weeks months of preparation and waiting, my first fishing session and match of the season finally came around. I had intended on a practice session somewhere in Stockholm over the Easter weekend but I was struck down with man flu.
I got to Arboga on the Friday afternoon to take a look at the river as I had never fished there before. After he finished up mapping out the pegs and clearing the bank, I sat with Johan upstream of the match length to see how strong the flow was and to make sure my elastics were working well.
A steady 10gr flow was the verdict reckoning on being able to get away with 8gr on the match length away from the turbulence caused by the bridges upstream.
After a sleepless night because Johan spent the night “herding elephants” through the hostel bedroom, Phil turned up after driving through the night from the Scan Masters. It was then a quick breakfast and a short drive to the venue to meet Russ and Tommy from metmask.com to collect the bait and the first part of our orders from Roger’s emporium metebutiken.com.
I drew peg 2 which was to be the upstream end peg as a few competitors dropped out at the last minute. I set up a couple of 8gr Dino EA Champion 2004 and a 10gr Cralusso Shark and two lines (10m and 13m) were fed at the start. Groundbait, a mix of Geers Voorn and Mondial-F Etang with Mondial grilled hemp added was laced with corn, chopped worms and maggots.
I fished the longer line initially but soon switched to the inside line as the wind began to increase. I don’t have a lot of experience fishing a long pole and I was fearing a breakage. Phil to my right in peg 3 then
fluked caught a huge Bream so I knew I was immediately behind. Fortunately, after switching from maggots to worm on the hook I started to catch steadily and the fish were of a good weight-building size. I finished the first day with about 9.5 kg, second in section A with Phil beating me with 10.5 kg.
The next day I drew peg 17, the downstream end peg. With a weather forecast for even stronger winds, I planned to concentrate at 10 metres no matter what. I had Anssi and Tom to my left fishing 13m, but there was no way I was trying to compete with them at that distance.
I caught from the off on triple red maggot under the 8gr Dino, inching the bait down the swim like trotting a stick float. Apart from two quieter spells when the wind was over 30kph, I caught throughout the match. Unfortunately, the fish were much smaller than day 1 and despite landing a 1+kg bream with 25 minutes to go I finished under 9 kilos for the day, and way down in the section easily won by the overall winner Tom Östlund with 22+kg.
Not a bad start to the season, let’s see how I do at Örebro!
Big thanks go to Tommy and Russ for delivering to the venue and to Johan for his hard work organising the event. It was just a shame not to see more anglers helping out to clear up after the match.