Well I've done it again, I let the chaps on another web site get me thinking I'm fit enough to fish matches, not that anyone talked me into going. I just had a message from a couple of members asking if I fancied it & against my better judgment I agreed.
It was expected we could perhaps get 10 or 15 interested but that just grew over the weeks to 35 so a decent match was on the cards even if the payout would be small & there was talk of that going to charity.
It was to be fished at Lindholme on Bonsai, it's not a pond I've fished before & I have a club match in September on there so that was really the main reason I accepted the offer to fish.
I had a word with my mate & he thought we should go the Friday before to have a look.
He picked me up about 7am we were in no rush to get there as it wasn't raining but looked very dodgy, when we arrived at the fishery it had brightened up so in the shop for bait & tickets.
We decided Les would fish the pole me on the feeder, not knowing anything about Bonsai we settled in pegs 45 & 44 me in 45.
So pellets soaked I started off with a small scoop feeder with a .15 hook length 18 hook finished off with a banded 6mm pellet to the island & had a good day, until 2pm when it turned torrential with heavy wind & monsoon like rain, it only lasted about 3/4 of an hour but it got everywhere.
I ended up with 50 or so pound but lost a few decent fish.
One thing I decided on was that the day of the match I would fish a small method as there was a feeling going round my head the last hour fishing that a bit more feed would have been better as the scoop I'd used only held a third of the pellets that the small method needed I also thought a small inline back lead might help reduce line bites.

The following Sunday we made arrangements to be at the Stock Yard for 7am for breakfast & meet some of the other anglers who were a good set of blokes.
At Lindholme the match was a few short of those that booked on but we still had 30 anglers, Les & I got there about 8.30 the draw was to be 9.00, this dragged on somewhat with stragglers, the start time was to be 10.00 that was pushed back 15mins.
Anyway we made our draw I picked out 60 it could have been worse I could have been further up the arm, the four pegs I walked from the car was enough for me, I'd still not recovered fully from Fridays effort.
Back to my peg & for some reason I was ready before time was called, that's something new for me recently.
My plan was simply to throw a method all day but to use a 16 hook to see if the lost fish could be stopped no change of tactic just a small method with a banded 6mm pellet hook bait with micros round the feeder with a tiny back lead.
When time was called I was struggling for any indication I went an hour before I had anything resembling an enquiry on the tip, my first fish was nearly two hours in.
I blamed my lack of action on the 16 hook & changed it for a 20 unless the method needed changing to a scoop feeder, but the hook change seemed to work & did get me a few fish but the wind came & my casting went haywire.
The match was fishing poor I doubt the weather helped throwing it down for a couple of hours with the winds again getting up when it rained. Fishing was a bit hit & miss but that was down to my errant casting rather than the fish comming & going my excuse was the wind affected my cast but really it's more than that I normally only cast a short 15mtr to the island at Aston with my feeder, here it was I recon about 30mtr or so, it affects my accuracy with only one hand.
My thoughts were that someone would have around 70lb even though anglers around me were really struggling for bites, & quite a few walking the bank, some even packed up early.
I had Carp from around 6oz F1s to 4lb Carp & expected I had 25lb,At the weigh I ended up second with 26lb 2oz so my guess not far off.

Ist 32lb
2nd 26lb 2oz
3rd 22lb 4oz
I have 2 club matches one in May another in September & if I say I'll fish another apart from them I should burn my tackle.
I really enjoy fishing small matches but they take me too much to get over, sitting 6 hours on my box requires too much recovering for me.