left. With 35 anglers on our lake and the wind hacking towards the other end it was always going to be hard, but none of us realised quite how difficult it would be. After four hours I was comfortably winning the section… but we all know Larford is all about that last hour. Have to hold my hands up and admit I got my edge feeding all wrong, trying to catch on corn and meat while Phil and Pete sacked up on maggots. Phil won the section with 88lb and Pete had 69lb and I limped to a 3rd with just 46lb. 

Big well done to Dave Brown on the win with 120lb off Speci Lake. Only three people broke 100lb and we fished til 5pm, so it’s fished mega hard by Larford’s standards. Without the last-hour feeding spree the weights would have looked shocking! Looking at all the weights online, everywhere’s been funny this weekend with the fish looking a bit full up, making that last hour even more crucial than normal. Proves you’re never out the race til the whistle… if you get it right!

Monday was the first day of the Daiwa Pole Masters at Tunnel Barn Farm and was praying for a narrow peg with lots of cover as that’s where all the fish are at the moment. I ended up on House 30, which is a great peg if they’re in the open water, but the willow tree is 17m away and I got sucked in to fishing the wrong match. Never felt comfortable the moment I sat down and had a terrible day, royally battered either side by Keiran Marsden and Andy Power. 

Ended up with a 4th in section and feeling wounded, but my wife and daughter did their very best to cheer me up. I was up until 1.15am redoing half my tackle and actually turned up to Day Two feeling surprisingly positive. I drew peg 50 on High Pool and fancied it, although all the fluff on the water was going to make things tricky. It’s been coming down off the trees like a blizzard all week!

I kicked off mugging three carp for a quick 15lb before they all disappeared into Mikey Williams peg on flyer 15. Out to the island 17m away I had a couple more carp and F1s on pellets, but it was slow going. Managed to mug one more at 17.5m, which was fun, then had a mega last hour down the side on casters to end up with 98lb and a section win. Phew, was starting to think I’d lost it!   

Day Three we all wanted High 15 as it had won both days, but I pulled out High 23 instead, with peg 15 in my section. FFS! Despite definitely being at the wrong end of the lake I’ve actually had a nice day fishing casters 16m across to a tiny reed bed and down my edge all day. Couldn’t get a bite anywhere else on anything. 

Three of us in a row all overestimated our weights and what I hoped would be 80-90lb was actually 71lb. That was enough for 2nd in section, somehow beating peg 15, but behind Jordan Holloway’s 85lb. He had a good last two hours when my fish fizzled away. Still a nice and busy day, just needed to latch into some of those bigger stamp fish…

So my 1st, 2nd and 4th was enough for 25th out of 128 anglers, so not too bad in the end. The top three overall were Jamie Hughes, Andy Bennett and Jordan Holloway. Three fantastic anglers and simply another level at this F1 bagging game. I think Jamie’s trying to win EVERYTHING this year the greedy bugger! Maybe once he’s completed fishing he will move on to something less challenging for him? 🙂

So, after an epic and knackering five days I definitely need a rest… but it’s the glorious June the 16th today so I’ve actually just spent an early morning hour on the river and caught my target! More on that later… 😉

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