We made the short drive to our next location, which was peg one on Wild Boar. We had three hours to get set-up and ready until the next forty five hour match was underway. We spent a good ten minutes scanning the water that we had in front of us, looking for any signs of life. The water we were allowed to fish actually looked really good. We had a no fishing bank along the right hand side of the swim, which came out towards the middle of the lake leading up to a narrow and shallow channel. We were hopeful that some of the fish that were at the other end of the lake might end up getting pushed down and we would be the first pair that they come across. It was quite frustrating as we knew that almost all of the fish seemed to be at the opposite end, but you can never be defeated before you start a match. Anything can happen and you have to give it your best shot and keep a positive mental attitude.
We started to unload the damp kit and get set-up again. The tactics for this lake were going to be a little bit different to Heron, as the lake holds a good head of single and double figure fish. We went with the idea of fishing small bits and pieces instead of piling in loads of big boilies, as most anglers would probably do this most of the time. We were almost certain that the majority of anglers in the match would be going with the boilie approach and we wanted to be a little bit different, knowing that if we just caught a few double figure fish then we could finish in the top three or four in the match.
Kev was fishing the right-hand side of the swim towards the open water of the channel. He opted to fish flatbed method feeders with an 8mm Mini Bite pop ups having the idea of using different coloured fluoro’s. As the swim was quite tight I fished both of my rods also to a similar spot just off the point of the reedbed at the furthest point along the margin where the channel opens up at our end. I opted to fish standard rigs but presenting an 8mm Mini Bite on one rod and the other rod with a 12mm white NS1. Both rods were cast out with small PVA bags of mixed pellets, just enough for one mouthful and a better chance of a quick bite.
10:00am soon came around and all of the rigs were out on the spots. All we could do was see how things went, and change if needed we change as the match progressed. Several hours passed and we had nothing showing and no action to the rods. The area was looking devoid of fish, however this didn’t dampen our spirits and we were still hopeful of a bite. Going into the night we stuck to our guns and kept with the same approach. A bit of fatigue started to set in for the both of us, so around 12:30pm we decided to get tucked up in our sleeping bags wishing to wake up to a bit of action through the night.
First light came around and we were up and about looking across the lake looking for any signs. We had been informed two pairs had been catching at the opposite end of the lake as we had expected. One of the fellow competitors on our lake came round for a chat and said the fish were leaping out of the water all over the place down the other end. All we could do was to stay as positive as possible and hope some fish would push down our end of the lake. I made a walk several times along the margin during the day, looking for any fish in the area, but the only ones I could see were right down the other end. By the afternoon nothing had been caught from our end which included some very talented anglers included.
Going into the second night we stuck with the same approach. We made more of an effort to stay awake during the hours of darkness, just to hear for any fish in our water, so we could have a bit of hope. Only two pairs had still caught on the lake so just one fish would have put us in third place. The temperature was dropping rapidly, so plenty of hot drinks and hot food were needed to keep us going. We contemplated doing an all-nighter, knowing the value that a single figure fish could be the difference at the end of the week. However, after forty hours of the match had passed and not a single liner on the rods, we opted to get our heads down again so we could be up in the morning ready for the draw on Fox Lake.
We woke up at 5:00am with not a single bleep on the alarms. I sat over at Kev’s bivvy making a cup of tea and from out of nowhere in the darkness we heard the sound of a plop from a carp putting its head out of the water. This soon lifted our spirits and within minutes we got a rig on the spot where the fish had showed. Kev went back to the club house to do the next draw, whilst I stayed with the rods praying one of them would spring into life! Kev was soon back in the swim with some good and bad news. The good news being he had drawn peg 2 on Fox and peg 1 had won both matches on there. Fortunately all of the fish seemed to be at that end of the lake for the past four days. The bad news was the pair had won two out of two matches respectively and the chances of us winning the whole competition had almost gone before we had even started the last match.
We packed down and also heard another fish had been caught on our lake at the other end, making us finish with joint fourth, splitting the remaining points of all the anglers that blanked. Yet again the heavens had opened and it was time to pack the soaked, mud ridden fishing gear back in to the van.