I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at [&hellip
The year has started with the distinct feeling that I am one away from where I want to be, even the my lottery numbers have left me with the feeling that one higher or lower and the odd tenner would be winging my way! It all started last week when I drew next to young Steve Ragg and got bashed up from one peg away from where I wanted to be! The latest round of the individual winter league saw another good attendance with over 40 turning out. I waited until the queue had formed for the bag of dreams and joined near the back, when I put my hand in there were only a couple of pegs left, peg 19 on the Match came out and I was reasonably happy, I walked round to my peg thinking I would have preferred peg 20 but perhaps today is the day that I will finally catch a Barbel at White Acres as they seem to be congregate on this peg.
Unbelievably, Steve Ragg was sat on peg 20 so I was going to get another look at how the young lad approaches his fishing. The day was very still and unbelievably mild for January and with no rain forecast, I was really looking forward to the day it was going to be a nice change not battling with the elements. There were a lot of fish moving around especially on the other side of the rope with carp swirling in the high bank pegs. A simple approach was in order and my tackle consisted of pole gear to cover three lines. The good thing about the swim is the at 14.5m and the 5m line are similar depths so I could get away with the same rig. That left me an edge rig to assemble and a method feeder for a cast to the point of the island. I had two kilos of groundbait with me, some maggot’s worms and pellets. At the start I fed my pole line with 4 large balls on the long line and two on the shorter line, all introduced by pole cup. I cast a groundbait loaded method feeder to the point of the island with a 6mm pellet on the hook and pinged a few pellets out by catapult. It started drizzling, just that very fine stuff a bit like a heavy mist, I remember thinking it will soon disappear no need for the brolly.
Well after 10 minutes nothing had happened on our side of the island and I was reaching for the pole, thinking about Barbel and F1’s on my long pole line. I just shipped out and noticed Steve strike and he was playing a fish which turned out to be an F1 caught on maggot. I didn’t get a bite, but Steve continued catching, I think he had around four on the trot which forced me back on the method with a change of hook and double dead red as bait. After another 30 minutes I had one skimmer to show for my efforts and Steve had around 8 – 10 F1’s, oh man here we go again!
I was back on the long pole and I caught a skimmer but I just could not get another bite so I re fed that line and tried my 5m line. It was rewarded instantly with a big skimmer which really got my attention, it was followed by a mixture of fish with some nice Perch and an F1 included, unfortunately it slowed a little earlier than I expected, the swim received another cup of GB and I was back out on the long pole. The fine drizzle was still coming down but slightly heavier, another couple of minutes and I will get the brolly out! Well an hour or so went by, I had that really wet feeling, the maggots were marching all over my bait table. But, what really did it was when I looked over my shoulder at Steve, he appeared to have silver hair and shoulders as the fine rain droplets had settled on him, no doubt I was the same! I was certainly feeling very damp as I had also left my waterproof jacket in the car but at least I got up and put the brolly up, why on earth I didn’t do it earlier I will never know.
Who turned out the lights?
Around the same time my swims were fading and I was struggling again. I felt I had been catching Steve up, even though he was still nicking the odd one on the thod but knew I was still behind. I wondered if I could catch shallow and hopefully make a weight up, I quickly put on a rig. Loose feeding casters over my long line soon had me getting a fish a chuck, it was nice fishing but the roach were very small. I caught around a dozen but don’t think I added a pound to the net. I decided to try on the deck for twenty minutes and keep feeding by catapult; hopefully some bigger fish would move into the upper layers looking for those crunchy casters. Well, it didn’t really happen it was still only small fish on the shallow rig and to make matters worse a dense mist was forming and seeing my float at 14m was getting really difficult! I went back on the thod hoping that some F1’s had moved over into my swim but that was not the case I did catch a few skimmers and unbelievably a gudgeon which was a first for me on the thod! Sadly for me I didn’t make another first at White Acres- I am still Barbel less, man those fish are certainly an enigma to me!
Steve managed to keep a few fish coming until the end of the match and finished with 35lb for second in section giving me another lesson as I had 24lb, it was a shame my swims dried up in the last couple of hours but that’s fishing for you. I do know that the next time I draw next to the young lad I am going to hide his feeder rod though!
Great net of fish
The match was won by fellow SPRO backed angler Andy Partridge who had a brilliant 58lb of pole caught silver fish from peg 30 on the high bank, what a great days fishing he had. On Trelawney Wrong Lake came good with a method caught 41lb and third place went to ‘emerging draw bag’ Trevor Conroy who unbelievably drew peg 14 on Jennies for the third time on the spin!
1st Andy Partridge SPRO 58lb 2oz
2nd Wayne Evident Tubertini / SW Baits 41lb 3oz
3rd Trev Conroy White Acres 39lb 4oz
4th Harry Billing Mosella Garbolino 38lb 0oz
Overall top 10 out of 50
Midweek fishing at last!
I was really pleased to be going fishing on Wednesday as there had been little opportunity lately, around a dozen turned up for the mid week affordable open. I was hoping that we were going to have a day on the Match Lake but the fishery team were giving the lake its annual haircut so we were Trelawney bound. I have to admit that I was not that enamoured when peg 15 stuck to my hand and certainly would have liked to be next door on the end peg. Never mind, mustn’t grumble the weather was brilliant, quite warm in the winter sun.
