It was almost a year since I fished a Commercial but the Clubs Christmas Match is our Flagship Event so it had to be done. With 35 booked in for the 40 peg venue it was always going to be tough due to numbers and the cold weather. I had been looking at the recent match results and bread or maggot seemed to be the way to go.
I drew peg 25 and had Mike Pickering on 26 and Paul Nicholls on 23 for company (24 was vacant).
3 rigs were set up.... one for dobbing the bread, one for bottom of the far shelf and one for the middle.
The bottom of the far shelf rig was ok for down by the pallet on 24.
The day was very frustrating with 8 carp lost, 7 were foul hooked so it was a blankety blank cheque book and pen for me. Mike also lost a shed load of foul hookers but did manage to get a few in the net. Paul had a similar experience.
Weights were generally poor as expected but a few noted pegs produced.
Ist on the day was Mike Laird with 53lbs 7oz (peg 5)
2nd was Mike Wilson with 48lbs 4ozs (peg 22)
3rd was Rich Heatley with 38lbs (not sure which peg)
No photo available
Monday 19th - 28th December P & O Cruise Ship Arcadia
So off we went to Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bruge and Le Harve. So nice to be away for Christmas after 38 years working for Royal Mail.
Julie and I just before Christmas Dinner
Saturday 31st December - Clevedon Club Pairs Match Acorn Fishery Paddock Lake.
This match is always a good bit of fun as you don't know who you are paired up with until the draw is done. Louis Jones and I won it last year and the year before I came 3rd with Darren ''Nuddy'' Vowles.
18 anglers were booked in which made it nice and simple. When you drew your peg you could see which other peg your partner was on so there was a lot of similar questions among the anglers...what you got Ive? who's got ......? and so on.
My peg card showed I was on 7 and my partners was on 33 and it turned out to be Mark Bromsgrove who usually picks up where ever he goes. Mark was on a bridge peg and 7 was ok as well. We had a quick chat before we headed off to our pegs.
Most anglers had a vacant peg next to them, I had a lot of room with 6 and 8 being left out. Due to the cold weather I decided to dob bread across, fish the bottom of the far shelf with pinkie and a rig for the middle. All three rigs would be used to search around their respective lines over next to no feed.
Carp Slayer and venue regular Mark Walsh was on 9 and across the other side of the bridge on 40 was another venue regular Mike Owens. Kev Perry was across on the corner of the island on 5. I had a good view of most of the lake from my peg.
Starting off on a double 6mm punch I started searching up on the far shelf. I did get a couple of indications which seemed promising but did not want any foul hookers. I had 3 x No. 10's down the line to a 16 hook and just kept lifting and dropping the bait along the shelf. 10 minutes in and I was playing a good fish which took the bread on the drop. I am not used to carp on the pole so took it steady and won the fight after around 8 minutes. It was a good common around 8lbs. I continued to dob and was soon playing another good fish but it was foul hooked. It did seem like an eternity but I successfully netted it and added another 5lbs to my keep net. Nearing the end of the first hour I lost a fish, think it was hooked in the mouth but too lightly.
I gave the bread line a rest for a while and started working the bottom of the shelf with pinkie. Again there were indications of fish moving but it took about an hour to get a positive bite and carp number 3 was captured.
Mike over on 40 was getting a few fish against the bridge and Kev added a couple fishing right across on 5. Elsewhere it looked very quiet.
I tried the middle 6 meters out and the float did disappear a few times but it was just liners. The middle period of the match was fairly non eventful for me but Kev said Rich Heatly on 21was sacking.
With 90 minutes to go I went back on the bread and shallowed the rig up a few inches to fish further up the shelf as I saw Dom Sullivan on 3 take a couple of fish right over. This proved to be the right decision as I hooked another 5 carp but only landed 3 but they were OK and was happy enough with my performance.
I thought that if Rich was sacking on 21 it would be him and his partner that would win and Mike Owens and his partner would be second (pay out was top two pairs).
The scales recorded my weight as 28lbs 2oz so happy with that and it was the best from 1 to 11 as Scott Smallwood on 12 done 38lbs.
Back in the car park I met up with Mark and he had weighed 21lbs odd so we thought we would be just out of the money.
Rich Heatley did sack up weighing 89lbs and his partner Andy Devereux has 3oz. Mike Owens weighed 32lbs, I though he had more and his partner had about 5lbs so that changed things a bit.
Turned out we did come second so £50 each and a good way to end the year.
1st in the pairs Rich and Andy
2nd Mark and I
Next match for me is Sunday 8th January on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath (Commercial House League Round 5).
Happy New Year to all my readers.