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Monday, 26 January 2015

Emerald Pools, Sapphire, 25 Jan (10 pegs)

Out of an original 16 / 17 that were booked in for this one by Saturday night we were down to 10.
All the usual excuses such as swollen legs, wife's car broke down, bad run on the fruit machines, Ashton Gate etc
But the one that did make me laugh was "I'm going on holiday on Thursday"!
Anyhow it was probably a blessing in disguise as Alan the owner had phoned me a week or so beforehand a bit concerned as a few pegs were, shall we say, in need of a bit of gardening!
Well ok, more like completely overgrown with reeds making some pegs unfishable and others challenging.
In fairness Alan is planning a big overhaul over the next few weeks and hopefully the lake will be transformed by the time we're down there next in March.
Anyways, Mr Rixon had kindly donated a pegging plan (elegantly drawn with a crayon on a paper bag) based on the results from his match down there last Thursday and after ten minutes of communal head-scratching we managed to decipher the treasure map and sort out ten pegs.
Only "problem" though was that two of them were alive with fish, peg 10 which was on the island facing the lodges, and 8 which was at the far end of the reed jungle (and the golden peg).
These pegs were occupied by Lee Waller and Alan Healey respectively so it looked like last week's pound profit would be short lived.
The rest of the lake seemed a bit lifeless in comparison so it looked like it was going to be a 2 horse race between Lee and Alan, and as the payout was to be top 2 overall and 1 silvers pool realistically the rest of us would want to be avoiding carp and targeting silvers instead.

For my sins I had drawn peg 2 (permanent peg 3) which gave me quite a large expanse of open water in front and I could comfortably reach the end of the island at 14m slightly to my right.
Mark Radford was on the other end of the island in peg 1 which for some reason has the name "Wiggets Corner".
I've no idea who Mr Wigget is but I guess he's none too bothered about his fishing but at least it's handy for the bar and the toilet facilities.
Speaking of which they are the tidiest toilets I've yet come across at a fishery so fair play to the owners on that score.
Anyway just around the corner from Mark was Chris Szakacs with a nice looking peg that gave him pretty much all of the back of the island to play with.
And back on my left was Matt Challenger, the silent assassin, who also had an island corner to fish to.

I set up two rigs, one for 13m in open water and one for close-ish to the island (but not close enough to get snagged in any underwater obstacles) where it was 4" shallower and that rig would also do for down the edge to my right but that was a waste of bait so no more on that (as they say in the more popular blogs)!
Bait was a selection of live / expired maggots, casters, soft pellet and corn with some wetted micros for feed.
I was tempted to set up a lead to chuck to the reeds out in front past the islands but time was getting on so on the all-in I fed both pole lines with a little bit of everything and went out on the open water rig.
Matt had opted to go out tight to the island dobbing bread and was soon hauling out tiny roach.
Mark Radford did the same and got attached to underwater obstacles and moaned a lot!
After about 10 minutes I had a bite on soft pellet which produced a nice sized rudd and for the first hour I was kept quite busy with good roach and rudd falling to anything I put on the hook until the bites started to slow and the fish started getting smaller.
So I gave that line a small pot of feed and went over to the island which was a similar story.
By now Matt had landed a couple of small carp in between the blade roach, Chris Szakacs was getting some tidy carp and good silvers and Mark was on his third or fourth rig, fishless and having a moaning competition with Steve O Toole. 
Meanwhile Alan, after catching some quality silvers, was netting a procession of carp and Lee Waller was also doing well as was expected.
Lee Williams, on the other end of the reed jungle from Alan was keeping busy, just how busy you can find out from his own blog here.
Back in my peg and by the halfway point I'd had a few more good roach and rudd plus the smallest carp in the lake before hooking a lump that headed off round the back of the island back towards Lee's peg before the hook pulled.
I had another look on the open water line but it was now dead which was disappointing as I was hoping they'd be queuing up after resting it and I wished I'd stuck on it longer before going over to the island.
For some reason the deeper rig was working better over by the island with a few inches on the deck but I ended up trashing that rig through shipping back a bit over enthusiastically.

I then went through a dodgy spell of bumped fish and missed bites which turned out to be due to a blunted hook.
Then another junior carp went a bit mad and buggered the swim up and after that it slowed right up and I could only get tiny roach come the end.
Chris Szakacs however was having a good last hour and was regularly netting carp and (worryingly) good roach and although I couldn't see him, I could see the end of Lee Williams' pole and there were quite a few silvers attached to the end of it!

The outcome of the match was a foregone conclusion ....
Alan weighed in 99lbs 9oz which also included the top silvers weight of 11lbs which, with being the golden peg as well, meant a healthy payout of £111 (including my £1).
Alan caught mostly on maggot and fed about three pints of the same.
Lee Waller managed 54-3 for second place and Chris weighed in 38-15 for third.
The silvers pool went to myself, by default, with 9-7

A very smug Alan Healey

Lee Waller

Full Result:
  1. Alan Healey (peg 8)* ....... 99-9
  2. Lee Waller (10) ............ 54-3
  3. Chris Szakacs (9) ......... 38-15
  4. Lee Williams (7) ........... 18-2
  5. Steve Burgess (2) ......... 13-15
  6. Matt Challenger (3) ....... 13-1
  7. Mark Radford (1) ........... 6-4
  8. Mike Wilson (4) ............. 5-13
*golden peg

  1. Alan Healey ...... 11-0
  2. Steve Burgess .... 9-7
  3. Chris Szakacs .... 7-11
  4. Lee Williams ...... 5-6
  5. Mike Wilson ....... 4-9
  6. Lee Waller ......... 4-7
  7. Matt Challenger ... 3-10
  8. Mark Radford ..... 3-0

Next week we are back up at Harescombe, I shall be taking a leave of absence for this one so the blog will be left in the capable hands of Mr Szakacs

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