I set up a couple of 4 x 12 rigs to fish the long pole with nuggets of groundbait and maggots and also a method feeder to fish the same bait tight over. At the whistle I fed my pole line and went out on the tip and waited, and waited and watched Arthur Turner next door catching really well and also ‘8mm Mark Lazell’ seemingly emptying the lake from end peg 9. Whistling Billy Arch and myself could not buy a bite. The match continued in the same way and it was obvious from early on that there was just no coming back in this match, but I did try for another hour or so. I managed to catch a couple of F1’s on the pole line but was pestered by small Roach so in the end I sacked that line. Sitting on the method resulted in three F1’s, I guess I could have caught a few more if I wanted to stay watching the tip, but I didn’t! I felt the only option to try and give myself a chance was to fish for carp down the very fishy margins. I fed some hemp and corn down both sides and fished the match out looking for some big boys. Needless to say it didn’t happen and all I caught were a couple of Roach and another F1. I tipped back around 10lb for last in the section ‘The Whistler’ weighed 15lb and fished for F1’s all match. I honestly don’t think we had a head of fish in front of us.
Mark had a chore to do halfway through the match, he actually had to go home and let the dogs out of the kennels, he was away from his swim for the best part of 40 minutes. I saw him return, pick up his feeder rod cast and strike within seconds! Those F1’s were still in his swim and he continued catching until the end finishing with a match winning 71lb no doubt he would have been approaching the ton if he hadn’t left the lake. But he still won the match by nearly 30lb from Arthur who finished with 42lb the other side of the lake produced some reasonable weights around the 40lb mark.
The weather on Sunday reminded us that it is still the middle of winter, it was a bright day but cold and the SE wind was bitter and unfortunately very strong! No doubt the wind had an effect on the attendance for the open match at White Acres but still 21 turned up. I was a bit worried when I put my hand in the bag as 14 Trelawney was still in there, but I tried keeping my thoughts positive, and was pleased as well as very relieved to see peg 27 Pollawyn firmly in my hand!
It is one of my favourite pegs on the lake as it gives so many options but today they were cut slightly due to the weather. The colder nights have had an effect on the water clarity, as the colour has really dropped out. Either side of me had decided on a feeder only approach with Pete Thomas to my left putting his faith in the T Bag and to the right Arthur Turner fishing a small cage feeder, ‘8mm Lazell’ style. I couldn’t resist the pole as well as the feeder even though the wind was atrocious but only two rigs came out of the box. I had a .75 gram Capri for fishing at an angle at 6m, I could not physically hold the pole at a longer length! A 4 x 12 J12 was assembled to fish the margins hopefully I was going to find some of the lakes VIP’s there’s no doubt when the colour drops out its Perch time! Experience tells me they are not in the same numbers on all pegs but if you can extract a few pounds of them, they can be very useful. My main line of attack was going to be the pellet feeder containing micro pellets with a Ringers Red boilie on the hook. This was going to be fished tight to the boards looking for carp if I was getting liners I would drop short trying to find where they were.
At the start I fed four balls of groundbait and casters plus a few worms on my 6m line and loose fed the margins. Before I had finished Chaz Ward a few pegs down was playing a carp, I just cast my pellet feeder when I noticed Pete Thomas landing a carp of around 8 pound. Before long Pete had another and so had Arthur, I had not had an indication, Man, I have been here before and have got to say I don’t like getting so far behind early!
Casting was difficult due to the strong wind and very bright sun that was over the island and in our face. I had been having a laugh with Pete who had bounced off the island a couple of times as well as dropping short. I cast my feeder and wondered what had happened when I never heard it land, following the line I was disappointed to see it hanging horizontally in the air, with the feeder firmly attached to a Pine tree on the island! Oh man, if you give a little you have to accept a little in return, I had no choice but to accept some stick from Pete and fishery manager Clint who was a few pegs down. The annoying thing was the line snapped near my rod tip leaving a long trail of line from the tree, a little job for the fishery team on Monday, sorry guys!
It didn’t take that long to set up again but the feeder guys were not catching when I was ready for action again, so thinking I had missed the boat I tried the pole. It was really hard to hold the pole but I had a few fish quickly before it died they were mainly Roach which were all swingers. I had not fed this swim since the start and loose feeding was out of the question as the wind would have spread the feed in a huge area. Feeding again with groundbait I had a look to see if I had any important visitors down the edge. I had four 4 oz Perch quickly before I lost a better one which bizarrely seemed to spook them, normally you can drop straight back in and get another. I guess the problem was that I didn’t have a lot of room to my right as Arthur was on peg 28; it meant I could not chase them down the peg a little further. Fishing to left was really difficult, trying to make the float settle properly, it was running back under the pole tip making presentation difficult.
I decided to have another look on the feeder and was really pleased to see the tip pull round with an F1 of about a pound, it gave me some confidence and I stayed on the tip for awhile after about 20 minutes I had a little run which resulted in a couple of F1’s and two small carp of around 3lb each which were very welcome as Arthur and Pete were also catching the odd one. Before long I had a Ghostie of around 6lb before another quite spell. By going on the pole I managed to keep some fish coming and had a nice little run down the edge I guess I caught around 7lb – 10lb of Perch and skimmers from my two lines. I also managed some more carp on the pellet feeder finishing with 7 in total.
In the end I was pleased when Clint called the all out, I had really enjoyed the days fishing but the wind was now getting through to the bones and I was freezing, I think with this mild winter I have gone a little soft! The scales came and Pete weighed 42lb to take the lead in the match, I thought it would be close and was really pleased to see the scales move round to 48lb 4oz with my fish, fortunately for me Arthur weighed 39lb it was very tight, but it just goes to show that those perch are indeed ‘Very Important Perch’ or VIP’s for short! And to prove a point, around the other side of the lake Harry Billing had a brilliant days fishing from peg 24, he caught mainly Perch for a whopping 50lb 4oz to win the match. It was a shame I never got round that side with the camera, never mind I am sure there will be another occasion.