Over the years a series of matches has been organised between Talk Angling, Total Fishing, Angling Forums and Maggotdrowning.com. This has become known as the Intersite series and has become a hotly contested group of matches.
More recently numbers have dropped off and not all the matches have been held however the Southern match has always managed to appear in the calender.
And so it was that 40 souls decended uopn Monk Lakes in Kent to contest the 2009 Southern Intersite Match.
For my sins I was once again organising the match and this year it was to be held on Match lakes 1 & 2 and at 9am everyone was eagerly awaiting the draw. As I needed to be back at the Clubhouse early after the match and as I was the Maggotdrowning.com captain I picked Peg 4 on Lake 1 as my home for the day whilst everyone else drew for their pegs.
Matt Love was well pleased with peg 22 on the end of the spit on Lake 1 and to be honest he would be in with a shout of winning the match from there.
My plan for the day was to fish two lines on the pole, the first at 7 metres straight out in front and the other in the margin to my right. I also had set up a pellet wag in case the fish wanted it shallow at distance.
I called the 'All In' and cupped two pots of pellet on each pole line and started firing pellets out on the wag line, about 10 pellets every 15 seconds, to try and get the fish up in the water. 1st cast on the wag and it was fish on, not huge but at around 2lbs it was welcome. Unfortunately it was a loner and nothing else followed and by the end of the first hour Iwas struggling.
By now I had seen a lot of bubbling at 7 metres so tried that line. Again 1st put in resulted in a bite, not a carp this time but a lunatic Barbel of about 1lb. This was soon followed by half a dozen more before the line died. I had continued to fire pellets out on the wag line and there were more fish rising for them so I went back out. After a few missed bites I finally connected with something ablittle bigger, a carp of 5lbs which really put up a fight. I managed about 4 more fish in the next hour before giving up again.
The 7 metre line was still bubbling so I went back there again.
Again it was Barbel that were present and this time there seemd more of them as over the next couple of hours I put 15 in the net, all around the 2lbs mark.
Around me others were struggling and it appeared that Lake 1 wasn't fishing particularly well. I had heard that quite a lot on lake 2 were bagging and it was becoming clear the winner would probably come from there.
Matt was having a mare on peg 22, despite this being a real flyer peg he just couldn't put a run of fish together whatever he tried. To my left Paul Law (Talk Angling) had by now started catching regularly and it looked as though he was doing better than most on Lake 1.
The reaminder of the match was a bit of a struggle for me, I would catch one or two fish before having to switch lines. The margin swim proved worse than useless as all i could muster from there was two tiny skimmers.
At the 'All Out' I knew I would be nowhere near framing as the catch rate of others around me had improved in the last hour. With only 4 in each section (1 from each team) I was hoping to maybe get reasonable points. I knew Paul had beaten me but I hadn't seen the others catching much. Paul was 1st to weigh and put a fine 103lbs-04ozs in the weigh bag, I was next with 54lbs 10ozs. Dave Churchwood from Angling Forums weighed 87lbs 4ozs whilst Brian Jackson from Total Fishing returned a miserable 25lb 4ozs. So I was third in section and that meant 3 points for the team.
The weigh in revealed that indeed Lake 1 had fished hard and Paul law eneded up the winner of the lake. Matt had really suffered and only mustered 47lbs 8ozs from a peg many thought might be the winner.
The final team points are below: