Tom Scholey tells of a rare spell of luck that has earned him more than his fair share of verbal abuse!
I have been called many things in my fishing career, but a drawbag hasn’t generally been one of them. The pegs that I have been drawing on the Fossdyke Canal this winter has caused this to change however. Since November, I have fished eight matches on the canal. Out of these, I have somehow managed to draw six end pegs and a marina mouth, not bad even by Jon Arthur’s standards!
To my defense, end pegs aren’t always fliers on the Fossdyke, as the canal is littered with trees that tend to hold the big perch that are often needed to win. Plus, the pockets of big roach that have shown up have generally been in the middle of the match length. Still, I shouldn’t complain.
My Midas touch has even rubbed on to my Trentmen team in the Rilmac teams of six league. Understandably, captain Rob Perkins asked me to draw for the team. On the first round, I drew myself an end peg (obviously!) Glen Lawrence an end peg, and decent pegs for two other members of the team. In the second round, I again drew myself an end peg, Glen Lawrence an end peg, and Ian Snowdon an end peg! Needless to say, we are winning the league after two rounds!
To say that drawing is an entirely random act, it is interesting how often good (and bad) draws seem to come in runs. When anglers hit a vein of form at the drawbag, it can often last for quite a while, and likewise when people hit a bad patch it can be very hard to fish (or draw) your way out of it. Angling (like life) is definitely an occupation where success seems to breed success, and some people seem to be luckier than others.
When you think about it, it is quite easy to see why. When you are on a good peg, it is comparatively easy to make good decisions and catch fish. This in turn builds confidence. If therefore, after a sequence of good draws you draw a peg that is not so good, you are more likely to make the best of it as you approach it believing that you can catch from it.
Still it does seem remarkable how some anglers can consistently draw what you would class as form pegs, where as less fortunate souls struggle to pull even one a year out of the bag!
I will always remember a story about how Kev Parkes, something of a drawbag legend in my home town of Sheffield, was asked to pull pegs one to ten out of a bag in order- and proceeded to do just that! As the popular TV commercial says, that’s more than lucky! He must have done something very noble in a past life, to be blessed with luck like that!
No matter how good the peg is, you still have to catch the fish to get results though. There are always those bitter souls whose jealousy calls them to belittle the good drawers of this world, and this is wrong. I remember being on a match at Little John Lakes last year, and my travelling partner Matt Godfrey had been winning quite a lot in the run up to it. He dipped his hand in the bag and drew the peg that had won the previous match. This prompted one of the regulars to comment: “How can you be that lucky? No wonder you are winning all the time!”
Before Matt could respond, another regular churped up with “…. And the more he practices the luckier he gets.” I felt this a very fitting response. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a peg is, the fish don’t jump in the net.
More than ever before, I am happy with how my fishing is going at the minute. Granted, I am drawing well, but I feel I am fishing extremely confidently and getting good results, against some of the countries best anglers.
The Fossdyke has been kind to me, but I have been even more happy with my last couple of results in the Thorne Pairs. Myself and Matt are currently fourth in this 50 pair event, and despite a shakey couple of seasons in previous years, I finally feel that I know what I am doing on the venue.
I haven’t been drawing so well on here, but I’m sure that the confidence gained from good results on the Fossdyke is having an effect on how I approach my pegs at Thorne. I just hope that my newly found drawing arm stays with me for a bit longer!