After last weeks whinge about 'wind problems' I'm pleased to report things have gone far better for me over the last seven days.
Every year, all the staff at Pole Fishing's parent company DHP fish a match for a big silver trophy called the DHP Cup. This years match took place last Wednesday, and was fished on Lake One at The Glebe Fishery in Leicestershire.
I had loads of half bags of groundbait to use up, and had heard rumours of large weights of fish being caught down the edge over it, so I formed my plan around this. I also opted to fish shallow with hard pellets until I could see that the fish had turned up on the edge line.
I had a really slow start, taking only six carp and a few small skimmers in the first three hours. Then I noticed a tail sticking out of the water on my left hand margin! To cut a long story short, I went on to land a further 28 carp down the edge, and had to get up halfway through my catching spell to mix up another three bags of groundbait, as if I didnt pot a full pot in after every fish, I didn't get a bite!
I hadn't a clue how much I had, but when Joe Carass tipped 62 fish on the scales for 224lb, I felt sure I would be second at best. I must have underestimated the size of them though, and was over the moon when my six weighs totalled 247lb! A new PB weight for me, and a new DHP 'Club' record!
Come the bank holiday weekend, and Matt Godfrey and myself were booked on to fish the pairs festival at Little John Lakes. Sadly, Matt had to drop out however, as he found out just a few days before it clashed with his England Youth trial at Packington Somers. All was not lost though, as our friends Ash Clements and Frankie Gianoncelli were planning on coming down and stopping with us and fishing as well, and when Frankie was also called up for a trial it meant that me and Ash could fish together.
The venue fished quite hard compared to usual, but with the fish starting to spawn it was hardly surprising. This played into our hands a little bit though, as both myself and Ash went with a chopped worm approach, which definitely seemed better than pellets over the two days.
We ended up winning the festival with seven points, though we did tie with second placed anglers Dean Jarvis and Steve Beard jr, but beat them on weight. The margin couldn't have been tighter though, there was only 1lb 4oz in it. It just goes to show that every fish counts!
I was particularly pleased to see Dean and Steve do well, as Dean very nearly didn't fish, after his partner had all his tackle stolen out of his car while eating breakfast on the morning of the match. Luckily, it is covered by insurance, but the thieving scumbags who took it certainly spoilt the poor lads weekend. Steve was asked by his dad and fishery manager Steve Beard Snr to step in, and the pair of them very nearly won the festival!
To cap off a good weekend for me and Ash, Matt and Frankie both were selected to represent England at the World Youth Championships in September along with James Dent, Cameron Hughes and Matt Derry. A massive well done to them all, and I just hope that Italy is ready for them!