Now do you remember playing football in the street after school or indeed during in school break times. The kick about where the goal posts would be coats or school bags laid on the ground or painted out on the wall. There was an element of getting together and having a laugh added to this mixture was the rough and tumble of competition, the get stuck in factor and of the course the will to win. The back bone of these kick abouts was of course it shear simplicity coupled with competitiveness, Now if there is such an equivalent in the match fishing world well I reckon it ‘s the silvers only match on a Friday at one of my favourite venues Summerhayes. These matches which are held every Friday through out the year and are run by the avuncular Jeff Sparkes. His enormous enthusiasm never wanes and with his jovial character and welcoming personality it always a pleasure fishing these and I will say these knock ups. The numbers that attend these matches varies greatly through out the year. In the summer as you can expect turn out is the highest but as winter emerges and dons it’s cloak of cold and darkness the numbers some what dwindle.
Today this jolly little knock up is being contest by 3 hardly souls Jeff obviously and veteran Bill Hopping one of most friendly and approachable anglers you are ever likely to meet. Oh and yours truly. It was decided owing to the fact that there are just 3 of us that that pegs 12, 13 and 14 on Sellicks lake should be used because it was out of the wind. Cold and bitter it was to. The draw was simplistic the peg numbers where written on bits of screwed up paper.
Now in the world of greyhound racing there is a terminology of the coffin box. This is the trap which is the least favourable. Apparently it’s trap 4. Well at the most simplified of draws Bill had 14 Jeff drew 12 and me had peg 13 slap bang in the middle, the fishing equivalent to trap 4 the coffin box. So I could be deemed to be fishing the coffin peg.
Anyhow saying that I started of okay, I was using pinkie on a size 20 hook and I had 3 small roach in the first hour while Jeff to my right was complaining that he hadn’t had a bite, Although Bill was catching steadily. But as fate would have it Jeff started catching while my swim was dying a death aptly put seeing I am fishing the coffin peg. I went down to a 22 hook but while the 2 guys either side of me stepped up a gear in to show boating mode my swim appeared to be devoid of fish. I must admit I not one to just sit there and hope. I did try different depths and shotting patterns but to no avail.
So came the weigh in and there was a slight problem we had no scales as Pete the owner who was shall we say is the guardian of the scales was no where to be seen. Well Jeff managed to obtain a set of scales and what seemed to be a collapsible builders bucket with handles from some kind carpers fishing the big 8 lake. Owing to the fact that the scales were shall we say rather basic it was not possible to zero the scales so the weight of the fish included the weight of the builders bucket. Oh and the scales only showed kilograms.
|1st||Bill Hopping||6 kilo||14|
|2nd||Jeff Sparkes||4 kilo||12|
|Last||Me||½ lb estimated||Coffin peg 13|
The bait that was used by shall we say the top 2 anglers was 2mm expanders and there was me thinking pinkie would be the answer. Bill told me he used 2 pellets on a size 16 hook.
Well last again Um a certain pattern seems to be emerging.
But never mind there is always next time.