The welcome by David and Arthur is second to none so on a foggy October morning I headed up the M50 to Harvington. The journey went quite quick, probably because I was on the phone to Luke most of the journey who was himself on the road heading to Hereford for the first of the river wye winter league.
There was the usual faces in the draw que there and after a bacon sandwich I drew peg 38 on Island which I wasn't too overjoyed at as would have rather have been on the opposite side but hey ho that's life so lets set up and get on with it!
I also had my old mate Richy Hoskins to my left so was in good company for the day
My plan today was to keep it simple, I had set up a method feeder on my 10ft Champions Choice Super Bomb casting around 25 turns to open waters as I didn't have an island chuck. Then a 13m pole line and that was it but with two rigs plumbed up for this line.
Normally when the whistle goes, you see every pole on the lake being shipped out with with cupping kits over flowing with pellets but I didn't today. As I was planning to fish the method for most of the match I left the pole line and made about 15 quick casts with the feeder to get a bit of groundbait out there. Once I felt there was a decent enough carpet of bait I started to leave the method out there a bit longer and also started pinging a few 4mm pellets in on the pole line.
I had to wait about 45 minutes for my first fish on the method, which was a F1 around 3lb. Richy also had a fish in the net but he had that on the pole line but not many others around the lake had caught much in the first hour.
As the day went on, the bites did start to increase, and it wasn't long before I was up to 8 fish on the method feeder all caught on a lassoed white 6mm ABC White Lightening Pellet over Krill and Tuna method mix.
Bites were slowing up though and a few were catching on the pole so I decided to have a quick look on that as had been feeding it regularly.
First drop in and the float buried, a nice chunky 1lb F1 was in the net, this was followed by another but then a lost fish that I think was foul hooked.
There was a bit of a lull after that, but plenty of entertainment from the next peg as after playing a decent size Carp right up to the net Richys hook pulled out. I was just getting ready to shout my sympathies over to him when he made a big lunge with the landing net, lifted to see that the carp was in it!!
He said it was skill, but I'm sure it was a fluke!!....more about that later!
I did manage a couple more fish on the pole line but they were sporadic and there was too many quite spells so I went back on the method for the last half hour of the match.
After making around 10 quick casts again, it seemed to spur the fish back into life and I managed another 2 carp in the last 5 mins to finish on 13 fish.
The scales came round and weights were low, Richy weighed in 39lb 4oz and I weighed 34lb exactly so his fluke (sorry skilful) scoop to net that carp had beaten me! Much to his delight I must say!
I ended up in 5th place but a nice day with plenty of learning's to take to the next match there.
1ST MARK HEMMING 80-0-0
Lodge Park Peg 14
2ND NEIL MCKINNON 60-0-0
Preston Innovations Peg 18
3RD STEVE PARTINGTON 50-8-0
Arthur’s Angling Supplies Peg 34
4TH RICH HOSKINS 39-4-0
Daiwa Gordon League Peg 36
5TH IAIN SWANSON 34-0-0
Browning / ABC Peg 38