23rd July saw myself and the rest of my fishing team, The Musketeers, at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire to compete in the Midlands Final of the Anglian Water Airflo International competition.
Having already qualified via the Midlands Heat it was going to be a tough ask to get through this round and to the International Final. All our other competitors had qualified through the first round so the pressure was on.
Practice days were totally indifferent with high temperatures for the past few weeks and the fish decidedly off the feed more pressure was on. Just to give an idea of how tough it was going to be, the previous weeks Tuesday night boat league broke a fishery record, 22 rods recorded 22 blanks!
Pre match preparation
As we loaded the boats at 9.15am it already felt like a sauna.
9.45am, text alert, Heat Wave warning issued for everyone to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, we must be bonkers thought everyone.
10.00am start saw some relief as we motored out of the harbour and thus creating some breeze.
Drifting onto the North Shore Tower
It was going to be a long day with very few feeding fish found to be around the North Shore Tower. It was going to be a case of grinding it out until the 6pm finish time.
Tactics on the day was the Airflo Booby Basher line fished very deep, around 35′ with boobies and nymphs. A few fish were caught early on then the dreaded quiet period which seemed to go on for hours before it picked up again with an hour or so to go.
Motoring back to the pontoon for the weigh in it was evident not many fish had been caught. A quick head count gave us 16 between the six of us, surly this would be enough.
The results are in
So fingers crossed we did it, second place, pressure off and a place in the International Final.
Then it starts all over again for the final in early October at Rutland Water.
A rag tag outfit, but they know how to fish.