2014 WalterLand Masters by Steve Ringer - Part Two
Now for those that don’t know in order to try and make the event as fair as possible the draw is done using a matrix system as per the world champs. By the way don’t ask me how this works as I couldn’t make head nor tail of it but come the end the result was as follows. Will back in A section although at the top end, I was on B28, Davie was in C and Darren D with Martin E. Looking at the draw it was impossible to tell if it was a good one or not so it was purely a case of wishing everyone good luck and getting on with the job in hand!
On arrival at B28 the first thing I noticed was that just two pegs down was the legend that is Tamas Walter. So if things weren’t tough enough to start with they certainly felt it now! Anyway the hooter soon sounded to allow competitors into their boxes so I had no time to dwell on things as I had kit to set up! My rig assembly was exactly the same as Day 1 and yet again whilst I set up a variety of different sized rigs I ended up using just one all match which was the 1.5G Perfect Gloucester. For those who haven’t read Part 1 of this match report I’ll run through the rig again. Mainline was 0.15 Guru N-gauge to a 6-inch hooklength of 0.117 Drennan double strength with a size 16 Kamasan B560 completing the set up. In terms of shotting I had an olivette 24 inches from the hook and two positive number 8 droppers at 8-inch intervals below this. Lastly elastic which I feel was extremely important was blue hydro, this was spot in terms of not pulling out of the weight building carassio and skimmers but at the same time giving me a chance of landing an all important carp should one happen along. The reason I also set up heavier rigs, i.e. 2g was that in practice it had been extremely windy and the venue had towed almost like a river at times so a heavier rig was needed. Of course come match days there was little or no wind and as a consequence any tow was decidedly minimal!
Before I knew it the prebaiting signal sounded and as per Day 1 I potted 20 balls that just fitted in a 250ml Drennan pole pot in at 12.5m. These balls contained 500ml of corn, 250ml dead maggots, 250ml casters plus 125ml’s of joker. Now on day 1 we had waited to see what happened rather than feed at 13m straight away. But after a team meeting the previous night we felt it important to put a ball of soil straight in at 13m to ensure a fast start, so that’s exactly what I did.
So when the hooter sounded it was straight out to 13m with a bunch of 5 bloodworms on the hook. I swung the rig out, let it settle and the float just kept on going and carassio number one was soon in the net. In fact the first three put in's produced 3 carassio before the swim went quiet. Time to top up I thought so in went another ball of soil and back out went the rig. Only this time nothing happened, in fact ten minutes went by and still no bites or even indications. I was now faced with a dilemma, should I top up again or not? I felt I needed to make something happen but practice on the venue told me that if you didn’t catch after topping up then doing so again could prove fatal. With this in mind I decided to give myself another five minutes and have a look past my top up feed. To achieve this I just sat further forward on my box which put me around 25-30cm past where I had been fishing. This produced an instant response and I quickly put two small skimmers and a big carassio in the net before again the swim went quiet. Looking around it seemed slow everywhere so it was just a case of getting my head down and putting fish in the net on a regular basis.
The next ninety minutes went really well, by topping up at 13m but then sitting forward to fish past the bait I was able to catch steadily, with a couple of small stocky carp even putting in an appearance. Best hookbait seemed to be two dead red maggots although a bunch of bloodworm always seemed to produced a bite when all else failed.
It was on the 2-hour mark though when the float buried and I struck into something which definitely wasn’t a carassio! It went off at 100mph to the left before heading out towards the buoys. The blue hydro just kept stretching though and before long the fish turned and headed back towards me. The only problem though was that it was coming back a long way to my right and with the pegs being just 13m apart it became apparent there was a real danger it could tangle with the angler on the next peg and if this happened it wouldn’t count. Fearing the worst I piled on the pressure and eventually the fish started to come back, throughout this time I was watching the anglers float on the next peg convinced it was going to go under with my fish but thankfully it never did! Eventually I got the fish back in front of me and under relative control, it was obviously a decent carp and with little being caught I decided to take my time with it and make sure it went in the net. One of the problems playing fish on the rowing course was a wire mesh on the inside, this was there to stop bank erosion but at the same time created a ledge which if the carp touched meant that the line parted like cotton. With this in mind I was therefore reluctant to let the carp come in close so opted instead to play it on six sections. After what seemed like an eternity and with a large crowd having gathered behind me a decent common around 2.5 kilo popped up and I have to admit when I finally got the net under it the relief was incredible. I have caught a lot of carp in my time but I cant think of many I have played as carefully as that one!
After going back in unsurprisingly it took a little bit of time due to the break whilst I played the carp to get the swim going again. Eventually though the carassio returned and going into the last hour I started to catch steadily when out of the blue the swim just died with 35 minutes to go. I did manage to put a few skimmers in the net by fishing bunches of bloodworm right on top of the soil but the carassio seemed to have shut up shop. Looking around me no one else seemed to be catching either so I was content to plod on.
Five minutes to go!
When the five minute hooter sounded I gave myself a target of catching two more fish bearing in mind any fish hooked has to be clear of the water at the final hooter. A quick skimmer put me on track and I then hooked a good carassio which I promptly lost on the rim of the landing net! Back out again with a bunch of bloodworm and nothing, I don’t know why but something made me think maggots would be better so with just two minutes to go I shipped back and switched to double maggot. Flicking the rig back in the float simply settled and buried, I struck and shipped back as fast as I dare and just pulled and a rather surprised 750-gram common was in the net before it knew what had happened! There was no time to ship back out as before I could do so the hooter sounded!
Being peg 28 in a 28 peg section meant a long wait for the scales but on the plus side it meant that I would know what I needed by the time they arrived. Looking at the board 12 kilo was top and I knew I had that and a bit more. Sure enough when my fish were put on the scales a weight of 20 kilo 530 grams was called out and I had a second section win.
Word soon filtered down that Will had weighed a superb 23-kilo plus to win his and we were looking good as a team. After quickly packing up it became apparent that Davie had managed a solid fourth, with Darren second in D and Martin eighth in E which proved a tricky section both Saturday and Sunday. A quick add up on the points front showed we had again scored 16 points which whilst never going to be good enough to overhaul WalterLand Daiwa was hopefully enough to hang onto second. On the individual front the word was that there were three perfect scores so it had gone down to weight!
Results are in!
When the results were announced individuals were called first with Davie finishing an excellent 13th and Will an awesome 4th having only dropped a point to the end peg on day 1. On a personal note though I had managed to sneak a win by just 260 grams! That last gasp carp had been even more important than I ever could have realized! Next were the team results and after a nervous wait we were eventually called up in second position which to be fair considering we had never seen the venue before and the quality of the other teams was an excellent result. WalterLand Daiwa were then declared the overall winners with an incredible 21 points which in such big sections shows just how dominant they were!
Looking back it was an incredible trip both in terms of the end result and what I learnt whilst I was there! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tamas and his team for their unbelievable hospitality, it really was second to none! Roll on WalterLand 2015...