A friend of mine that I occasionally fish with called me to see if I fancied an afternoon match with a small club he'd been guesting with. Now I decided not to fish anymore matches a couple of years ago apart from my own clubs which I get assistance from other members. But with the promise of the first flat peg plus any help I needed with my tackle I agreed.
The venue was Nether Mill at Penistone, it's not a place I've heard of or could find anything about so that made my mind up to fish worm as my main bait with hemp & meat as another choice.
Stuart picked me up at 12 oclock & told me he'd found out the water had 3' in the margin quickly dropping to 7' & it was mostly silvers so that got my attention because if it was to be nothing but Carp I would struggle because any fish more than 3lb takes me far to long to get in the keep net, I'd say it's more stressful for the Carp because they must be knackered before I get them in the landing net.
I didn't draw a peg as I was told I had the first flat peg & was given 13, it looked ok with rushes left & right a small island in front that looked about 12 mtr, though the water looked to have a tinge of colour it was quite clear.
The island was a no for me as 9 or 10 mtr is all I can comfortably manage so decided on both sides plus straight in front at 5 mtr. The margin was indeed 3' ish & I had a couple of rigs that I thought would be just the job some of the Rizov floats that I got at the beginning of the week, the inline RF63 that are a pencil shape with a slim hollow tip & a fibre glass stem in 0.2grm to .12 rig line with 0.10 hook length & a 18 611. The deeper rig was 6' with the same float pattern in 0.4grm with exactly the same lines & hook.
The all in was called at 2.15 to finish at 8.00.
I fed all three lines first with a ball of ground bait with plenty of chopped worm in front @ 5mtr then a kinder cup of worm right then a kinder of hemp + meat left.
An inch of worm on the hook & started on my 5mtr line & after 15 mins of lifting the float body out of the water all I had was one small Perch so a go in the margin was my next move.
With next to no response on worm I put a 3mm cube of meat on the hook & tried the left margin, I felt sure if anything was going to happen it would be instant. yes after 5mins I got the idea I'd been given this swim because nothing lived here.
Back to worm & a try to my right, I had indications from what I thought were small fish because the float was diving under but I couldn't hit any of the bites.
40minutes & one small Perch so I thought my 5 mtr swim would be settled now I'd better have another look there, first drop another small Perch followed by another half a dozen all about 4 to 5 inches long, I didn't know what to think as the pond looked ok but it was noticeable that no fish were topping.
I gave my left margin a look with meat but nothing then a small piece of worm got me a few of the friendly Perch over the hemp + meat but to say that it was mostly silvers was a bit of an exaggeration.
The chap in peg 12 was throwing a small feeder to the edge of the island for no bites & I could see my pal Stuart in peg 16 on the feeder I heard him say he'd lost 3, the last chap I could see appeared to be getting a similar sort of catch to me so I just carried on doing what I was doing hoping for the fish to take pity.
After a few more Perch from the left hand margin another kinder of hemp + meat before changing back to the right. After a couple of minutes I had a Perch of about 4oz followed by the 4" samples then a Roach 4oz as usual the swim died again so a kinder of worm & back to 5mtr, all I could get from the 5mtr swim was the odd Perch either 4" or smaller by this time it was 5.30 I decided to feed a couple of balls gb with chopped worm & leave it till the last hour.
The margins were very slow but at least I was catching. At 6.45 I lowered my rig in the right margin & lifted into a bite that set off like a Polaris missile & after a minute or so it was in the landing net a Bream about 4 lb I had a Roach of a pound & a smaller one 4oz.
I had a look on my 5mtr line but nothing.
At 7.15 it was suggested we ended early & I think everyone agreed, when the scales got around to me 12lb odd was top weight I managed 6lb 11oz for second.
OK I managed second but it's convinced me not to fish matches again because there's no way I can manage to put my tackle away unaided & after the competition has ended people have to put their gear away before helping me, I managed to get most of my stuff wrapped up by the time Stuart came & he got the rest in my carry all before it totally bounced down.
Did I enjoy it yes I did but trying to get my gear away before the rain nearly finished me off, I have one more club match this year at a private pond that holds plenty of Crucians to 2lb that I'm looking forward to but no more.