Thursday 29 July 2010

99p Fishing Competition

There are shops in London that sell everything for 99p, so with a budget of £5 each, myself and Dan bought a rod, reel, tackle and bait and went to Clapham Common pond for a fishing competition.

• Most fish in 3 hours wins.
• The time starts when the first fish is landed.
• Only tackle from the 99p shop, max budget £5 each.
• Loser buys the drinks.

Rod: 99p (one each)
Reel: 99p (one each)
Floats: 99p (between us)
Hooks: 99p (between us)
Shot: 99p (between us)
Groundbait: 99p (between us)
3x Sweetcorn: 99p (between us)
Landing net: 99p (optimistic)
Total: £9.90 (£4.95 each)

Now I wasn't expecting much from £5 worth of fishing kit although it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The main issue was the 7lb line that came with the reel - it was thicker than 30lb line and curly like a spring. We had to add one cheat to our tackle list, a 2lb hook length (free on the front of the Angling Times so it stayed within the spirit of things). We could justify this as the original line couldn't fit though the eyes on the hooks.

The tackle & bait (the net didn't come with a handle).

The Match: Both myself and Dan started fishing where we were catching on our previous trip, fishing at about 12-20 foot out. It was easy enough to cast this distance and the first bites didn't take long. But despite more and more exaggerated striking techniques we just couldn't hit the bites.

A mid-double?! I also caught a mirror carp this size.

Dan decided to persevere, while I changed tactics and fished right in front of the rod tip. I kept regular bait going in, and while Dan still missed bites I was more confident that should I get a bite I could hit it. Half an hour or so later my float dipped and I caught my first carp - the smallest carp I have ever seen - but this was a numbers game.

The biggest fish of the session, about 5-6oz

We both continued out chosen techniques and it soon became clear I had made the right decision when the score rose to 14 fish to me before Dan caught a single, suicidal gudgeon.

Dan does some mid-match rod repairs.

The final score was 18-1, mostly carp with the odd gudgeon. Dan didn't give up even when he broke his rod just before time, he fixed it with a stick brace and black tape... but the game was over... time to claim my pint.

Dan: 1
Brian: 18

To the winner the spoils! And revenge for last year's perch competition.

A fun yet infuriating session, but enough messing about, I need to catch some proper fish!

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