I spoke to Eddie Taylor-Green, who fishes Rolfs Lake an awful lot, about the best way to fish the peg and he told me to fish two lines one straight in front at 5 metres and the other at 3-4 metres along the margin to my left. His other piece of advice was to feed, feed and feed, oh and not to forget to keeping feeding. One other thing he did say was that the fish in Peg 2 were big so I should be prepared. Luckilly I'd just bought some Red Hydro so was ready for whatever they threw at me.
Armed with his advice I was set up with plenty of time to spare and wandered round and had a chat with those close by which included Tony (spamwham), Al, Nick (Neo1) and Terry (Wily). All were really looking forward to what proved to be a great match.
The first couple of hours for me went by with little action apart from a couple of carp early on. They were both good fish though, the first going 13lbs+. the others around me were also finding things alittle difficult although most had caught a few. I kept feeding staedilly, as Eddie had said, and eventually things started to improve. Try as I might I couldn't buy a bite on the margin line but the fish were now queing up at 5 metres. As the darkness fell John, who runs Rolfs, turned on the floodlights which was great for those in their beam but it didn't make a jot of difference to my view so I quickly attached a starlight to my paste float which made all the difference.
With an hour to go I was really motoring and had already passed the ton (the 1st time I'd ever done this at Rolfs) and was looking good for a very big weight. Eddie had been right when he said the fish were big as all bar two of the carp were 'weighers' and I was up and down like a fiddlers elbow back and forth to the weigh station. Tony on peg 40 to my left was suffering and having a real nightmare with fish that kept trashing his rigs whilst Al on peg 4 could be heard moaning everytime I got up to weigh another fish.
By the end of the match I was absolutley knackered and knew I'd caught a big weight. Two of the fish I'd caught went 16lbs and 17lbs 2ozs and went mental when hooked but I have to say I was very pleased with the way my pole handled them armed with the new Red Hydro.
As the scales went round the lake it appeared that a lot of fish had been caught although a few had struggled once the lights went on. Dave the Fish in particular had really suffered and had to go for a walk to cool down as the lights were burning the back of his neck.
Finally the scales reached my peg and when the 'weighers' sheet was added up I'd got 190lbs without the couple of fish in the net. My final total was 202lbs 2ozs, a personal best match weight and of course my first ton and double ton from Rolfs Lake. I was ecstatic...................
It turned out my weight wasn't quite enough to win the match but I'd finished a fantastic 3rd and I knew I'd sleep well tonight even though I was sleeping in the car. Simon E on peg 16 had won the match with 242lbs 4ozs with Steve Wilson on peg 30 finishing 2nd with 225lbs 4ozs ( a new personal best match weight). The total weight of fish caught by the 19 anglers was 2288 lb, an average of 120lbs 4ozs per angler. There were 3 x 200lb+ weights and 9 x 100lbs+ weights so it showed what the lake can do when it gets dark.
I have to say the night match was a great success and most importantly everyone had managed to stay safe and not fall in. I for one can't wait to do it again.
I have to say I've drawn peg 36 before and really struggled so I wasn't looking forward to what the day had to offer but as last night proved I can catch plenty of fish when they are in front of me so there was some hope.
This hope soon faded when after 2 and a half hours I'd caught next to nothing and had to watch those around me bagging. Peter was catching steadilly and I was well behind him whilst Tony on peg 7 was absolutely flying. I remembered what Eddie had told me the day beofre and decided to really go heavy with my feeding and in the last two hours fed 6 bags of pellet. This seemed to work as finally I was getting bites. The trouble was so was Peter and he continued to keep catching well. I thought I'd better take an action shot as he was bound to ask me for some pics for his blog.The fish had taken his some time to land and proved to be a good fish so I took a pic of that too.
By the end of the match I'd only got 4 'weighers' for about 50lbs but at least I'd managed to catch a few. By the time the other few fish were weighed I'd finished with 61lbs. Peter kindly returned the favour and took a pic of my best fish a lovely common of 14lbs which fought like crazy, I'm sure John must feed these fish steroids.