Arrived at venue around 0830 to be greeted by the usual banter from all the lads. Draw was to be held at 0900 so a quick walk around the lakes to contemplate which lake I would like to be drawn on. With Cyprio and Matchpool being fished today the choice was easy I needed to draw on Cyprio to have any chance at all. The attendance today was well down on Starbeck standards and by 0900 only 20 were to fish the match ( normally 30+ anglers fish the Starbeck matches ) It was decided to put 14 pegs on Cyprio and 6 on the match by only putting 6 anglers on the entire match lake it was hoped that they would be able to compete with the 14 anglers on Cyprio.

Anyway to the draw in went my hand and out came peg 11 on Cyprio at least I managed to pull out a peg on Cyprio. The match was to be fished 1015 - 1615. After unloading the car and walking round to peg 11 I sat on my box and had a look at the water in front of me. To my left was an overhanging tree that went about 9 metres out, to my right was a tree with a load of branches and roots coming approx 3 metres out. In front of me was 2 islands approx 40 yards chuck. I had a quick walk round to peg 12 to have a word with Vince to allocate which part of the islands we were going to fish to. After establishing our boundaries I returned to my peg to start tackling up.

Tactics for the day -
1. Method feeder across to the gap between the 2 islands. Rig for the day was 8lb reel line with a preston 30g inline feeder with a 6lb 3inch hook length lassood 6mm pellet for bait and dampened micros to mould around the feeder as feed.
2. Catmeat line at 9 metres just off the end of the tree to my right. Rig was 4 x 14 Drennan Paste float 0.18 line straigt through to a size 12 PR36 hook. Elastic wise was 17H.
3. Paste line at 11 metres in open water. Rig was 4 x 14 Malman paste float everything else the same as the catmeat rig.
I did consider another line to my right close to the tree but thought it would be more trouble than it was worth because in Cyprio pool there are some right lumps and the thought of trying to keep them out of all the roots and snags set alarm bells ringing.

I managed to be ready before time which is unusual for me but it allowed me time for a quick coffee and fag before the all in. At the sound of the all in I cupped in a potfull of catmeat at 9 metres a potfull of micros at 11 and cast out the method feeder to the gap between the islands. I was going to spend the first 45 mins on the method to see if I could pick up a few fish and then switch to the catmeat line and have the paste line as back up. Antway I started getting liners on the method feeder but afetr 2 more casts and 15 minutes later the tip pulled round and I was into my first fish of the day a skimmer of around a pound. Another couple of casts and the rod arched round with the first carp of the day a nice mirror around 4lbs. Next cast and dissaster, tip flys round lifts into a decent fish only for it to snag me up in some roots next to one of the islands. I anyway after a couple of minutes I had to pull for a break and lost my feeder.

This was on 45 mins so the feeder rod was put behind me to set up again later and out with the pole onto the catmeat line. Baited with a small cube of coshida and another 3 pieces in the tosspot. After around 5 mins the float slowly buries and im in to a decent fish a common of around 6/7 pounds. I caught another 3 fish in the next hour on the catmeat line to give me maybe 20lbs after 2 hours.
The catmeat line started to slow so I went out on the paste line and caught a skimmer about a lb and a lovely commen of around 8 lbs but it was slow going. I was constantly feeding little and often but was only picking up the odd fish here and there by switching between the two lines.

After 4 hrs had gone I set back up the method feeder and spent the next hour getting liners and not catching anything. So for the last hour I decided to pot in 2 full pots of catmeat and sit over it waiting for a lump to have a go. This brought me a few more fish including a tench of around 6 lbs before the all out was shouted.

Now when it comes to guessing my weight I am rubbish so with the weighsling arriving at my peg and the lads asking what I had got I said maybe 40/50lbs. So in goes the first net and 28lbs odd registers on the scale the second net went 15lbs odd giving me 44lb 2oz in total. I was happy with this weight as it is the best weight of the year for me but it wasnt good enough to frame.

I had to shoot off after the match so I dont know the exact weights but the match was won with 85lbs second was 70lbs and there were a few 60lbs backing up. I did notice one of the lads weighing in off the match lake 60lbs so the decision to only put 6 pegs in seemed to have paid off.

I really enjoyed the match today but I can say that about all the Starbeck matches I fish. The banter is second to none and the lads are a good bunch.

To some up the day and after pondering the match and how I fished it I think that next time I will feed a lot more catfood as it seemed to produce a fish after you have fed a potful. Also I think that the paste line could have been a little further out into open water maybe 13/14 metres as Vince in the next peg started to catch a few in the last hour at 13 metres.

Tight Lines

Owen