I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Mawgan in the Ice
It was a bleak looking weekend down in the South West with the White Acres, Individual league cancelled due to frozen lakes. However, Kernow Match Group stepped in and ran a sweep at Mawgan Porth on Sunday which was the only outing for me of the weekend. Janet had run the aerators for a couple of days which had kept part of the lake free from ice. I wasn’t sure how it was going to fish with all that cold water artificially moved around to keep it ice free. Coupled with a full moon on Saturday night made me think it was going to be hard work. I don’t profess to know why fishing is hard when there is a full moon but my experience tells me it is, perhaps it’s the strong gravitational pull? I’m sure someone can enlighten us.There were supposed to be a dozen fishing but a few cried off no doubt due to the weather. Fortunately those Easterly winds had switched to South Westerly’s and the forecasters were predicting gusts up to 30 mph. It was however warmer around 10C. The pegging was adjusted to spread everyone out and hopefully give us the chance of some bites. As I walked around the lake before the match with Steve Maynard and Andy Partridge I mentioned that I didn’t really want pegs 28 or 29 as they were bearing the full brunt of the wind. It really is sods law when you think of something like that, how many times have you thought I don’t want that peg and get it! Well it happened I drew 29 and it was getting windier by the minute. Never mind, mustn’t grumble!
To my left the lake was frozen from around peg 30 and I chose to fish two lines. The first was lined up with peg 39 at 8 metres and put me out from the bank about 6/7 metres in peg 30. The wind was practically blowing straight down my pole and it was a line that I would be able to fish comfortably in the strengthening wind. The other was at 5 metres facing towards Gordon Luck on peg 46 in the deep water. Because of the wind I had changed my normal floats to J range J8′s as I wanted a wire stemmed float for stability. Hook length was .10 Xedion I had some lighter stuff with me but I am confident with my choice. I had maggots and caster as feed along with some micro pellets and some soft hookers.
When I arrived at the peg I threw my thermometer in and the reading was 4.5C but as the start of the match approached it dropped to 4C and it never changed all day! No doubt the melting ice was having an effect on the temperature.
The match started and I fed a sprinkling of maggots and a few micros on both my lines and rotated them in 10 minute spells without so much as a bite. Gordon opposite me managed a very small skimmer, just as he was about to net it his landing net blew out of reach and he swung it to hand, I couldn’t help but take the Michael and remind him that the fish didn’t count as he had broken the rule on swinging fish! It was all good humour with nothing meant by it. But going towards the third hour a couple more were joining in as he still had the only fish!
I had to go for a walk around the lake after about 2 ½ hours as the wind chill was getting to me and I was starting to freeze up. I had possibly had a bite a miniscule movement that I missed but that was it, no other indications in half the match. It did give me some encouragement that I would catch in the last hour though. It was interesting walking around the lake as the water is so clear it gives a good idea of the features in each peg something I was trying to retain in the old grey matter for the summer.
Settling back in the peg I had another go and a few minutes later I saw Gordon strike and he was playing a carp and then another next put in! I had a bite and played a carp to the net only to see the hook pull out just as I was about to net it! At least there was some fish willing to feed and 10 minutes later I had one of about a pound, this time safely in the keepnet! Gordon was getting them on a fairly regular basis but they looked small fish. I also started putting a few together on single red maggot and felt I was catching him. But, going into the last half hour he had three better fish and I knew he would finish in front. He ended up with 22lb to my 17lb so it was quite close. Everyone else was joint third, as we were the only two to catch! Neil Kippax had a good try at coming third as he lost a fish, I think the wind had blown his line around the end of his pole and his cup, so when he struck he didn’t have the benefit of elastic to cushion the run. Oh dear Neil, must try harder! I do hope your nemesis Trev Conroy doesn’t find out!
Just after the end of the match Andy Partridge was walking back to his car and I saw him stop on about peg 38. After a couple of minutes he called me down to look at some fish. I wandered down expecting to see a few carp under the ice. What I saw practically left me speechless! There must have been 3000 carp in a very tight shoal. They were flank to flank and belly to back, all moving very slowly, seemingly as one. It was an incredible sight and one that I will not forget. No wonder it’s hard to catch sometimes in winter if that is how the fish shoal up.