Russ plays out a margin-caught carp that turned out to weigh 8lb. Sadly, not on a Fish ‘O’ qualifier.
Middy backed Russ Evans continues his quest for a place in the Fish O Final with a visit to Leicestershire venue he’d never seen before…
After a poor draw and disappointing Fish ‘O’ qualifier at Lakeview Fishery I was back up the M1 a few days later heading towards Peatling Pools in the hope of a change of luck at the draw bag.
I had never been to the fishery before but did plenty of research to prepare myself should I get on one of the hot pegs. I arrived an hour before the draw so I could have a walk around to view the lakes. Eight of them were in the match including two small ponds where I was told four and six anglers were going to be placed.
Although the weather was gloomy, it was dry for a change but it did not feel as warm as it should have for the time of the year. When I walked around I was surprised to see that around the margins the water was quite clear especially on A and B lakes. A bacon butty and a cup of coffee later I was lining up with the other hopefuls as the draw started to commence and after 15 minutes I was putting my hand in the bag and pulling out peg A12 which me put half way along the front bank as you approach the lake.
I was drawn next to my Middy Tackle colleague Graham Dack and looking around the lake I could see I was in good company with Phil and Steve Ringer, Andy Findlay and Grant Albutt all close by. Phil got no further than his peg for a look before deciding the corner bay was too cramped with anglers and departed the scene rather sharpish. Brother Steve was four pegs away on A16 and from where I was sitting it looked like he was on top of the next angler. It was very tight with around 25-30 anglers on the lake. Local opens might won with 200lb-plus, but only when a dozen or so anglers were on the lake. Today was different as nearly every peg was in and I started to fear another wasted journey was on the cards. There were fish moving around on top in front of me and Graham but they looked to me to be very spooky manner and when the whistle started they were just cruising about, looking to get out of the way.
The odd fish was being caught but it was clear I was wasting my time. However, I plugged on more in hope than expectation and when Graham netted his first carp of a couple of pounds I was hoping it was going to trigger some action. An hour-and-a-half passed and I was still waiting for a bite as other anglers started to ping out pellets over their wagglers to try and tempt bites. It was not happening.
My first drop-in down the margins saw a dip of the float followed a few minutes later by another. Son I was skilfully guiding a crayfish on to the bank before it fell off. A small roach followed and my interest was finally all but gone. I have never seen so many anglers walking about and the burger van must have done a sizzling trade as there were more bites going on in the car park then on my lake, that’s for sure.
I started to pack up after two hours along with Steve Ringer knowing that I could have spent a whole week on the lake without much joy. Pete Marlow won the match from C12 on the silverfish lake with mostly chub for 45 kilos, well done to him. For me it was a case of drawing the wrong letter rather than the wrong number as I wished I could have exchanged my A12 for his C12, but that’s fishing!
To be honest I feel a good majority of the venues cannot take 130 pegs and catering for numbers is ruining the chances of at least having a day’s fishing. I know we are all after just one place to qualify for the final but when you consider the time and costs plus travelling hours put in by the anglers you would feel that they are entitled to a peg that will offer a chance of a day’s sport. I have no problems with the venues or indeed the organisation of the Fish ‘O’ qualifiers but I do feel 130 is too much and a reduction in numbers should be introduced as I feel in the long run it is doing the event no good at all. I would rather miss out on a qualifier by the random draw process than sit on peg to close to another angler which offers no chance whatsoever of competing. Lessons need to learned!
Roll on Saturday May 26th! It’s my next qualifier at Tunnel Barn Fishery and although my enthusiasm is somewhat dampened I will be giving it one last go as common sense has prevailed distance-wise - I have returned my Woodlands Thirsk ticket back to the Angling Trust; nine hours of travelling and a fuel bill of £100-plus is too much in my book!
Tight Lines Russ Evans
Russ Evans is sponsored by Middy Tackle and Sticky