I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
I have recently been visited by the Cornish Pixies and found myself centre stage at ‘Fred Kernow’s Circus’! Despite the pixies I have fished a couple of great matches, it certainly make me realise how lucky we are to be able to fish in the South West, especially in the winter months when the fishing is superb, come to think of it, it’s not so bad in the summer months as well!
On the Christmas match at White Acres just before the start I could not find my screw in cup for my pole. Fortunately, John Waples lent me a spare one so that I could cup in my GB at the start. When I got back to the van after the match I found the cup in the back of the van! So what is the point of this? Well it happened again at Gwinear on Saturday. I couldn’t find it and walked back to the van and there it was. Either someone is trying to wind me up or the Pixies are paying me a visit!
Anyway, back to the story. The latest round of the Kernow Match Group winter league saw us at Gwinear Pools; we were to fish the new phase one pool and the specimen lake, the other pools although stocked are not yet fully completed. It was certainly going to be a test in the very cold weather. Nigel Taylor and Mick Heacock had drawn on phase one. I left it to Nigel to fill in Mick on tactics as I had not fished there for some weeks and was out of touch on how it was fishing.
My particular draw saw me tackling up on peg 3 and it was one that I was not entirely happy with! My experience of this lake is that you need to be beyond the second island as you come onto the lake; the water is shallower there and seems to hold the majority of the fish. I have fished the lake about a dozen times over the last couple of winters and have never seen a framing weight in the deeps! It’s not really deep, just deeper than the other end of the lake. To compound things Harry Billing had drawn peg 2 to my right, he has drawn this peg on at least 5 occasions and won the lake several times from it with roach weights approaching 40lb! He was the last to arrive and I couldn’t resist asking him if he had been home to get the peg 2 rigs!
The water was very clear and I could see the bottom several feet out into the lake, it was not looking good, the plus point was that the water temperature was 6 degrees and that gave me some confidence. I decided that it was going to be a long pole day and to scratch around to try and salvage some points for the team. The swim is about 6’ deep and I tackled up two Mosella 4 x16 floats, one had a small Middy hook and the other a PR21 for the worm and soft pellet, I also had an up in the water rig assembled to complete my set up, I was determined to keep things simple today. Plumbing around to my left and right I found a consistent depth and I chose three swims to fish, I was going to feed two at the start and move to the third during the match if I felt I needed to.
My plan was to feed groundbait containing casters and some chopped worm on one line and some dampened micro pellets on the left hand swim. I would feed casters over the GB line the other would be topped up when I thought it necessary. Incidentally the GB was Swimstim Green with a bag of Yorkshire Baits Green Betaine, I find this a good mix when there is potential to catch skimmers. I had some, some scopex flavoured 4mm soft pellets casters, maggots and worms with me but I honestly was not feeling that confident and thought it would be a slow start. Andy Partridge was opposite me and called the all in, I wasn’t quite ready and before I actually fed I could see Andy netting a fish, I suddenly had a bit of urgency about me!
I went straight out over the GB with double red maggot on the hook and was rewarded immediately with a bite, it was a skimmer of about six ounces, as I shipped back my top two came off about 5 metres out! I managed to get the pole over the elastic and get hold of the loose section and net the fish, but I could hear the circus music heralding the clown arriving! I found myself in a bit of a race with Andy but he was well in front. Glancing to my right I could see that Harry didn’t appear to be catching, I needed to get well in front of him as I was convinced he would come good later.
I was catching steady, small roach with the odd skimmer but after about 40 minutes it was slowing. I decided to feed another ball and try over the micro pellets using a soft 4mm scopex pellet on the hook. There were fish on this line as well and they were bigger roach! I had half a dozen before it quietened down so I re fed and moved to the other swim and caught a few more before they backed off. I think because the water was so clear the fish just wouldn’t settle as they could see their mates disappearing! I decided to feed my third swim with some damp pellets and try to take half a dozen fish from each line before giving them a little more feed and moving on. It was great fishing and the plan worked a treat I managed to keep them coming until the end of the match. I could see Harry was not bagging and he had even changed from the pole to the Rocket Light waggler, he was catching a few on the wag, secretly I was envious as I would have loved to fish the float but my swim just wasn’t right for it.
Just before the end of the match I was catching really well when the top two came apart again! This time there was no fish attached and I managed to hook it up and started to ship back, unfortunately it came off and landed in the lake like a spear and sank! The circus music was again ringing in my ear. Changing rigs I managed to keep the fish coming until the all out. I was really pleased to record 23lb 3oz for a section and lake win. Individually the match was won by Martin Newstead from Phase 1 with 23lb 9oz, how close was that! If I had spent a little more time fishing for fish instead of top kits I’m sure I would have had those 6 extra ounces! I have no idea why the pole separated as it has never done that before, perhaps it’s those pesky pixies having a laugh!
I had a bonus match on Sunday as I originally wasn’t fishing the Real Cornwall Winter League match at White Acres. I was in the Kernow Match Group team but was not fishing all the league matches, Harry asked if I could fish this week so I found myself on peg 29 on the high bank of the match lake, a draw that I was more than happy with! There was cat ice floating around the lake and the air temperature was hovering around the zero mark. I was keen to see what the lake temperature was and was pleased to see the reading at 5.5 degrees, I thought it would be good fishing as we had not had a big drop in water temperature.
Rig wise there will be no surprises and I assembled my normal Cralusso Capri floats to fish at 13 metres. But today I was also going to concentrate on the 5m line so I set up a .5 gram Capri to fish that line. It had a 18 PR 21 hook to a .10 Xedion hook length. I also set up a straight lead on a 2.70m Spro picker rod as I planned to fish towards the aerator with pellet.
Once again I wasn’t quite ready at the start of the match and hadn’t formed my groundbait balls. Rather than rush I put on an 8mm pellet on the straight lead and added a small T bag, and cast towards the aerator. I left this for about five minutes with no indications. I reeled in and fed my 13m line in two different places, heavier feed on one line. I also dropped one ball at 5m and started loose feeding casters on this line. I then put on another T bag loaded with micro pellets and had another cast whilst I tried my new method, which is drinking an early coffee! I actually had forgotten to put my pole pots on my tray so I got up to get them, as I sat down I saw the tip move a couple of inches and I picked the rod and hooked a good carp. A couple of minutes later I had a 7 pounder in the net, a great start that actually got better with the next two casts showing liners followed by two more similar sized carp.
I couldn’t believe it when I never had another indication in the next 30 minutes! It was time to try the long pole. There was fish there and I started to catch small skimmers and roach on both of my lines. I was catapulting the odd 8mm pellet while fishing the pole and at 1pm I had another cast on the straight lead and had a carp fairly quickly.
There were no further bites and I decided to try the 5m line I had been feeding it for 3 hours and I expected fish straight away. It was solid with roach and quite a good stamp at about 4 to the pound; I had a few good perch and a carp of about 5lb plus a good bream. The fishing was so good I sacked the long line and just concentrated on this line and the straight lead taking a further 3 carp on that method!
It was a fantastic days fishing and I ended up with 73lb which consisted of 21lbs of silver fish. I caught fish on everything I tried, it was really one of those red letter days. Second in section was Mike O’Gorman who had 49lb of carp from peg 23. The lake fished really well with several weights of over 20lb. individually the match was won by Mark Lazell with 76lb of feeder caught carp from Jennies.
Two second places on different venues was very pleasing, it is a nice feeling when you actually win a match but this weekend I was more than happy to settle for second best. I have no complaints and really enjoyed fishing two well organised events.