The fishing festival this year started with what could have been a disaster, all the trophies for the weekend failed to turn up despite being promised that they would all be delivered before lunch on Friday, we finally left Cambridgeshire at 6pm and as it was a four day weekend we expected terrible traffic, but both Dave and I were amazed that we met no traffic at all and did the 200 miles in three and a half hours.
When we arrived at the Peterstone fishery, everyone jumped into action, Michael and Dave emptying the ‘Buddy Bus’ and Kev organising the construction of the marquee, within minutes the bus was empty and the marquee was up so the next job was a cuppa.
Friday night was spent catching up with some of the regulars and meeting some of the new faces taking part in this years event.
Saturday morning saw the draw take place and I had to apologise to everyone over the lack of trophies but everyone was very good about it, after all this was the first major mistake that had been made in five years of festivals. As a change in the norm we had agreed that everyone was able to defend their titles from the previous year so Kev and I were paired up again, Nick took advantage of his position of founder and partnered up with Jamie and as co-founder Rosie chose to partner Dave, everyone else went into the draw and the team to fear was made up of Steve Emms (Hipflask) and Maver Merv, both of whom have fierce reputations as top anglers. It was a bit of a chilly morning so all methods were used to prevent heat loss.
So the draw done everyone got to their swims some of us with loads of help from other anglers but we all got their in the end, the all in shouted we all started fishing. I had drawn a nice peg with a couple of feature to cast to, the far bank and some reeds, and I was into fish very quickly, using a pellet method feeder I was into carp of 3-4lb on a regular basis with the odd bigger fish going up to about 8lb in fact I was into so many fish that I had to call for a keep-net weigh in about two hours before the end of the match, I had over estimated and only had about 34lb but even whilst I was weighing in the net I was playing another fish!! I had never had a session like it. The only problem I had was I was going through hook links and elasticated feeders for fun. At the final weigh in I had 61lb 4oz followed by Kev with 27lb 1oz and for the first time ever we had a joint third place with Steve Emms and Andrew equal on 17lb 13oz.
Saturday evening saw the usual banter laughing and tom foolery we have come to expect, and we even managed to get a visit from Captain Pugwash
Later in the evening we could have done with his boat as the heavens opened it ended up with Michael trying to save the awning on the ‘Buddy Bus’ as it was collapsing under the weight of the rain.
Sunday morning was a bit brighter, but the forecast was for heavier rain most of the day. The draw for the day was done and we all trailed off to our pegs. Although some of us were more relaxed about it than others.
Again I thought I’d keep it simple with a method feeder. Just like yesterday I was into the fish straight away, they seemed to be of a bigger stamp than the fish from yesterday, I was still losing hook links and breaking feeders for fun, I ended up breaking eight elasticated feeders and who knows how many hook links over the two days but I was down to my last size 16 after starting on 12s and 14s. The day ended up with me having another net full of 53lb 2oz yet again Kev came second with 31lb 11oz and for only the second time ever we had a joint third place with Merv and Jon catching 17lb 9oz of fish each
Once everyone had packed up, Nick and I retired to the ‘Buddy Bus’ to work out all the final results for the pairs, biggest fish, junior champion, and who would win the notorious ‘Booby Prize’ Then it was out to the marquee to do the presentation, some of the pictures are above but there was still the pairs, etc
Above the pairs winners Kev and I and below keeping it in his family the junior champ was Jamie Kevs’ son
Just a couple of trophies to declare the winners of now and the first of those is rather special the Steve ‘Bluey’ Robinson memorial trophy, given each year to someone who has contributed something special to Reels On Wheels either during the previous year or generally over a period of years, it was decided that this year it should be presented to Martin Cronin
Now it was time for Nick to exercise his vocal chords by running the auction, this year there were quite a few special pieces, a couple of ‘Fish of the week’ shirts from the Anglers Mail several books and bits of tackle and last but not least a very special cake cooked by Dave Pooleys wife Julie
I opened the bidding at £10 and was lucky enough to win it too, I think we will still be eating it in a month it was huge (and yummy)
During the raffle most of us were on tenterhooks waiting for our numbers to come up but some were more relaxed about it than others.
With nearly everything over and done with there was just one more trophy to give out, the ‘booby’ prize, this can be given for being a complete idiot over the weekend or in this years case it was awarded to someone who no matter what you asked him to do he did it without complaining and was always offering help to everyone, this year the booby prize went to my son Michael
All that was left was to say a great big thank you to everyone who attended and made it another great weekend then take down the marquee and pack the bus ready for the journey home. Yet again it was a great journey home and we were home by 9.30.
I would personally like to say a huge thank you to my co driver Dave not only for driving but for loading and unloading the bus with Michael, also to everyone who helped putting up the marquee and taking it down again and to my pairs partner Kev.
Thanks to faces new and old the festival was a great success and we raised over £720 thank you all and I hope we will see everyone at next years event. There has to be one last huge thank you to Martin Cronin for allowing us to use the lake yet again free of charge.
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