Just recovered from four days at Rutland……. I was a bit apprehensive about going some reports said the water was brown and the weather forecast looked grim. As I travelled up I phoned my mate halfway up the A1 to get the kettle on. Where I was it was beautiful sunshine and a light breeze. My friend assured me that having come off the water at 1200hrs that it was not like that at Rutland and how right he was. The wind was howling and the rain horizontal, I booked into the accommodation and waited for my mates to arrive from Germany. It was good to see Ronnie and the other lads and we caught up and chatted about the four fishing days ahead of us.
The morning did not get off to the best of starts, no hot water and breakfast was booked for later in the day due to the Easter break. I met my boat partner at the lodge, Jock had driven down from Glasgow where he had stayed with some relative’s to ensure he was not going to be snowed in at Elgin. We started at Church Bay and were both almost immediately into fish. We had both found fish near the bottom of the water column and fast sinkers were required to get down to them. Amongst the fairly big stockies were some really nice overwintered fish. After a move up to the Spinney, we continued to catch good fish to three and a half pounds. We moved swiftly past Old Hall as several boats were anchored and I did not fancy picking my way through them. We went up to Green Bank where it had just been stocked we had fifteen minutes on them before leaving them be. It was back down to X buoy to again pick up some bars of silver. What a great day with almost thirty fish to the boat and some stonkers to boot.
The next day still no hot water but a great big fry up was well received by those that had turned up the night before for the official practice day. The Alan West match was to be fished this day, I decided to give it a miss this year it is a great comp but I wanted to just bumble around. Not long into the day, I snapped my tip on my G Loomis GLX I have had it for 12 years so it had done well I got out it's twin brother which is 15 years old to carry on. The heart had gone out of me and with few fish caught between Jock and I, we went in early at around 1430hrs. The first match day dawned and the crack was great, plenty of banter flying back and forth. Today was to be the Kit Kat cup a long-standing challenge between Jock Kettles and myself. The comp goes back 15 years to Bewl when Jock was still a fighting fit soldier. I had won last year’s tussle and was fairly confident that I could turn the big guy over again. As we milled round the boat harbour waiting for the off I was unsure what to do, so I thought I would see what the split went like. Half the boats went to Old Hall the other half headed up the Normanton bank. I opted to pop my drogue and fish into the wall at the harbour. This worked out well as I had two good fish in the boat before the boats heading to Old Hall were out of sight. So far so good, by the time a couple of the boats had reached me from their unproductive drift from the Church I was on three and had returned a good Zander. I told the boys what I was doing and joined the queue to get back on the fish. As I got to the area I again boated two fish, two to come. Then disaster struck the engine on my boat packed up as luck would have it we were drifting right into the harbour mouth and managed to drift close enough to the pontoon as to grab it. My partner for the day Dean and I transferred the kit to another boat and were back in action again only twenty minutes lost. Back out and fifteen minutes later I was done. My goal now was to get my partner into fish, he was not casting far enough to get the depth required. So we had to find some shallower water. So it was over to Sykes lane, where I found Jock Kettles sitting on his hands. He assured me he had a bag of Skerrit's and I had finished an hour and a half before him so all was looking good for the Kit Kat cup. Jock told me there were fish here and Dean fished hard for four good fish. The weigh-in that evening was very quick as a lot of boats had finished and already weighed in. Jock had told some porky pies and had caught several big fish one went 5lb 2oz so the Kit Kat was lost for this year, well done to Jock.
Day two was lined up and I was fortunate to draw Dave Joyce as a partner a very keen and up and coming angler he was very unlucky not to catch his eight fish the day before. I assured him this would not be the case today. We decided to start over by Sykes lane as we knew there were plenty of fish there. The first cast I was in, I was just bagging my first fish when I noticed Andy Everret catching his first fish. The fish did seem to be in a tight shoal and every time we got on them either Dave or I was into fish. Andy finished very quickly and I was an hour or so later. Finishing early was not really essential as there were so many big fish around you just needed to luck in and bobs your uncle. Dave finished two hours after me and we had exactly the same weight. Over the four days, I caught up with many friends and thoroughly enjoyed my four days fishing. Thanks to all who came
and made this such a great event, it will certainly stick in my memory for all the right reasons. Tony caught a fresh water eel that was estimated at 18lb there were Zander caught, pike to 16lb and one of the guys had a huge carp. Rutland just keeps on giving, many thanks to the staff for all their help and advice.