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Jon Whincup's Year

Drennan Winter League - Rounds 1 and 2

Match one: I often have a little joke with people about where I'm going to draw and every now and then it works, like last year I called peg 9 on elm in this match and I only went and drew it and won the match. Well this time i called 10 on elm but it had been drawn by the time I got there, I better have 9 again then, you guessed it I only went and drew it, cue the moans and groans.

With this winter league it's all about winning your section so if you're on a real good peg winning or framing in the match is a bonus, but it's always nice to have a chance. Elm is one of the strip lakes, about 30m wide and featureless so they really are dead simple to fish. Peg 9 is about 3/4 along the lake and is generally the best place on the lake in winter.

My plan of attack was as simple as they come, 2 lines long at 10 and 2o'clock and a short "out the hand "maggot line and that was it. My long lines were soft potted with both maggots and micros as i wasn't sure what was going to be best, and after 2 hours i still wasn't sure. I had only caught 3 fish in this time 2 on pellets and 1 on maggot but I had foulhooked a few so iI knew they were there, next peg in this time had caught 50lb.

I then switched back to pellet for the umpteenth time and I suddenly started to get bites, now it was catch up time. I fished my 10 o'clock line, which was pointing towards peg 10, as I knew there was more fish that way, everyone to my right struggled. I stayed on this line right until the end and I actually clawed my way back into it, to the point where I thought there was nothing in it between me and peg 10.

That was up until 10 minutes to go where he had a 12lber and I had that sinking feeling. I was first to weigh and I was surprised to weigh 108lb but deep down i thought Clive next door had just pipped me, and so it proved. Clive had done me with that last lump as he beat me by 2lb, but it didn't really matter as we were in different sections so we both won them and came 3rd and 4th in the match so Happy days.

The match was won on a little lake that no one fancied, 4 islands, with 133lb well done Ian Frith and another weight off willows so the framers were well spread out. This league has already got a good feel to it with loads of quality anglers taking part so it should have a lot of twists and turns along the way, I for one am already buzzing for it.

Drennan decoy winter league round 2: Damson peg 11: In all the time I've been going to decoy I've only ever fished this lake twice and I didn't do too well. It's full of small F1's and carp so short with pellet or maggot is the game. I started on a top Kit plus 2 but soon realised i was fishing too far out as some people were bagging on a top Kit, I quickly replumbed my top Kit line and had a quick flurry of fish but felt I had missed out on 10 or so small carp.

This line lasted about an hour for everyone or 45 minutes for me but I was a bit annoyed with myself as the same thing happened on that lake in the UK champs in the summer. I then went out a couple of sections and carried on catching, not as frantic as the top Kit line but nice and steady. I had a few looks long but never had a bite anywhere else other than short, proper weird.

Come the weigh in 76lb was winning my section with 2 89lb weights winning the lake and i honestly didn't have a clue what I had with all those small fish. No one was more surprised than me when I weighed 88lb to win the section and only just miss out on the lake win but the section win was the important part.

I actually ended up 4th overall with 189lb blitzing the match, off my peg from the first round, and them 2 89's just above me, so I'm now on 2 section wins and looking forward to round 3.


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