Alarm set early to get my gear ready for a day on the silvers - not the best of preparation for such a prestige series mainly due to the fact the builders at home are yet to complete the work on my he garage so bits of tackle are everywhere.

Once the usual welcome speech by Clint is out the way it's all systems go and 180 anglers draw for a flier.

I'm last but one to draw in my section,only our own Nathan Watson is holding back behind me. I turn the disc over to reveal peg 39 and I'm fairly happy with this as it means no boat trip. Nathan drew somewhere in the eighties but he's younger and fitter.

When I arrive at my peg I have the maestro himself Mr Andy Powell on end peg 40, instantly I feel that I'm fishing for second in section but at the same time relishing the challenge as this what these festivals are all about for me like I had eluded to in my first blog.......game on.

I decide on a simple plan today to fish for bits on cage feeder 25 at metres and two pole lines at 13 m and 9 m. On plumbing up its very shallow though and with crystal clear water and bright sunshine I not sure we'll catch........Andy also thinks the same too "I don't fancy it today" we're his words.

At the whilstle I feed Six jaffa's five on the long line and one short. Then I cast a medium cage feeder (sides tapped) with a single red tipped with a fluro maggot and it's not long before a small 1oz roach is swung in, several more were to follow over the next 15 minutes, so it wasn't solid by any means but I'm putting fish in the net. Then disaster struck I crack off after catching the tree behind me......So throw the rod behind me and switch to the pole 30 minutes ahead of planned schedule.

The pole is slow, a few bites at depth but I'm waiting too long and the roach are small. I'm analysing how the fish are responding to those early balls of feed and pondering a top up, however I'm fearful it will kill the swim as this as happened many times before, so I hold back and keep putting the odd fish in the net, as even this slow rate is on par with the Powers. I reach a count of 18 small roach and estimate I've a 1lb plus with 90 minutes gone......it's even slower now so I've no other choice but to top up.......10 minutes later and yes I've killed the swim.

I'm forced to set up the feeder again and as I'm doing so I think "these roach are backing off the GB" so I put a small drennan maggot feeder on and cast this over my 25 metre line - very soon I start catching small roach again and it gets better catching a roach every put in. At this point I gauge my weight against Andy's and feel I'm at least on par with him so that's not a bad thing.

The last hour Andy's pole line is getting stronger as the light fades and I contemplate following suit but I'm still catching one a bung and the golden rule is don't leave feeding fish - however I start loose feeding caster over my pole line ready for the switch.

That last hour Andy's roach are decent size fish and I'm certain he's now ahead of me, so with 15 minutes left I switch to the pole and my first roach is the biggest of the day at 6ozs......Argh what a plonker. I catch a few more 2 oz fish and the whistle goes.

The scalesman arrive via boat - and reveal the far side as fished well with big bream caught all along the far side. Andy is first to weigh and he's caught more than I thought tipping 15lbs on the scales, due mainly to them better stamp fish. I tip 10.10.0 on the scales and feel happy with that fingers crossed it's enough for 2nd in section.

Andy - as you do when your a superstar follows the scales down to check if he's won the section. 15 minutes later he's back showing a rare smile (Clint calls him smiler - lol) and reveals that I was fourth in section 😕. Many times I've said these section points are all about small margins and every minute and fish count at the end of 5 hours. I later learn that I was 18ozs short of second.........that was possible and post match analysis feel I should have switched from the feeder to pole when Andy started to catch those better fish.

Still overall I've fished a tidy match and enjoyed it 6 points is not a blow out.
Its my nemesis of a venue tomorrow BOLLINGY so expect this Blog to be a lot shorter 😂.
My good friend Phil Canning was at BOLLINGY today and he's won the lake and tops the leader board, so I've picked his brains tonight............watch this space lol.

AB
image.jpg