The forecast was good, the sun was shining, temperatures were up and I was heading for Manor Farm in Evesham for the open.
After stopping for the traditional bacon and sausage baguette at Bennetts in Ross on Wye I arrived at a very busy Manor Farm Leisure. There was a few club bookings, my good friend Lee Werret on Ash pool with Chris Cameron doing a feature and so that left us open match angers on Windmill and Boundary Lakes. I was hopeing for a draw on Windmill so was pretty happy when I pulled out Windmill peg 6. It was at the top end of the lake with an island at 13m so all good.
It wasn't the flyer by any means but I was happy enough with that as had no one to my left had side so the island all to myself!
I had planned on three lines of attack, the first down the middle, the second tight over to the island and the third down the edge to my left hand side.
I started off by cupping in some dampened micros and corn out down the track which was about 5ft deep and then went in with a soft pellet on the hook. All was quite for the first few minutes with no indications on my float nor around the rest of the lake. I kept cupping in through the pole pot micros and corn and then it started going under.
My first fish was a skimmer, a nice one though at about 1lb, this was followed by about 5 more of similar stamp. Unfortunately I pulled out of one and the bites vanished as quick as my fish did. I re fed another decent amount and kept varying the hook bait and lifting and dropping but it only resulted in a small carp and one F1. By now a lad opposite was starting to get a few on the pellet waggler so I changed my kits over and went on the long line to the island. There was a small cut out of the island so that is where I fed and fished to, again with some dampened micros and also some 4mm pellets and a few grains of corn.
This line I was targeting the Carp and there are some big ones in this lake so I fished Corn on the hook rather than the soft pellet (although I did rotate a little!). There was a fair depth out there as well and it was only a few inches shallower than down the middle so I used a .4g pencil float with a strung bulk and one no 10 dropped 3" from a size 18 B911. Line wise I was on a 0.12 main line to 0.10 4" hook length. This was connected to a nice and soft 10 hollow elastic on a pulla kit.
This line really came into life after about 10mins of accurately feeding, and I had plenty of bites and fish. Mainly Carp around the 2lb mark with some bigger specimens mixed in and a splatter of F1's for good measure.
The guy opposite was still catching but I had the feeling I was catching him up going into the last hour. Disaster struck however with 10 mins to go, I hooked a decent Carp that took me through a snag and shed the hook which left me struggling with a load of brambles for a few minutes.
The rig was smashed up and it also caused a lot of disturbance over there so with just minutes to go I went back down the edge for a look for the final fling. I had tried the edge at various points in the day and despite frequently feeding it had not had a bite.
I weighed in 47lb which was 2nd on the lake but more than enough to win the section by a country mile and finish 5th in the match. This was rewarded with a £40 Brown Envelope and was pleased with that but a bit frustrated as well, as if I'd got that last fish in and possibly one more in the last 15 mins I could have been a bit higher as it was a very tight match.
Results below taken from http://www.manorfarmleisure.co.uk/latest-news/