Saturday was the first round of the new format CIPS league, last year was just one league, this year the league has been split into regions. The North has a division being fished on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and the East has a region fished on the fens.The Midlands and South League which was being fished on Barston and Packington Somners.
Last years league saw a few teams move to the northern and eastern leagues but it was nice to see a few new teams entering this league. Sensas Nomads, Milo Bordon, Delcac, a second Thatchers team and a team of juniors from Derby. On Saturday there was 14 teams of 5 fishing, with 3 sections on Barston and 2 sections on Packington's Mowlands Pool, each team was allowed to nominate which anglers could fish on each venue.
I chose to fish Barston and Des, who I was travelling with, chose Packington. I drew peg 12 on Barston and Des drew 27 at Packington.
Before the start I set up a waggler rod and 2 rigs to fish at 13m, one rig was a 0.4g pencil type float, set at dead depth for roach and a 0.6g round bodied float set 6 inches overdepth for skimmers and F1s.
When the 10 minute prebaiting started I balled in 12 large balls of Sensas Lake and Leam with joker ar 13m and then I fed 20 small balls of Thatchers fishmeal with joker and dead reds on the waggler line. When the match started I picked up my roach rig and second drop in I caught a netable roach, quickly followed by 5 smaller roach, then I couldnt get a bite. The anglers that I could see around me had similar starts and they couldnt get a bite either, whatever I tried for the next hour I couldnt put anything else in the net, on the morning we had a sharp frost and the fish didn't seem to like it.
On the hour mark I had a look on my waggler line and almost straight away I had bite on treble bloodworm tipped with a dead red maggot and a lifeless fight saw a 2lb bream in my net, next cast I had another quickly followed by a large F1, this was a great start as the rest of my section, that I could see, was still struggling. Then things went quiet again for about 15 minutes, when a bite out of the blue saw another 2lb F1 in the net.
This was to be my last bite on the waggler, so I picked up my pole and dropped in and straight away had a large skimmer on a bunch of bloodworm, the rest of the match I caught the odd bream steadily until the end finishing up with 12 skimmers, averaging 2lb, and a couple of 2lb F1s plus a handful of roach.
I weighed in 30lb 6oz for a section win and fourth overall, it was a lovely days fishing in awful weather, from 12 o'clock onwards it never stopped raining, but despite the weather the lake had fished well.
Des had a great day at Packington, he won the lake with 31lb, and third overall, he caught 25lb on a waggler and caught a few fish late on the pole, fishing in a similar way to me.
Our team result, we had 3 section wins, a second and a third for 8 penalty points and top team on the day, it was very close, as Starlets green had 9 points and Starlets blue had 10 points.
Top individual on the day was Nigel Bull with 33lb, followed by Darren Cox with 32lb, Des had 31lb and I had 30lb, Lee Edwards had 29lb and there was quite a few other 20lb+ weights, made for a very tight match, these venues are well suited to CIPS rules, plenty of fish to be caught and without the feeder it becomes a lot fairer.
It was nice to see some of the new teams do well and one of the Derby juniors, Tom Potter had a great day picking up his section money, at Packington.