With the final round of the Summer League being at Patneys on the Sunday I went for a practice on the Thursday and decided to fish just for 3-4 hours but on the other back to last time . I ended up just past the end of the first island in open water and set up a top kit for close in plus another rig for 5-6m. The pattern followed the previous visit with fish coming immediately to the loose fed micros with a banded pellet on the hook (I found this led to more fish being hooked). The average stamp was better than previously and best fish went just over 2lb, at the end of the2 and a half hours I had caught 100 fish – about 35lb and called it a day. I had managed a chat with the owner when he came around for the ticket money and he said that there had been some practicing the day before on the opposite bank and they had been catching bigger fish by fishing 10m+. Another angler with his grandson was fishing a bit further round and when he came up to stretch his legs he was saying he was getting immediate bites on meat – all info that I locked away ready for Sunday.
Sunday came and for once I managed not to draw the scales. I found myself on B4 almost opposite where I had been on Thursday. The weather was not great with rain and wind forecast, indeed in front of me were the hills separating the Devizes road from the A4 London Road to Calne, these disappeared with the clouds and rain shortly after the start and did not reappear until after the end of the match. Interestingly Paul Rice and Lee Pollard, the two in front of me in the league table had both drawn in A section which I could see to my left. The match started and after 10 minutes without a bite it became obvious that it was going to need a change of tactics. A small perch finally succumbed to a maggot on the close line but I needed to swap focus.
Thinking of what I had heard on Thursday I reached for my 11m rig ( a homemade special to 0.14mm and 0.12mm hook length and a 16 B11X) and cupped in a small ball of groundbait, a handful of micros and 10 4mm cubes of meat plus a few grains of corn. After twenty minutes I had a carp around 2lb on expander which made me feel a little better, but I was adrift of Alistair Foreshaw on the next peg to my right (the point) who was caning out small fish on the whip.I decided that I needed to just keep on the 11m line and fed every 5 minutes or so with a pinch of micros and every 40mins cupped in another small ball with meat. The match followed a predictable path- feed, wait 20 minutes, get a bite…I had a couple of better carp of 6-7lb on meat plus a couple more around the 3-5lb and a few of the stockies.
It was noticeable that apart from Alistair and Dougie Foreshaw who ironically was on the opposite point to Ali no one was really bagging. Several people were hooking and losing good fish or playing them for an age! I lost one real beast of a fish that bottomed me out and snapped my B611X hook! A section seemed to be struggling and I had not seen Lee or Paul catch much. The match ended and I was relieved that my fish went 28-10 for a second in section and third overall in the match. As it transpired Paul had had a nightmare with just 12ozs and Lee just over a pound and were well down the section. Back to the pub for the results and eventually it was announced that I had won the individual title by 1point.
August finished with me back at Witherington Farm with Tom and Simon- Simon has started to fish so that he can go with Tom. We plonked ourselves down on 78,79 and 80 on inner (Tom on 80 and Si on 79) Si was straight into fish on a margin whip and after struggling a bit, I lent him my margin pole and he had at least 40lb which was his best day to date, I had some carp across then late on in the margins for my regulation 52lb!
September arrived – but that will be for next time…( Bowood, Pewsey Lake, Thames, Winter League…)