After 2 days practice and a practice match we felt in pretty good shape, our strength is undoubtedly pole fishing and non-stop heavy rain over the last few weeks had seen the venues rise well above their normal levels, what was apparent was that these billions of gallons of extra water had seen the fish move out of the deeper water into shallower depths meaning that there was likely to be a lot more pole fishing in this year’s pairs.
More pole fishing would suit us and that’s exactly what happened going into the final day we were lying in 9th as a pair and I sat in 10th place in the Daiwa cup some 10kg of overnight leader the superb Rod Scott. We had had mixed fortunes over the first 4 days and were probably a little unfortunate to both of been seriously hampered by Pike on day 4.
Day 5 The Final Push
Last day would be all about the draw…. Martin bag and pulled out peg 34! Probably the worst peg in the pairs all week! I needed peg 12 at Connolly’s this had probably been one of the best pegs in the match all week, it wasn’t to be though as peg 8 stuck to my hand! A quick check on the weeks result showed the peg had caught a few all week topped by Pemb Wrighting’s 11 kilo the previous day, we already knew 11kg was unlikely to be enough and decided to just go and enjoy our day and see where it took us. On arriving at the peg there was problem the peg is on an exposed bend and it was getting battered by the wind I set the pole up at 10m while I could hold it without fear of a breakage it was a real physical dual and feeding and presentation would be difficult to say the least! I decided about an hour before the start to see if my 8m whip would reach over the weed short lining as I had on Wednesday match, unfortunately it was about 1m short after much deliberation I decided to try telescoping the 8m section through my landing net handle, far from a perfect fit but it made it just over the weed and rocks 2 rigs were quickly set up on top 4’s breaking down with 5 sections behind me.
After 45 mins on the feeder for about 800g I switched to pole and had a steady run of mostly roach with 3 bonus Hybrids to get me to 80 fish for about 8 kilos with 1 hr 30 mins to go, I could see pegs 12 and 11 catching really well and at this point was not really in the race but suddenly I started to catch Hybrids and big roach these came steadily till the end adding 50 fish in the last 90mins about 40 of these were net fish all taken on single caster on a 1g Keadby loose feeding casters and throwing in the odd ball of GB. My final weight of 21kg 400gm was enough for another county win and 2nd on the day, Martin had done really well to record the weeks best weight of nearly 5kilos from church this helped push us up the leader board into 7th spot and amazingly catapult me from 10th to 1st in the Daiwa cup although its an individual event it had been a team effort all the way. Congratulations to the worthy winners of the Pairs Andy Leathers and Will Freeman.
The Air Whip had certainly come to the rescue this week and first thing on the shopping list for next year is some extensions to take it to 9 and 10 m!
Massive Thanks to Helen Rainsford, Steve Locket and all the boat men and helpers and a huge thank you to Daiwa for their continued support of this fantastic event!
Poles were Air Z’s from 10 to 16m used with yellow and pink Hydro in the south and Orange or grey in the north.
8m Air Whips for short lining in the wind (more of an afterthought than a well laid plan)
Floats were Keadby’s and Gloucesters in wire and carbon stems all on either 0.14 or 0.16 Tournament rig line with Cralluso 2405 hooks from 12’s to 16s.
12 ft SLR’s for fishing 45m plus for Hybrids and bream coupled with TDR long distance reels and Tournament 8 braid and 10 lb Tournament ST shock leaders
11ft Tournament rods for fishing short 20-35m with 4012TDR’s and Braid straight through.
Groudbait for the pole was 50/50 Sensas Gros Gardons and Canal fine Noire and equal parts of Sensas Brown Crumb, Magic and Gros Gardons noire for the feeder.