July 18th , Covey four peg 83
Well today was my last chance to fish a big qualifier this year and to be totally honest i wasn’t feeling it due to illness but having paid for the ticket in January i just had to give it a go , i found out through social media the day before the contest that there was 86 anglers due to take part in the match these would be spread over nine lakes Covet 1-6 , Spey , Marsh and Ribbon this would allow us a lot more room than on the normal open matches where a similar amount of anglers would be just on coveys 1-5 and with this in mind i expected some big weights ( i took three nets just in case )
The weather recently had been a bit indifferent with one day it being warm+sunny the next cloudy+rainy ( well it is summer after all ) we had some heavy rain overnight but on the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry with blue skies although a bit breezy , on arriving at the venue i had a quick catch up with a few of my mates that i hadn’t seen for a while and joined the queue there was a smattering of big name anglers but not too many of the Partridge regulars who had no doubt gone to see how Connor Barlow gets on in the Fishomania final at Arena lakes Cudmore .
When it came for my turn to choose their wasnt that many left in the bag but i still managed to find a flyer with peg 83 covey four sticking to my hand and on an open match i would have been more than happy with it but on the big contests the coveys don’t have a good record although with all the room today you just never know , as i arrived at my home for the next few hours in front of me was flat calm with the strong wind blowing down both sides of Covey four and this could give me a problem because all the recent framing weights had been caught shallow with a ripple obviously being an advantage allowing the fish to settle better .
With this in mind i decided to set up ;
Shallow 1ft-2ft-3ft , 0.2 drennan AS3 float with 012 matrix line with a size 20 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was orange matrix .
Margin, 0.4 ruddy float with 016 Matrix line and an 014 matrix hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .
Far-bank , 0.3 joof float with 014 Matrix main line and a 012 matrix hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .
Partridge lakes has a strict six pint limit so i took with me ;
3 pints red and white maggots
2 pints of 4mm pellets
1 pint corn
1/2 kilo of ground-bait
I was ready well before the 11am all in it was around this time i started feeling rough again no doubt down to the tablets wearing off and tackling all my tackle to the peg , as i had done all the hard work getting ready i had the easy part of fishing the match so i hopped my illness would settle down a bit as the day progressed and as the hooter sounded i shipped out to the far-bank where i had early found three flat areas when i plumbed up .After tapping in some 4mm feed pellets i lowered my rig in among it but five minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected so i brought my rig in and re-fed , this time my float had only just settled when my elastic shot out it didn’t take long before a small carp hit the net and i managed another four of them in a forty minutes spell but strangely no f1s.
All the time i had catapulted in a dozen maggots towards my left as close to the ripple as i was allowed and with the lads on both sides of me catching well shallow i decided to follow suit as my far-bank line wasnt really producing how i would like plus if i was going to catch a good weight of fish i would need to get them lined up in the water although for some strange reason i can’t get that method to work on Partridge lakes , with there not being many fish topping in the area i started on my deepest rig and i would go shallower if i began missing bites or foul hooking fish . I kept firing in a few maggots before laying my rig in through them but even though i had fed this line for nearly an hour i didn’t get any indications which wasn’t the response i had hoped for , i tried feeding heavier and changing for a shallower rig but all this produced was the odd Ide there was lots of bubbles coming up from the deck which was a sure sign that most of the maggots weren’t getting eaten on the way down and i hadn’t set up a channel rig up because i felt that the water was too warm for it too work .
I kept on feeding shallow while i went back to my far-bank swim and by working the three areas i had earlier plumbed up i managed to catch a few big f1s but with just over half the match gone i was contemplating packing up early as i was beginning to feel sick and burning up , i decided to put three cups of ground-bait plus one of corn onto my margin and if it didn’t work i would be off home i left it to settle for twenty minutes so i re tried shallow but yet again this only produced a few Ide somewhere quite big although not what i wanted to be catching .
My first try on my margin swim gave me an indication straight away which lifted my spirits and it didn’t take long before my first proper bite this resulted in a carp of around 4lb , the next hour passed in a flash with a big f1 or carp hitting the net every five minutes when the swim started to die on me i just feed with another cup of ground-bait plus corn and i might have drawn in too many fish because i began foul hooking a couple of them which resulted in broken hook lengths or trashed rigs . It took me awhile to get my new rig to work properly ( how often does that happen exactly same float but does not sit the same ) and settle my swim down ,but by going a lot tighter to the bank i began catching again although they was now f1s rather than carp but as the all out sounded i just had time to net a nice mirror , i was kicking myself for not trying my margin sooner because i had a few fish lined up and they definitely wanted to be there with the wind blowing into it but rightly or wrongly i felt that i needed to catch shallow to get a big weight .
I had 36 fish on my clicker and reckoned that would get me around 70lb but i would have a long time to find out as i was the last to weigh in on Covey four , Jon Arthur to my right had caught well all day putting 180lb on the scales which is a top weight from that peg and there was plenty weights around the ton mark before they arrived at my peg and 102lb was winning my section , my first net went 48lb which was more than i had thought and I’m usually good at splitting my fish so i figured i might have a chance for the ton but my second net only went 41lb and i ended up just under 90lb and second in section again . As per usual for on here i fished half a good match and couldn’t get them shallow but i should have known the lack of ripple would have worked against me , if i had concentrated on my margin or even set up a swim in front of empty peg 84 i could have caught a lot more but i doubt that by doing it i would have won because Spey had a 215lb weight then another 200lb from Covey three and in fact their was twenty weights over the ton out of the 84 anglers here today plus i had my best weight from Partridge lakes and my second big 80lb of the year .
After the match it took me awhile to pack up my gear as i was physically drained so i will be having a rest for the next few weeks until i can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me starting with some blood tests at the doctors , but i hope that my next outing will be at Weston pools the first Sunday in August .