Getting a ticket for the Fisho's is a mission in itself often over subscribed so to see Monk Lakes wasn't sold out was somewhat alarming, eventually it sold out as it remained open.
On the morning there was a distinct lack of the regular faces those hardened Fisho entrants that travel from far a field were not there in numbers, The poor fishing last year combined with some quite silly rules really have taken its toll.
on the morning there were lots of views of where this would be won from, I fancied around 15 to 20 pegs could put me in with a shout, having never fished Puma or Bridges I was hoping for lakes 2 or 3 I joined the queue early and when it was my turn I pulled out 69, not the best peg on the spit by a country mile and given the fact the match was now mostly full of local rods it was going to be hard doing any damage from this peg, I was 3 from the end of the spit facing the shallow bank on lake 2 but being the optimist I was gonna give it a good shot.
Maybe its my lucky day
While im setting up my phone rang, Chris V promptly asked me if i had trodden in dog poo this morning the word had got out that the peg to my left on the end of the spit had not been drawn, this gave me a very good peg indeed I just needed the fish to come down the margin early and I was in with a chance
I set up two margin rigs almost identical using a 0.2 Ackoo caster both with .16 Xceed and one with a 16 b911 and the other a 14 b911 the 16 b911 with a black hydro the 14 with 12/20 maver.
I also set up a Wilkie Chimp type float in 4x14 for the 6metre line with a strung bulk .15 hook length to a 16 b911 and 13h laccy, I don't know what these floats are called but they are awesome a must have float in my opinion that has overcome all the issues with the original chimp.
the method would be micros and corn to my left margin micros and corn to the right and loose feed pellets at 6m I also set up a method and a pellet wagg and decided i would feed 6mm pellets as far as i could on the pellet wagg.
Off we go
A small pot of soaked micros with some meat to my left and the same with corn to my right, a large pot of pellet at 6metres 2 big pouches of 6mm at 35yds and we are fishing, i drop in at 6 metres i work the float and all the baits until i finally get a bite on corn Im half an hour in and just 1 fish in the net a lone 2 pound mirror, then another bite well not really a bite i was looking away and the laccy came out yeah yeah i know but we have all done that another 2lb mirror, after an hour i have 3 fish its fishing poor I turn around and ask Gary Miller hows its going and pretty much the same so I try the margin, i go right first on the corn line and miss bite after bite a few shotting adjustments and i have a skimmer in the net, I guess from this my peg is fulkl of tiny skimmers, feed again and go back on 6m, the second hour produces another 3 carp, Im really disappointed by know 2 hrs gone and just 7 fish maybe 12lb, I try shallow in the margin as like most I have carp spawning in the edge they were crashing about everywhere, half a dozen fast bites but no fish, Im suspecting liners,
3hrs has now past and im getting a tad concerned this isnt right I throw out the pellet wagg I get 5 good F1;s the 2lb stamp in 5 casts and no more bites, i chuck out the method on the same line and nothing.
I noticed the guy on the far side in the corner is catching in the margin so i decide to try the meat line and percevere with it, Im now starting to put a few fish together rewarding the peg with a tosspot full of micros and 4 or 5 pieces of meat every bite or fish, this is starting to work, I estimate I have 50lb now and have gone way ahead of those around me, i check the time and have 50 minutes left not enough time for a comeback but maybe a frame or a section as the guy in the corner peg 90 is emptying it, I start my second net.
Im now sacking up im into a rythm and i dont think i can catch any quicker im now on the size 14 rig and the 12/20 laccy, Fordy and the camera crew turn up and ask how im doing, I reckoned on 65lb he said im in with a shout but knew deep down i was well off the pace due to the poor first 3 hrs.
The whistle goes I net one on the whistle I have out caught everyone i can see including the eventual winner in that last hour, but i know im going to fall well short.
The scales arrived and 80lb was winning the spit I weighed in 92lb and a few ounces the last 50minute net weight in at 46lb 12oz if only i had a first hour one as well
the spit was won with 135lb from the first peg over the bridge its a top peg and had a good angler on it, I was 2nd on the spit and 2nd in the section. from what I hear i was 8th or 9th overall another top 10 thats 6 from 10 now and 2 of which were 3rd's
Im drawing well in this tournament, lets hope moorlands gives me a good en.
The guy on 90 went on to win I wouldn't have give his peg the time of day so a very well done indeed, he caught steady all day and that was the key.
Monk was a very good 2011 Fisho well run lots of room and some good fishing, lets hope it attracts the numbers it has in the past again as it really deserves it.