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First Match of the Season!
by Mick Lansdown

It was the 25th March and time for our first club match of the new season.
We formed the club last January mainly because we wanted to enter a team in the Angling Times Clubman competition, but that’s another story.
It was to be fished on the small lake at Ivy House Lakes, which has about 20 pegs. There is a good head of carp, roach, and a few bream and tench and some chub which stay by the island, as there is a nice big bush that they live under. The draw was at 10.00am but Monica and myself had to get down there early because there were two platforms which were a bit dodgy and also because there are no permanent peg numbers on the swims so it had to be pegged as well.

Just as I started, Trevor Wyse arrived and came up to give me a hand, which was just as well as time was running out. I got back to the bait shop, which is where the draws are held to find Monica was already taking anglers pools money. I put the 16 peg numbers in the bag thanked all for turning up, and promptly picked the bonus peg, which was number 6. The draw went well with no moaning - I had peg 1 which was last but one in the bag. This meant I would have the wind in my back. I was happy with that, it is better than it blowing in your face all day. Val Hillier had drawn the bonus peg which the club donates, it is only £20, but with the pools money could bump the winners money to £50 or £60 which is not bad for a small club match.

I helped Monica take her tackle to her peg, which was number 14 just opposite the island and with a cold wind blowing right to left. I told her it would be best to fish the feeder in-line with the island with banded pellet or sweetcorn on the hook. I went back to the car to get my tackle. As I walked to my peg I knew what I was going to do right from the start. Feed pellet, and fish the waggler with pellet on the hook.

I blew the whistle to start the match and watched as all the anglers had their first cast of the day. I went over to Monica just to make sure she was ok, as I got there her rod flew of the rest. Her first cast and she was into a fish already!
“Just take it steady, ” I said as her line was screaming from her reel. The panic on her face was a picture but unfortunately my camera was on my peg as I never thought anybody would catch so early on - that will teach me in future. Unfortunately she lost it after about ten minutes which was a shame because it was a good fish. It never broke her, I think she may have been giving it too much stick and the hook just came out of its mouth. Never mind, she baited up and get it out again!

I walked back to my peg and catapulted three full pouches of pellet out, with two red maggots on the hook. I cast out and waited. Matt on peg 17 started to catch a few roach and perch. Trevor lost a carp but apart from that it seemed a struggle for everyone. After about an hour I had my first carp - maybe a couple of pounds - at least I had caught! Missed a couple of bites, so I went onto the banded pellet I then had another carp so fed some more pellet.
Jo (the owner of the lakes who was fishing peg 10) came round I asked her if she had anything.
“Three good carp,” she said.
Jo can never stay on her box too long, she has to collect the day ticket money from the other lakes as her old man enjoys a nap. He does that every Sunday. He is an ex-farmer and has always done it, old habits die hard!

Val’s husband Derek, had a carp on peg 15, then Trevor had one. Stuart was starting to catch some nice roach and things seemed to be getting better. Sharon was into a good perch…. bless she just loves catching them. Whenever you ask her what she has caught it’s always perch you know, the one and a half ounce jobbies, but this looked like a good one!
Monica got her reward and latched onto a good carp again. However, Jo has caught seven, Derek is in again and so am I with just about 30 minutes to go!
I had three more carp to make it six, but they were small ones not like the ones I had been catching on the Monday before when I was practising. Then I was getting carp around the 7 to 8 pounds mark, but alas not today.

I blew the whistle to signal the end of the match. I started weighing in from peg 17. That was Matt and he had 2lb 8oz of roach and perch, then Frank who had 2oz, Paul had 3oz and my dear wife was next to be weighed with one carp for 8lb 3oz. Derek was next with 11lb 9oz and Jo on peg 10 weighed in with a princely weight of 24lb 9oz. Stuart had 4lb 12oz of roach, Bob Keeping had 1lb 12oz, Val had 6oz - that was a shame because if you remember she drew the bonus peg so that now keeps for the next match.
Sharon on peg 5 weighed in with a very nice perch it was 2lb 3oz, Trevor finished with 5lb 5oz, and poor old Simon had 2lb 5oz. However, I think he needs to be congratulated for that because he fell off his box about halfway through the match. He slipped of the side of his platform, straight into the lake and as you can imagine got just a little bit wet to say the least. He clambered back out and set himself up again, to sit there in the freezing cold in his soaking wet clothes and carry on until the end is that dedication or what! Stupidity maybe but well done Si, anyway! LOL!
Graham had 2oz and I weighed in with 17lb 3oz.

So the winner of the day was Jo Warner with a fine 24lb 9oz, and I was second with 17lb 3oz, third was Derek Hillier with 11lb 9oz and Monica was fourth with 8lb 3oz. Not too bad, all in all, considering the conditions that particular day.

The next club match is on the canal section which has been fishing well but that is not for a few weeks yet. Let’s hope the weather improves a bit.

Tight Lines Forever


1. Stuart Dobson catching one of his many roach for 4lb 6oz.
2. This is poor old Simon before he fell in.
3. Monica with her 8lb 3oz carp.
4. Yours truly with 17lb 3oz.
5. Joe Warner with her winning plate.
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