In the Doghouse

Steve Prouse

It has to be said that if you stop going fishing at weekends, our non fishing partners soon expect this ‘strange behaviour’ to be the norm, and they expect you to be at home every weekend! It has happened to me a few times during the course of my marriage to the long suffering Vivien. But if another example is needed you should look no further than my old mate Steve ‘In the doghouse’ Prouse, who before this weekend was last seen on the bank way back in early December. On that occasion he had a hard day when everything he tried just didn’t work out, he packed up feeling fed up with the sport having only caught a couple of pounds. A break was in order and it was dog walking for him on Sundays, he was often seen walking around White Acres whilst the rest of us enjoyed the fishing the match. Eventually after a couple of months Steve catches the fishing bug again and decides it’s time to get the dust off the tackle and fish the Sunday match, getting ready to leave on match day morning he is promptly reminded by the good lady that he should ‘do what he always does on a Sunday’ and take the dogs for a nice long walk. Oh well mustn’t grumble!

Spring round the corner?

High Bank

White Acres looked absolutely brilliant for round eight of the individual round, the sun was shining and spring seemed definitely in the air. I was asked a few times in the car park where I fancied today and the answer was definitely somewhere on the High Bank in the middle of skimmer country! I was really pleased when I pulled peg 25 out of the bag and honestly thought this was going to be my day, that was until I got my gear out of the van and realised I had left my keepnets and landing nets on the drive, again! Man, I hate this getting older bit it plays havoc with the memory. Thanks to Whistling Billy Arch and Clint I was soon fully equipped and at my peg. It was silver fish only and after a few moments of thought I decided to fish pole only, the feeder is not allowed but I did contemplate the waggler, fishing towards the island for some F1’s that are allowed in our rules.

I keep thinking the meat is going to kick in and as it was warmer I was going to have a long line devoted to loose fed 6mm meat. The good thing about the High Bank is that the depths are very similar once you get out past 6 metres, so I could get away without an extra rig, my trusty .75 gram Cralusso Capri was the first out of the box. Other lines were set up and plumbed at 5m and 9m plus of course the edge for a few of those VIP. I couldn’t wait to get started as it looked and felt like it was going to be one of those brilliant days fishing.

Let em have it!

Mr Kipling

The all in was called and I fed a couple of balls of groundbait, worms and casters on 5m, some meat at 13m and my main banker line was 9m which received four 250ml size balls of groundbait. Two maggots were put on and I dropped in on the 5m line and fed my margins. A Roach first drop was nice and I rebaited expecting another but it took ages to arrive! Most seemed to catch one fish and then struggle for bites. An early look down the edge didn’t provide anything so I was swopping between the 5 and 9m lines nicking the odd fish but it was hard. The only person I could see playing fish was our very own Mr Kipling aka Neil Kippax but he was losing more than he was landing, they were good skimmers as well. It seemed like most were foul hooking a few fish today, they must have been feeding very strangely. As the match progressed I kept telling myself that shallow was the way forward and it was not until the halfway stage that I finally got off my box and got another top kit out of the holdall. I quickly put on a J10C shallow caster rig and went straight out at 13m around 18’’ deep with single caster, it was soon solid with small Roach!

Good kicking!

The odd better sample was coming as well and the big boot was put on as I kicked myself hard for not doing it earlier! Ian Croxton to my left decided that he was going to go shallow as well and whilst he got a rig ready he trapped the pole between his legs and left it in the margin. Within minutes he was playing a

Ian Croxton Section Winner

Steve Prouse - 2nd in Section

Bream followed by a VIP! I stayed shallow and continued feeding the edge as I had done all match. Ian kept catching and they were good fish as well which prompted me to have a go for them but I could not get a touch down the side, neither could Trevor Conroy to Ian’s left it was frustrating and I have to admit the odd groan was coming every time I saw Ian slip the net under a two pounder! A couple of pegs to my right the dog walker himself was now starting to get a few skimmers on the deck on worms  and I felt he was catching up with me. I left the edge and fished the rest of the match shallow catching a fish every put in, they were mainly small but it was enjoyable fishing, especially when those better Roach put in an appearance and as the whistle went slipped the net under a 12 ouncer. The scales soon came around and Ian weighed a nice 32lb net of Skimmers and VIP’s which was good enough to win the High Bank section, well done mate it was a nice net of fish. I weighed 20lb 2oz which was second until Steve Prouse put 10 ounces more to take the second in section money. Still mustn’t grumble it was nice to see him back on the bank fishing, I am glad he took the money otherwise we probably would not have seen him fishing until April! But in the end we had a laugh and Doghouse Steve has his fishing MoJo back. I also learnt that the meat is not working yet, plus if you borrow someone else’s keepnet you don’t stink your own van out!

