Robin Wallis Memorial match, Wildings Lake, HDAS.


Regular member
Feb 25, 2020
After a long break from matches (around 25yrs) I finally i had a spare day so booked on to hassocks angling clubs annual memorial match for robin wallace who tragically drowned 10 years ago whilest fishing a local stretch of river. 17 tuned out. I put myslef almost last in the drawbag and pulled out peg 5. Meant nothing to me as although i know the lake, i dont know specific pegs. As i made my way off i could hear someone asking “who’s drawn the carp peg” to which the organiser replied “dave Johnstone” he then looked at me and asked how good i was at catching carp. I replied it was my area of expertise but id see what happens. He wished me luck and off i went.

On arriving a peg 5 it soon became clear that it was the end peg and wind was blowing down ly way so all looked good. The lake is predominantly a silvers lake with roach rudd skimmers bream and tench. There are carp present as well that are generally in the 10-20lb bracket and i knew that matches are generally won with around 20lb normally consisting of a double figure carp and a few silvers follwed by low back up weights. I also knew the to catch carp id have to fish a method to the far bank which really is not a tactic im confident in. So my plan was to fish a 4m whip for silvers, a 9m line for maggot over groundbait for silvers, an 11m line for pellet hoping to pick up better skimmers, bream and tench, and the a method feeder as a last resort. We were fishing 9:30-3:30.

On the whistle i fed a small ball of sonubaits bloodworm at 9m and 2 pots of micros mixed with 4&6mm pellets at 11m. I also planned on pinging pellets to the far bank as when the wind allowed. Started on the whip feeding small balls of ground bait and within a few minutes started catching small roach with the odd better skimmer and rudd and i stayed on this for the 1st hours. Although it wasnt frantic i steadily put fish in the net. I couldn’t see anyone else so had no idea how i was doing but felt id started ok. Then I noticed the scales being taken to peg 6. The club have a rule of no double figure carp in keepnets so i knew it was a good fish. I decided to have a quick 15 minute look on the pellet line and had a slightly better skimmer but no other indications. A quick look on the 9m line and nothing really happened. Back on the whip and I started catching a few small fish again but i didn’t feel it was really picking up. I had to give the method a go so spent 45 biteless minutes without an indication which did nothing for my confidence so sacked it off. By now i reckoned i had around 2.5lb of bits and while it wasn’t a disaster, It wasn’t great either, so back to the whip to some fish in the net while i considered my options. By now 4.5hrs had gone and i knew i had to make something happen so decided my best bet would be the 11m line. I started pinging 4mm pellets while staying on the whip with a view to spending the last hour on pellet. First put in i missed a bite on 6mm pellet. Then another bite and the elastic shot out and i had hit a carp on gear setup for bream and tench. The fish shot off, bottomed out the elastic and the hooklength snapped. Bugger. New hooklength on and back out the float shot under again and out came the elastic and this time the fish came running towards me. As i got near the bank i found that in actual fact i was hooked up on some line with a fish attached. I quick shout out to peg 6 confirmed my suspicions. He had hooked another good fish which had torn through my peg and was still attached to his line which was also caught in a tree. There was nothing he could do to be fair and not alot i could do. Eventually after a bit of gardening he managed to the unsnag his line and land the fish and give me my rig back. The scales came down again so it was another good fish. All this had wasted a good 10-15mins and now there was only 30mins left. First drop back in a i hooked another fish and quickly landed a tench around 3lb and felt that i could do ok with a bonus fish. Quick went out again and a few minutes later hooked another carp which i maaged to land and guessed was around 4lb. Dropped back in and another and another carp hooked. This one went to the far bank and snapped me leaving the rig in a birds nest round the tip. With only 15 minutes left i grabbed a kit with heavier elastic and quickly put a heavier rig on but never had another bite. The whistle went and that was that. I spoke to the guy on peg 6. He had 3 carp and a few skimmers so i knew he would win. The scales came and I reckoned i had about 10lb which i was relatively pleased with. The carp was weighed and went 7lb2! The tench and silvers went 7lb3 for a total of 14lb 5, which i was very pleased with a knew id have a chance of framing. The guy next door had 3 carp for 33lb and as they went up the lake the weigths got lower. One guy had a dew silvers and a carp of 14lb and the very last guy to weigh in had a 10lb carp in the last 5 mins so i knew it would be tight. As I thought peg 6 won with about 35lb, second had 17lb with a 14lb carp, 3rd was 15lb with a 10lb carp and i took the last framing position with my 14lb. I was over the moon as there were some very good anglers who have been fishing here for years. Just a shame i wont get to fish anymore matches as i work weekends but I thoroughly enjoyed it. On a side note the future of match fishing at the club doesn’t look good. Im 41 now and was the youngest by a good 20yrs! Most were late 60s early 70s so another few yrs could see the end, I really hope not though