Andy Bennett's Blog - Day Five

Day Five

Bonsai Peg 21

When the last day dawned I was still leading by one point but I still needed to win the section to guarantee the festival. This section had been quite fair on the Monday – 100lb was last but apart from Andy Middleton’s match-winning 153lb off peg 35 I think 120lb was second, so it was a good but close section.

When I got to my peg I found that it was 15m wide, so it was a pole-only job, which was one less decision I had to make. My second one was what bait to use. Normally, I would fish worms for everything, or meat, but my mate tried both of them on the Monday on this same peg and got ‘bitted-out’ by little roach and skimmers so I decided that I was going to fish soft pellets to start with, then change to hard if needed.

Rigs were simple. I found 12 inches across to the far bank, where I planned to use a handmade float tied up on 0.17mm to 0.13mm N–Gauge and a size-16 LWG. I had around 2ft down the edge, where I would fish groundbait and meat on the same lines and hooks. To start the match I shipped over with a 4mm expander pellet and Kindered in some micros. This worked a treat for 40 minutes, I found myself catching a fish every chuck and they were big fish too, from 2lb to 4lb. After 40 minutes I’d got nearly 40lb then, as the peg started to fade, I began to get mithered by tiny roach and skimmers, so I decided to switch to hard pellet straight away. I’d got away to a brilliant start though, so I was still happy enough and after four hours I had put the odd fish in the net and estimated that I had around 80 to 100lb in the net. With two hours to go my across line was really slow but when I caught a fish it was 2lb plus, so they were worth the wait. However, I decided it was time to try the edge, but tench and little F1s were all I had to show for it, so I decided to rest it till the last hour.

I wasn’t really catching much across, so I decided to go back down the edge with 80 minutes to go and try to make it work. I was getting a lot of liners there to start with and I lost four or five fish, which was very frustrating, but as I had a few more fish the peg started to calm down and with 40 minutes left it was solid until the end with all the fish in the 2lb to 6lb bracket. I had a really good last 40 minutes again, putting over 40lb in the net. When the scales arrived Steve Mazza was winning the match off peg two with 140lb, so when I put 195lb on the scales I was shocked. I’d concentrated that hard that I’d lost track of my weight all together and was even more pleased to find out that I’d won the match for the third time in five matches and taken the festival.

I was absolutely made up to win it for the second time, as I love fishing these Lindholme festivals. The fishing’s awesome, Bev and Neil feed you every night after the match for free, and the lads are all a good laugh so to me it doesn’t get much better. The final results are below and well done to my mates Craig Elkin and Jonny Corless, especially Jonny, who travels up with me to these festivals as he’s only 21 and is definitely going to be a top-notch angler in years to come.

The Result

1st Andy Bennett 4pts dropping (2)
2nd Ben Fisk 4pts dropping (3)
3rd Craig Elkin 6pts dropping (4) 2lb more in overall weight
4th Jonny Corless 6pts dropping (4)

On a high from the festival, I decided to stay at my mates Craig’s house, as the following day was the Maver Match This qualifier. I was hoping for a peg between two and six on Oasis or 49 to 63, so when I got 26 it was not what I wanted, but being one off the bend it always holds some resident fish. Ben Fisk drew it in the festival though and I think that 50lb won the section, so I thought I’d only be fishing for section at best. I set one rig up to fish across and a duplicate. The first thing to do though, was to do some gardening across, as they only ever use the odd pegs on this side and my peg had completely grown over. I could see the far bank so after a bit of trimming with the shears I could get into the bank into some shallow water. This is very important when fishing in the height of summer as the bigger fish want to be right up against the bank. If you’re not tight then you will spend all day getting liners and foul hooking fish.

The plan was simple, fishing tight over in one swim all day. It was a very easy match to fish and I ended the day with 68 fish for 138lb. Twelve of them were carp, of which eight came in the last 45 minutes, which boosted my weight massively. So, it was a fantastic week for me. After coming 2nd and so close the week before at Partridge lakes, I was beaten by Andy Geldart by 4lb, I felt my chance had gone but the following day after that I won at Hall Lane Fishery with 108lb and then with five wins and a 2nd in seven matches I was back on a high with a festival win and in a final fishing for £50k. Unfortunately, the Match This final wasn’t too successful. I finished with 17kg, of which 16kg was caught last hour. Well done to Zac Brown on becoming £50k richer; he had 52kg, just pipping the man of the moment Andy Power who was an agonising 940grams short of winning the title again. I felt so sorry for Andy coming so close, but being so young I wouldn’t bet against him winning it again soon.