For the record, I had an extremely torrid day losing countless fish in tug-of-war battles and ended up with a very disappointing 20-odd pounds, a broken top kit, a tray full of empty winders and a badly bruised ego.
Back to today then and I wasn't expecting big weights as we'd had a hard frost overnight and the sky was clear with little breeze.
As ever I waited at the back of the draw queue for the last peg but it was going to be a long wait as Mr Dearlove was also intent on having it so I gave in and drew 2nd last which gave me peg 73 leaving Will opposite on 53 (I think he called me some names).
So much for my plans of an easy day fishing in open water then as this peg is a corner which houses a great big overhanging tree, bugger, more fun and games then!
I had made up a few new rigs with lighter lines and small hooks, a "double bulk" and a standard version, so these were set up to fish in open water at 14m where it was still only about 3 foot deep, and I made up a beefier rig to fish at the same length under the tree.
No lead rod or waggler, much to my disappointment, as I was a bit hemmed in at this end of the lake.
Bait for the day were 2 pints of stunned red maggots (a bit ambitious), 2 tins of meat (also a bit ambitious) and a tin of hemp. I would have mixed up some groundbait but I was still setting up ten minutes after the all-in so that idea was shelved.
For company I had a very confident Mr Dearlove opposite me (after a hushed tactical discussion with Steve Long) and Matt Taynton next door who has a habit of making my life a misery every time I draw next to him due to his superior angling skills.
Starting off then and I fed some maggots and hemp on the 14m line and some meat and hemp under the tree of doom.
During this time the only person to have caught was Keith Ray who had dropped his first lead chuck on a carp's nose but unfortunately that was his last bite for 5½ hours so you could say that was a bit of a "false dawn".
I went out on the open water rig with 2 stunned maggots and within 5 minutes the float shot under followed by quite a lot of pink elastic. Unfortunately the fish went left and I had to go right to get to my roller which was set up to ship back along the bank resulting in the hook pulling out and a source of amusement for my fellow competitors.
Never mind, I re-fed and stuck with it but the next hour only produced two very small roach.
On the plus side, nobody else was catching much and even the silvers slayers were struggling.
Meanwhile Will was chucking a lead down the bank to the other side of my tree and getting a few bites but missing them all so I had a look down there with a piece of meat on the hook and the float never moved .... it wasn't looking good!
So I fed some maggot and hemp down there and went back out in the open water but it was lifeless.
I had been feeding a few maggots close in on both sides but no bites there either.
Elsewhere Matt Taynton had snared a carp on the waggler with maggot and Will had landed one but lost a couple of big fish at the net (I did offer some kind words of sympathy to make him feel better as he looked a bit despondent).
Back under the tree but with a couple of stunned maggots on the hook and the float went under but that battle was short-lived as I got in a bit of trauma trying to break my pole down and everything went "tits up" and the fish was lost.
To rectify this problem I moved my roller further along the bank so that I could ship back without breaking down and this proved to be a good move as I managed to get the next four fish out of the jungle without drama although one of them beat me up under the platform.
Another try out in open water resulted in a repeat performance from earlier and another lost carp.
So back under the tree for the rest of the match, which wasn't long as Will shouted the "all out" at 3 which was a bit odd as we were fishing til 4 but he hadn't altered the clock on his phone.
I managed another carp from under the tree in the last hour and my 4 carp and 2oz of silvers were enough to win on a very difficult day.
It turned out that the whole of the venue had fished hard, the match on Campbell was won with 17lb and Cary was won with 33lbs (I think)
- Steve Burgess (73) ...... 30-5
- Matt Taynton (71) ....... 26-3
- Keith Ray (57) ........... 21-14
- Mark Radford (66) ..... 19-11
- Steve o'Toole (56) ...... 11-7
- Derek Lucas (59) ........ 9-1
- Will / Lee Waller (53/70) .... 8-8
- Ron Hardiman (69) ..... 7-11
- John Bradford (62) ..... 7-8
- and 2 dnw's
- Lee Waller (70) .... 8-8
- John Bradford (62) .... 7-8
Ironically, while we were fishing Liverpool managed to beat Watford 6-1 which was a similar score to the Carp v Will match in peg 53 but I won't go on about it as it can happen to the best of us!
This Sunday I am back at Shiplate for Team Radford in the Shiplate teams of 3, the Psv B-team (Alan Healey, Left-hook Lionel & Matt Taynton) are up near the top and comfortably ahead of us but I will be on the main lake so a £ from Matt Culpin should be a certainty and one from Alan will see me happy!
And finally, Psv are fishing with the regulars at Acorn tomorrow so if anyone needs advice on robbing pensioners give Tony Rixon a ring x