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Junior Match at Ivy House Lakes
by Mick Lansdown

Ready for the start!
Well it is that time of the year again for the Junior match and Pete and Jo have asked Simon and myself to run this years match. (Pete and Jo as you must know by now own Ivy House Lakes). I personally could not do it last year as myself and Monica were both at Whiteacres on a well-deserved break, but as normal I was more than happy to do it this year, as it is great to see these young anglers of our future and all the smiling faces.

A few e-mails here and there and a couple of letters and it soon started to take shape, but I must admit I was more than disappointed with the few who let us down (but it would be unfair to name them). Maybe next year we’ll see.

This lad is hooked!
With last years entry of 35, we were hoping to at least get the same amount this year, if not more, we just had to keep our fingers crossed. As we started to get a few names together it was looking very encouraging.

The lake has fished well since the new fish have been put in with several weights of 50lb to 60lb mark and even a few in the 70lb bracket, so all was looking good for the match.

As the prizes started to filter through it was just a matter of making up enough so that each angler had a ‘goodie bag’ so to speak. On the Friday before I had to go and see Brian at Hinders who very kindly let me have 5 big bags of pellet, many thanks for that Brian, Maver sent lots of pole floats and stickers and may I also thank them for their contribution. Leeda kindly donated line, floats, feeders etc thanks to them also. Our own Stephen Lane of Laneman publishing donated two books called ‘Chasing Dreams’ by Tony Miles and View Pack (Paddy) for the camera with accessories, may I also thank you both.

A smile for the catch!
On the morning of the match I had to drop Monica of at the Canal section as she was fishing a Ladies match so we had to get there by 8.30 as the Junior match draw was not until 10.00. It gave us plenty of time to get everything sorted.

After a few cups of tea (kindly made by Jo) I think it was just to warm us up because by now we were all getting extremely wet with the constant rain! Monica made her draw peg 19 so I dropped her off at her peg, gave her a few tips and went back to the bait shop to await the arrival of the youngsters. As they arrived to register they were all given a bait box, floats, feeders etc. etc., and a bag of trout pellets. As they went on their way to their pegs I just thought to myself I wonder how many would still be there at 3.00 with the weather as it was!

Young Gareth Jones wins the match!
Simon and myself went round the lake just before the starting whistle, just to make sure they were all ready. Poor things they were already soaked as the rain just kept falling. Once the whistle went it was just a case of keeping an eye out for anyone who wanted any help.

Some had their mums with them and others had their dads and some were alone, they were the ones that we kept an eye on the most. Instead of Simon and myself walking round together we ‘split’ the lake in half he had one side I had the other.

One young lad I stopped at had a 10 foot rod, 10lb line straight through with a size 12 hook with a single maggot. He was sat on a little stool just big enough for him.
“Any bites yet mate?” I asked.
“Not yet” he replied with a definite response that he would.
“Lets have a look there shall we?”
As with all kids matches it is always a good idea to have some line, hooks, disgorgers etc in your pocket just for times like these. As I could not do anything with his main line I could put a hook length on with a more appropriate hook size, as I was doing this I asked him what his best catch was. His reply was “ One roach”, Boy did I feel for this young lad. I said to him “Well lets see if we can beat that today!”

Nathan Reeves takes second!
On setting his length to just tripping the bottom, a single red maggot on a size 18 with a small ball of ground bait, if that’s what it was, a few maggots thrown in on top the ground bait. He cast his line over the top of the baited area, within seconds his float disappeared, 1 roach if you could have seen his face, with a 1oz roach in his hands, well it was sheer joy!

With maybe a tear in my eye he cast out again the same happened, that was 2 roach on the trot and he was over the moon!!! With just two 1oz roach my job was done I left him to carry on as there were 32 others in the match to keep an eye on.

May I say here what a great shame his mum or dad did not see the delight in his face, hopefully he is hooked for life, I hope so! If there is any PETA members reading this, you cannot take that look away.

Getting back to the match, a few were catching carp some were just glad to be getting roach and as the rain began to stop, the sun started to come through the dark clouds. As I was walking round I was asking each angler if they had caught anything, all of them had bar two, one of them who was on peg 7 had a few bites at the start but now his swim had died. As this young angler was near to the maximum age which is as I thought would have been ok I was wrong again.

Daniel Gould takes third place!
On checking his rig and making one or two adjustments, three small balls of ground bait and a few casters, a single caster on the hook he had a bite first cast and another it was just a case of not fishing in the right place. While I was there he lost 2 carp but did manage to get one out with about an hour to go. So now he was happy. Just one angler blanking now, a young lad on peg 39, time was running out for him and he only had some banded pellet for hook bait. This was going to be a hard task. He, like the angler on peg 7 had bites at the start but had not had any for a couple of hours.

A quick sprint to Monica for some sweetcorn, meat and paste, these might give him a better chance but things were not looking good. He tried some meat and after a few minutes his float shot under but he missed it. Then nothing, so I told him to try some corn then the same thing happened after a few minutes it shot under, again he missed , again a slight adjustment and with a bit of paste on the hook this time. He cast out again his float went under as soon as the paste hit the bottom, and as he struck his rod bent over as the carp he hooked bolted off across the lake. “Let him have some line quick” I said. But no sooner I had said it the fish was gone. It never snapped him the hook just came out. What a shame as it was a good fish, but with only a few minutes left that was the only fish he hooked!

Sheer joy! ...which lasts forever!
On blowing the final whistle it started to rain again, but I don’t think it dampened the spirits of these young anglers as they all had smiles on their faces as we went round with the scales.

Back at the bait shop we started to sort out the results and main prizes with young Gareth Jones winning with a very nice bag of carp for 38lb 14oz, he picked up a camera (thanks Paddy) and a rod bag. Second was Nathan Reeves with 26lb 6oz he chose a rod and a book ‘Chasing Dreams’ (thanks Steve). 3rd was Daniel Gould with 25lb 15oz who picked up a reel and the second ‘Chasing Dreams’ book, and Matthew Wilson came 4th with his 24lb 15oz and he took home a 5 kilo bag of pellets, as did the next 5 anglers down the list.

May I just say a very big thank-you to all who helped in any shape or form!

Apart from the weather a most enjoyable day was had by all. Thanks again.

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