Sweepstake, The Cam, The Boats at Horningsea, 20th January 2019

While it turned out to be a bright sunny day, the overnight temperature drop to -6.5°C and watery hanging mist had certainly dampened everyone’s expectations for a ‘good’ day’s sport. We knew it would be hard work, and sure enough bites were few and far between. The otherwise perfect conditions did however give us the best chance of something and sure enough my droppers full of casters, reds and pinkies tempted a fantastic specimen chub of 4¾ lb within the first hour. This of course set the target and meant chub were needed to win.

Rumour then reached Simon that someone had been seen ‘live baiting’ (perhaps for chub) and so he was properly distracted when Gwyn next door was seen playing a small pike. It seems Mr Tinca was using his head and trying to change his nickname to Mr Cephalus. Such was the diversion that Simon failed to notice the resident male swan strutting his stuff and trying to clear the bank of intruders with rods and poles that were in the way of impressing Mrs swan. Unfortunately he only glanced back to his swim as the swan got hold of his rod and viciously shook it to show who was boss. Reflex saw Simon grab the rod and fight back but it was too late, the swan won and Simon ended up with an extra section and repair bill. The swan triumphantly paraded downstream, female in tow, and as he passed me I remember thinking “what’s he looking so pleased about”, now I know.

Other than Trevor walking the bank in desperation there is nothing much else to report except for the early morning barn owls and deer.

John (peg 1) had the privilege of weighing in, starting at the downstream high peg numbers he didn’t have much to do until he reached me on peg 2 as although most had caught something it was clearly not enough. Suspecting a close call and to calm his nerves he thought he’d wait for witnesses to arrive from the higher peg numbers before checking my net. Up to now he’d admitted to having a reasonable chub that ‘might go 4 lb’, which we all knew meant it was likely to be well over! The startled face then said it all when I tipped in a monster chub, his smaller brother and a few tiny perch. The gleaming scale perfect specimens tipped the scales well passed the 5 lb mark. Such was the effect that John gracefully reported 6 lb 12 oz until it was kindly pointed out that actually it wasn’t quite that good, the total was only 5 lb 12 oz. Predictably when John tipped his one chub into the weigh net it registered over the 4½ lb mark, certainly a good specimen but still almost 1¼ lb short in total and ¼ lb less than my goliath.

It’s a while until our next match, a sweepstake on 24th February, venue still to be decided. There’s plenty of time to prepare but don’t forget to book on with Trevor so he can peg appropriately, I will email venue details in due course.

Ian Claydon

Sweepstake, The Cam, The Boats on 20th January 2019
Ian Claydon5*120
John Read4**98
Ken Whitmore70
Gwyn AndrewsDNW
Jamie BruceDNW
Simon DealDNW
Andy LindseyDNW
Jason O'DellDNW
Mark PalmerDNW
Trevor SturgeDNW
*Best chub = 4 lb 13½ oz
**Best chub = 4 lb 9 oz