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Jon Whincup's Year

My first UK Champs Round Up

The month started with my first ever UK champs, an event I had always wanted to fish but never got round to doing it. The first round was at Lindholme, a venue I don't fish a lot but I had just fished a Maver Match This qualifier on it so I sort of knew what to expect.

On the Day Ii drew laurels peg 8 and after a quick call to venue expert Paul Yates that went along the lines of "you couldn't have drawn much worse" I feared the worst. As it turned out the whole lake fished rock hard and by basically grafting shallow on casters for an odd F1 I managed to Nick 3rd in the section with 25 kilo, a result I was more than happy with, Only 35 kilo won the section.

Big match qualifiers: June was a quiet month for the qualifiers and I only fished one which just so happened to be a MMT on my local water Decoy Lakes, the venue I qualified for the Golden Reel off earlier in the year. With about 100 booked on there was quite a few lakes in use and when I drew cedar 23 I wasn't best pleased as i thought this was the only lake you couldn't win off.

To say it was a slow start would have been an understatement with 1 fish in the first hour, but after a lot of looks around and knowing decoy as well as I do I soon realised the whole place was fishing iffy, what with the recent spawning and unsettled weather. I eventually started to put some fish together, mostly barbel down my left edge on casters but I couldn't get another line going. I actually started to think that I might have a chance about halfway through if only I could get 2 lines on the go.

The barbel were 5lb a piece down the edge and it was literally catch 2 for 10lb as quick as I could get in, then rest it for another 2 next time, but like I say I couldn't catch on any other line it was very frustrating. I ended the match with 80lb for a lake 3rd and a section win but left the match quite annoyed as it was only won with 120lb, a weight very achievable if only I could get another line going.

UK champs round 2: My next big match was back on decoy again, I could get used to this, and I drew a lake actually unknown to me, damson, as it's never fished in matches really so I was just as in the dark as everyone else. On plumbing up and testing your rigs it soon became apparent that there was fish coming up everywhere to investigate the noise and everybody was expecting a bumper day, but I had my worries.

I've fished other lakes like this one, in particular Stepfield at Coleman's Cottage and the fish never last. After an hour of frantic top kit shallow fishing with pellets my fears were soon confirmed as the whole lake switched off and I think I managed another 10 tiny F1's for the rest of the Day.

What made it worse was the fact I was stuck in a corner with nowhere to go and either side of me had an island to Chuck to, the peg to my right won the section with 106lb and the one to my left just beat me by 67lb to my 66lb, I said it was frantic to start with. I actually only beat 1 in my section so in effect any chance of a top 10 finish are over but I can still go for top 40 for automatic qualification for next year. So that was about it for June now lets get back on them qualifiers and try to get in that maver final again.


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