Back from the North a trip to Blacklands was in order to lift my spirits. The bench peg was selected although the weather was cold and not encouraging with a bitter Easterly wind. The day started slowly and never really got going with the skimmers reluctant to feed and most of the fish being small perch- 32 to be precise, 8 roach, 3 gudgeon and 10 skimmers .
Back to Blacklands on the following Wednesday as a practice for the match I was running on the Saturday. I decided to fish the far end at the end of the island (peg 4 in the match) and tried out a couple of things including dyed micros. A far busier session although cold, saw 37 roach, 6 perch and 16 skimmers come to the net, including a bream of 3lb, making a total of just over 15lb in the 4 hours I fished.
Come the Saturday we had a real drop in temperature with it being -2C when I arrived and the temperature not getting beyond 3C all day. I drew last and was left with peg 4 – the one I had fished on Wednesday, To my left was the “Trawler”, aka Brian Shutler, and I had some other handy anglers in my section on the bench bank. The match started okay with my approach being the usual one of two lines at 10m and starting on the worm. A quick start with some early roach and perch finding the net before it settled into a routine of catch 2-3 fish then wait for a bite. I couldn’t get the fish settled the same as most others, by half way I thought I was doing okay and beating Brian but the pegs on the other side of the island that I could see were catching well as was Mick Rozier on the Bench.
I had a poor fourth hour when Brian began to really motor and despite starting a new line at 13m could not catch him. I ended with 36 roach, 16 skimmers, 8 perch and a gudgeon for 12-10 and section second and 3rd overall with 12-10. Given the way the conditions were I was pleased with the way the match had fished. See below
Peg 1 Chris Rushton 10-7 Peg 7 Andy Cranston 17-11
Peg 2 Mick Saunders 11-4 Peg 8 Peter Gilbert 2-0
Peg 3 Fred Parker 12-5 Peg 9 Ian Spanswick 9-3
Peg 4 Me 12-10 Peg 10 James Carty DNW
Peg 5 Brian Shutler 17-6 Peg 11 Mick Rozier 12-8
The following day fate struck again with the news that my wife’s aunt had unexpectedly died so another visit up North was required as she was an executor for the estate. That was it for the period up to Christmas with us not returning home until late on the 27th. The weather in our absence had been dire with rain and snow but it wasn’t till New Years Eve that I managed to get out – Blacklands again for a short session (barely 4 hours). I decided to fish peg 8 but had taken my back up pole for a change as it was forecast to be wet (wrong as usual!) but had forgotten to put in the cup for the cupping kit as it was a different type to my usual cups!!! So improvising I introduced some chopped worm and pellet via bait dropper and toss potted micros and chop every other put in. I decided to try concentrating on just one line to see how that went.
Third fish was a decent roach of 14oz(weighed) but I decided at this point to change from a doubled 4 elastic to a solid 5. This seemed to work much better and I ended up with 37 skimmers, 15 perch and 8 roach for 13-12. I found worm caused a lot of missable bites but would produce bigger fish, while expander provided a quicker response but a small stamp of fish.
I have a series of three matches coming up that I am running at Blacklands, one in January and 2 in February.