Interestingly I had been plagued with small skimmers which hasn't happened yet this year and was a clear indication that the water temperature had risen. My area on Trio is renowned for bigger than normal stamp F1s so I made a decision to feed heavily with maggots at 6m with a view to giving myself a chance of framing in the last hour and a half.
I switched to maggots long in the deep water which gave me approximately 6-7 F1s and a few silvers for probably 15-20lb which was miles off the pace, however true to form my short line came alive with big F1s and I had the best hour's fishing so far this season - catching 25 for over 50lb. This gave me 72lb in total and the match win with Steve Parry second with 69lb. I had comments at the end that maggots haven't worked this year and why did I fish them. To me this is the essence of match fishing, staying one step ahead of the opposition and being the first to exploit new trends as the fish change and adapt to the weather conditions.
Sunday saw me back at Bradshaws, I drew peg 6 which left me a little deflated as peg 5 and 7 was in and didn’t feel confident of enough F1s staying in this narrow peg with anglers either side. I decided to put in two maggot lines down the middle at angles and one pellet line across although I didn't fancy catching on this due to the wind creating a heavy tow across rendering presentation impossible.
My pellet line only produced two F1s as predicted, my maggot lines slowly ticked over with silver fish and the occasional F1 but to be honest I never felt in contention at any point in the match. I fed heavy with 2 hours to go to try and force some feeding fish into my peg and my catch rate definitely improved but not as much as I had hoped.
At the weigh in I thought I was miles off but it turns out that I was joint 3rd with 30lb 7oz with 32lb winning, the majority of my weight being silver fish. I was disappointed in myself as I didn't give the match my full attention which would have almost certainly given me the win.
All in all, a successful weekend but room for improvement in staying focused!