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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Shiplate Main Lake, 02 October 2016

Once the early morning mist had cleared we were treated to a last taste of summer, not the best of conditions for fishing but I wasn't complaining as I doubt there will be many more t-shirt days for a few months so I was happy to make the most of it and give the "lucky legs" (thanks Bela) a final airing.

This was my second consecutive trip to Shiplate as I have been roped into their Teams of 3 series supporting Ryan and Mark Radford.  Last Sunday I was on Hawthorns (8) and did ok with 50lbs or so which put me around mid-section but Mark let the side down and we didn't do too well.
The "B-team" consisting of Alan Healey, Matt Taynton and Lionel Legge did a little better coming joint first on the day but beaten on weight.  Saying that though it was hardly surprising having drawn 3 end pegs!

Anyway back to today then and, as ever, the day started with breakfast at Lilypool which came with a healthy tirade of abuse from just about everyone in there but mostly from a certain local celebrity who used to win a lot before Trigger came good so now earns a meagre living from robbing pensioners at the Acorn cost cutters???
Down at the fishery (more abuse) but only nine of us fishing today as Matt Williams had shyed off to go see Bridget Jones at the cinema .... apparently the cinema round his way only shows "chick flicks" on Sundays and it's a big thing for him,  Brian Shanks couldn't afford to go as Ron wasn't booked in and somebody else had a pretty lame excuse but I've forgotten!
Draw done and lo-and-behold, Alan Healey draws peg 15 and Adam Caswell draws 1, so that was the two fliers gone and I grabbed the last ticket which put me on 14.
Not the worst, actually not bad at all, but it meant I would have to listen to Alan "I've only brought a tip rod" and Adam all day!

I had, for once, done a bit of preparation on Saturday night which was good so I set up 4 top kits:
A margin rig for the bush on the left, a shallow pellet rig and two rigs for on the deck at 13m
One for skimmers and the other to take a banded pellet.
Also a pellet wag which I wasn't putting much faith in as it was a bit bright and calm, and a straight lead as I had bought a new 10' lead rod and wanted to christen it.
Bait ... 6's and 8's, micros and a pint of dead reds for the skimmers and down the edge.
(And some for Alan as they don't sell maggots round his way)
For company, but all out of sight, I had former "Silvers Slayer" Lee Waller on 13, Lee Williams on 11 (also slaying silvers) and the Gimp on 9 (no doubt slaying silvers)

I shouted the all-in at 10:15 and potted a small ball of micros / mags at 13m and fired out a few 8's as far as they'd go whilst listening to Alan and Adam "debating" where the boundaries of their respective pegs were and to be fair to Adam he's pretty good at casting round corners.
[Please note that at this point self-confessed venue expert Alan "only brought a tip rod" Healey was still pretty smug after drawing the best peg on the lake]

Out on the skimmer rig with 2 dead reds on the hook and I started catching small 3/4oz skimmers straight away but I stuck with it in the hope that their bigger relatives would move in.  They didn't though and they weren't liking my 10/12 elastic very much so I swapped over to a lighter elastic and that change brought about my first carp which wasn't very big thankfully and came in without too much drama.

Meanwhile the "Silvers Slayer" next door wasn't doing much slaying, Adam had landed a couple of carp from around the corner of his peg and Alan was entertaining the ducks and muttering something about "they're not always there"!
To add to his cheer I hooked and landed a double on the maggot rig but it churned the peg up so I re-fed it and had a go with the lead rod.
That only produced a few liners and knocks from small fish so I gave the pellet wag a go and as expected that never produced either despite the fact that I could see fish coming to the feed.
It seemed as though they were attracted to the noise of the pellets but weren't interested in feeding.
But just as I was about to knock it on the head I hooked a fish that came in like a wet sack and turned out to be a 12lb grass carp (weighed and returned after showing Alan what a 12lb fish looks like)

I gave the wag rod a miss and had a go with slapping a  shallow rig around as there were a few fish cruising around on the pole line and that produced one small-ish carp but it knackered the rig in the landing net so I spent another hour playing around with the mini-skimmers in the hope of ... catching a decent weight of skimmers but it wasn't going to happen with fish of that size so I dumped a pot of pellet on the skimmer line and it started fizzing straight away.

By now we were into the last hour and the Silvers Slayer had stopped whining and started slaying, Pete Uzzell had finally lost the lump he'd snared on a silvers rig and been playing since 11 o'clock, Chris Szakacs had lost a 20lb fish at the net, Lee Williams had started his blog and was writing about how he'd have won the match twice over if he had have fished for carp and Alan had eventually managed to get a few in his net.
I had managed a couple more carp on the ex-skimmer line and then with 30 minutes to go I "hooked" a proper one that took me the rest of the match to land.

Alan was first to weigh and his tip-rod only approach had let him down badly .... 42lbs 6oz
My 8lbs of mini-skimmers pushed my total to 71-9 which secures my place in next years' winners final.
Adam took 2nd position with 57-7 and Mark Radford claimed 3rd place with 49-0
Lee Waller's late run of decent skimmers paid off securing the silvers pool with 15-12 mostly caught on worm in the last hour.

Full Result:

1. Steve Burgess (14) 71-9
2. Adam Caswell (1) 57-7
3. Mark Radford (5) 49-0
4. Chris Szakacs (7) 47-15
5. Lee Williams (11) 45-8
6. Alan Healey (15) 42-6
7. Pete Uzzell (3) 22-9
8. Lee Waller (13) 15-12
9. John Bradford (9) 11-15
1. Lee Waller 15-12

So, not a bad result for me and also a few lessons learned in advance of next Sunday when I'll be back on the same lake ....
Wear shorts, draw some good pegs and take more than just a tip rod!!