Unlike the previous three days, the weather was excellent. No rain, no wind, overcast and no bright sunshine either. The lake was actually like a mill pond all day and it meant you could dot your float down to a pinprick and still see every single indication, even at 16 metres. I think these conditions were the catalyst for the F1s to have a feed and it would be fair to say that the lake fished its nuts off!
I struggled to catch on corn and ended up with over 30lb on maggots and casters. That was predominantly tench and crucians and great fishing in anyone's book. Interestingly, the tench average 1lb or so and seem to be all different shades; some olive green, some extremely pale, others almost black and even an occasional golden variety! They all put up a decent scrap but as it has been so cold I settled on 9 Hollo elastic, 0.08mm to 0.09mm hooklengths and size 18 Gama Black hooks, It's light gear but when the fish are lethargic and heavily fished for it makes all the difference. It also means that if you hook an unwanted rogue carp you will probably only snap your hooklength so you can be back in business again.
My peg was thankfully devoid of carp today – they were all in poor-old Stewart Lister's peg next door! He was thick in the middle of 'carp central' and struggled to avoid them as he only mustered 12lb or so.
Meanwhile, the next two anglers on pegs 5 and 6 were in 'F1 city' with Steve Winter and Jason Le Bosquet absolutely bagging up on F1s all day. Both fished 16 metres with corn and went fish for fish. Steve ended up taking the section with an estimated 50-plus F1s for an awesome 71lb while Jason was just 3lb behind. The other end peg in the section was Steve Hemingray and he also got amongst the F1s to record 56lb. These three weights relegated me to a disappointing fourth in section. Everyone tells me the F1s rarely get caught in any numbers on my peg, though, so I really don't know what I could have done to catch the 25lb-plus of extra fish I needed for another point.
Sod's law, I had drawn a good peg but on a day when the F1s switched on elsewhere. Still, I cannot really knock catching such a colourful net of tench and crucians! Today relegated me to 14th overall so I now need a great result on Trelawney on the last day to make the top 10.