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A little bit of what you fancy does you good....

Oh Todber, shall I compare thee to an autumnal day?

Pretty, isn't it?

It was a misty drive, on what started as a 'one jumper morning', to the Manor. But not before I had endured an awkward moment at the local store, collecting provisions for the days adventure. The nice lady behind the counter greeted me with a cheery 'Morning', and I returned the salutation. "Going fishing today" she said as the eyed my Preston apparel. "I am indeed, Madam", I replied. "At least it's not raining. Mind you, fish like the rain, don't they?". "Well, not really. I know there's lots of anglers that don't like the rain. I don't, because I need some new waterproofs and they're not cheap". "How much are they?" she asked. "Between £200 to £500, or thereabouts"... She turned to the guy behind me, patiently waiting in the queue and said, laughingly, "I'd rather have fish and chips at home!", and they both roared with laughter... After a second or so I mentioned that I didn't keep or eat the fish I catch. All the laughter had been sucked out of the shop in an instant. I swear I heard crickets, and saw a couple of tumbleweeds roll past. They both stared at me as if I had told a global warming joke in a Polar Bears only nightclub... I backed away slowly and they returned to their day without me in it... I remember thinking to my self, 'How bizarre'...

I arrived at a misty Manor to find Pc Bracey aimlessly wandering around the car park, with a puzzled look on his face. "Morning mate" I said. "There's a match on Ash", came the reply. It kind of scuppered the day because the whole point of the session was to get some intel for next weeks blue riband junior event, the senior/junior pairs match. The lake closure was confirmed at the shop and we were resigned to fish on Hillview instead. One of the staff insisted that the approach to Ash was pretty much the same as anywhere else at Todber anyway. So we could still get some decent data for the Shrimps and still keep an eye on the Ash lake match for anything that we might find interesting.

We set up shop on pegs 56 & 57, and set about putting tackle together. Jerry was going to fish on 'the net line' with just a top kit. (For those that don't know, the top kit is the thinnest two sections of the pole that contain the elastic.), plus a close margin line for later.

I would fish a top kit plus two more sections, a top kit plus one section and also a close margin line in shallow water.

Jerry fed sparingly and I filled it in with wetted 4mm pellets. Jerry's approach was definitely better in the long run, although I caught smaller fish faster at the start.

Over on the Ash the match guys were catching on everything they put in, on virtually any method. I kept an eye on them for a good 20 minutes and saw nothing that blew me away. One guy was catching in close to his keep nets, another on long pole shallow. One more was on a short line (4 metres) with paste, one on the feeder on the other side. The last that I could see clearly was using pellets the same as we were... All were catching PLENTY of fish. At the end of their match, paste man admitted to 260lbs, or thereabouts...

Lydia and Mike turned up for a chat and to get rid of some of their grubbier bank notes in the

shop. Big thanks to my pairs partner Faith for my (very) late birthday present and card.

At the end of the day, Jerry and I had a great session. Obviously, we did not weigh our fish, but Jerry can correctly estimate the weight of a fish, held behind someone's back, at 500 metres, with his eyes shut. So I deferred to Mr Reliable for my weight. Jerry used his powers for 64 Carp for approximately 174lbs 5ozs 12 drams, and I had to make do with 125 Carp for a guestimated 300 to 350lbs-ish... Either way, we had gained good intel for next week...

We have a few ideas for 'out of the box' measures if needed, that I will share with you next week in the pre match report. We're going to try and fish there again next week, to get the full picture for you all. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it...

Juniors Sec.

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