It was disappointing to have an email from the league organiser Paul Dicks a few days prior to say that due to 4 teams dropping out, the league for this year at least would have to be scrapped due to numbers. However the match on Barston would go ahead as an open still fished to CIPS rules.
The worm and joker was ordered and we'd been anticipating this match for weeks so we went along anyway to fish the open as Barston is such a superb venue for this style.
Luke and I left the valleys early doors to make the eagerly awaited trip up to Solihull and all the talk on the way up was about the tactics for the day (with a bit of sports nutrition thrown in for good measure!).
At the draw and after a lovely breakfast I pulled out peg 12, which was an end peg but on the scales! It was also the shortest walk on the river bank side of the lake so that was a bonus! I had a set plan in my mind on how I was going to attack it today and set up 4 rigs, 2 for a 8m line with a chianti style float, and 2 with a sensas series 18 wire stemmed float with bulk shot on a 13m line.
At the 10min pre baiting, I put in about 10 balls of joker with leam and groundbait on the long line and one ball on the 9m line. To start off I was going to fish caster on the short line hopefully for Roach and skimmers with a view of moving long later on once the long line had settled to pick up the bigger specimens.
After about 10 mins on the short line I hadn't had a bite on caster so quickly changed to bloodworm on the hook and potting in small nuggets of groundbait and joker every put it. This had an immediate effect with it building up to a bite a chuck from Roach. The sport was fast and furious and the more time went on the quicker I was catching them. However as good as this was, a few people around me were going on the long lines and starting to pick up skimmers and bream. Which I couldn't ignore so I came off the roach and went long looking for them myself. I think this was a fatal error as there were no bream or skimmers out there. Or at least I don't think they could get a look in for the Carp! I hooked and lost around 5 big carp on the 13m line and it was getting very frustrating as the silvers didn't seem to be getting a look in.
Had a word with myself and decided to come back in on the short line as I could be flogging a dead horse out there for the rest of the match and not putting very much in the net.
I had been feeding the short line so I was straight back into the Roach as soon as I dropped back in on it. The rest of the match I more or less caught a roach a chuck but was kicking myself really as think I wasted too much time on the long line as the speed I was catching the Roach at, if I'd have kept my momentum for that hour when I went looking for the bream I could have done a good weight of them.
I weighed in 15lb in the end, but felt disappointed as if I'd stuck to what I was doing best, could have added a lot more to that weight.
Still all in all it was a great day and a interesting match, Ed Warren won it with a superb 73lb of bream, skimmers and F1s then there was a few weights in the 50's as back ups. Young Jordan from our team did superbly well from peg 100 to weigh in 50lb for 5th which was a great performance.
Its a shame this league wont go any further this year, as would love to fish a few more events such as this. Big thanks must go to organiser Paul Dicks for all his hard work in trying to get this event going again and hopefully it can be resurrected ready for next year.