The victors

The Island Match Lake

Elsewhere Breamer Kearns was back on the slabs on peg 22 winning the match with a great 46lb a few F1’s and VIP’s also helped him to his total. Harry continued his relentless charge with 43lb taken on the pole from peg 19 for second. Andy Patterson was third with a 39lb catch from Trelawney. Overall White Acres fished well with plenty of fish caught. Personally, I felt I had thrown a few points away by not fishing shallow earlier but I was convinced in my mind that it was a Skimmer day! I don’t think the league has changed much this week but the following round may see some changes as our worse two results can be dropped. Round nine in a couple of weeks will see the first dropper used and may see some ups and downs in the top 10!

Rainy Wednesday

After missing last weeks midweeker I was keen to get there this week it was held at White Acres on Canal. The lake  had fished well the previous week when Harry won the match with 79lb most of the other anglers had good backing weights so it was getting another chance. I had my dip in the bag and out came peg 6 I was immediately told that there was no fish there last week and it came last! Not the news I wanted to hear but to be honest I just wanted to be fishing. Canal is a great little lake and it is one of the most secluded on the complex I really like fishing it, so I was trying not to let the negative comments bother me. Ironically Harry and Arthur Turner who was second last week drew the very same pegs, Oh man it looked like it was going to be difficult today.

As we got to the car park it started to rain and it didn’t stop until way after I got home! The good thing was my peg was sheltered from the strong wind and I was under the brolly, so at least I didn’t get drenched. There was very little weed in my peg and the word was you needed some cover, the water looked quite clear as well so I decided that I was going to fish have several lines today. I have just taken possession of some new J Range floats so was keen to give the production ones a testing. I used a J21 in a 4 x 14 which has an elongated balsa body, cane tip and thin carbon stem ago, this was used down the track at 10am and 2pm a 4 x 12 was used to fish at similar angles at 14mtrs up the slope. Bait was dampened micros with some hard 6mm pellets for the hook along with some 4mm expanders. At just over 13mtrs slightly to my right was a small patch of weed I decided to feed this for a couple of hours before actually trying to take a fish from this line. I was told that nothing was caught out of my swim for the first two hours last week, so I wanted to hopefully make a sanctuary where I could catch later. At the start, I fed three lines as to be honest I find it difficult keeping more than that fed properly and much prefer to feed a new line 10 minutes before I feel the need to change.

An aquarium?

I put on an expander and dropped the rig on my left line at 7 sections of pole and the float settled and just disappeared! It was a nice sized F1 which was a great start. In again and I had a Cornish F1 (Carrassio) I could really see the fish flashing around as I played them so went to my right hand swim and caught a Carp first drop on that line! It did slow down but I was now on species hunt and was pleased to catch a Roach and a Skimmer to make it five different fish to start with, during the course of the day I added Rudd, Perch and a Hybrid to make it eight different fish and could be 10 if Common and Ghost Carp are included! It was a really nice days fishing but it was obvious to me that I had to keep rotating the swims, if I tried to force it and take too many fish from one line they just backed off.

Fun and games

With more than half the match gone I went out on my patch of weed that I had been nurturing since the start, I had an indication straight away which didn’t develop and then suddenly the pole was nearly ripped out of my hands and I could see a 2 pound carp swimming head first towards the far bank, it had gone straight through my small weed bed and caused one hell of a commotion, as I pulled back I was greeted by the Carps tail waving at me! Well and truly foul hooked I just kept the pole high and with its main engine out of the water it had no choice but to surrender and within a couple of seconds it was in the net. The damage was done though and I had to start feeding that line again. In the last half hour I had a couple of fish from that now smaller weed patch, it was a shame as I think it was worth a few more.

I managed to record 41lb which was good enough for third place on the day, as Harry and Arthur repeated their feat of the previous week by taking the first two places with 51lb and 49lb so not that far away, if only I could have had a practice in my swim last week, oh and not forgetting a tail waving carp, never mind mustn’t grumble!

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