Today was a trip up to Home Farm near Saffron Walden and, after the last outing in Summer where Phil won with 150lbs, a big weight day was on my mind. This was my first trip back since the depths of winter.
Out of the draw bag came peg 2 for me which I was pretty happy with but would have preferred Peg 1 (Phil's) or over the other side on 7 to 9 (Fred, Mark and Chris). As we were setting up fish were topping everywhere so a good day looked in order, however, it soon became apparent why. Hall Farm's lakes are not the deepest but on plumbing up I found I had around 20 inches everywhere - it was like a giant margin. Time for some adjusting of rigs!!
I had a great start with a 2lb carp on pretty much the first put in on the long pole on pellet but then it went quiet. As the light was pretty bad, making the float difficult to see, and the BBC forecasting a bit of a breezy day (they were wrong it was flat calm for much of the day) I decided to come back a couple of sections. There then followed 3 infuriating hours where I could see fish were near my bait with the plumes of mud they were kicking up but even liners were a rarity. By the mid-way point I had 3 small carp and 2 foul hooked fish lost. All this time I could hear Fred and John getting into a few fish and my chances seemed to be over.
With about 90 mins to go I decided it was margins or bust and, thankfully, they came good but foul hooking and hook pulls were a nightmare with 1 in 2 fish landed. Luckily I had some worms with me after doing a bit of gardening the day before (thank you Jane) and they were heavy enough to help stop some of the problems. At the all-out I finished with just over 36lbs in what was a tight finish with only a couple of fish making the difference.
1st Gary Pickard 36lbs 5oz, 2nd John Todd 31lbs 11oz, 3rd Fred Hunt 28lbs 8oz and 4th David Jones with 22lbs 1oz including 5lbs 3oz of silvers.
Photo is Mark H with a bit of a surprise catch - sorry Mark no instant wins on a BSDAS match.