I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Welcome 2012, Happy New Year!
My last match of 2011 was the fourth round of our winter league at white Acres. It was fished in horrendous weather, with persistent rain and very large hailstones that really stung as they battered into exposed parts, but it was an enjoyable day fishing wise. I felt I had recently been getting too close to the front of the draw queue, so today I was hanging back, sheltering from the rain chatting to Harry. Eventually the queue died and we went to have our dip in the BOD’s I put my trusty left hand in and out came peg 2 on Jennies. I really felt I did well to keep my mind focused, as it was not the peg or indeed the section that I wanted! Harry, immediately behind me pulled out peg 18 on the Match Lake and just for a moment I felt a twang of jealousy!
I had drawn next to Steve Prouse who was on peg 3 at least I was in good company and knew that I could have a laugh during the day. Steve wasted no time in reminding me that the last time we were pegged next to each other on this lake he beat me and qualified for the Maver Pairs final, I remember the match well, he caught plenty that day from peg 16. I was on 17 before it was extended out into the lake by over a metre. I was just about to have a £ on the day when the heavens opened, which saw us scrambling to get the brollies up, and the bet was forgotten.
The day was silverfish only and we were confined to float only and again for me that meant pole only. I sat at my peg and studied the water whilst I decided how best to attack the swim. I decided on a loose feed only as the Skimmers and Roach had not been showing properly. I knew that I would need to try and extract some fish from several lines, so went for the following swims: Edge swims both left and right which were going to be fed with maggot and caster and fished with a 4 x 10 J15 float. 5 metre caster line with a J8 float 4 x 12 and 4 x 14 my last two lines were to be fished with a 4 x 12 J12 float which has a thick hollow bristle, which I find visible when fished on the long pole, the light can be a real problem on Jennies. I plumbed up on 14.5 metres directly in front of me and to my left at 10 o’clock. I wanted to put some chopped worm into my swim, even though it had not been working so decided to put it out of the way, on the long pole, left hand swim. The water temperature was showing 7.2c which is still not really that cold for December; the air temperature was 9c and had been like his for a few weeks now.
On the whistle I fed my worms first, then directly in front I fed some caster and corn hoping for the Tench that sometimes take up residence. Casters were fed on all my other lines. I started with double red maggot straight in front of me but nothing happened. I waited and twitched the bait around for 5 minutes or so but still nothing. Moving over to the chopped worm line with the same rig resulted in a tentative bite but unfortunately the small fish came off the hook. Leaving the rig in the same spot resulted in another bite which felt like a skimmer but that also came off as I shipped back! As this swim was slightly shallower than the one directly in front of me I thought I was losing them because I was over depth, so a slight change was in order. Shipping out a fresh pair of maggots I tried again but soon lost my third fish on the bounce. Oh Man, this is not what was needed especially as I couldn’t see anyone else catching.
Trying a small piece of worm on the hook seemed to be the answer, as I had three roach on the spin which evened things up, the bites were not coming immediately, but they were coming ‘Prousy’ had not yet had a bite and he was telling me it was quite to his right so it was worth persisting on this line. On the hour mark I had a Tench that was around a pound followed 10 minutes later by a similar sized F1 but sadly they were on their own. During the day I managed a couple of Perch one of them was around the pound mark the other around 12oz. The lake was definitely fishing hard and the only place I could get bites was from that left side 14.5m line. During the day I fed some more worms on a different line trying to give myself an option but it just didn’t work. I caught a few Roach from my 5m line but they were not there in numbers. I could catch one first drop in and after that bites became few and far between which is very strange. Mostly, I concentrated on the initial worm line and kept fish coming to the end. I finished with a level 19lb which was good enough for second in section beaten by Simon Poynter who was on peg 5; he had 20lb of skimmers. Man, I must try harder! But to be honest I was happy with today’s performance, obviously when the weights are close you always feel that you could have extracted a few more, but these days I try not to dwell on those few lost fish, as I am sure Simon lost a few on his way to the section win, it tends to even its self out over time. Thinking about my match afterwards, just maybe the Roach and skimmers are now starting to feed again on Jennies which will be great. If that is the case then perhaps I made a mistake in not using any groundbait? Mustn’t grumble about it now, but that is a decision I will have to make if I draw on this lake in the New Year.
Overall the winner on the day was Harry Billing (Mosella Garbolino) with 44lb of Bream and Skimmers from the Match Lake; he is coming into great form at the moment, so no doubt will be focusing on the next six rounds as he tries his best to win the individual league. Second on the day was ‘The Breamer’ Mick Kearns (White Acres) with 35-12-0 from Trelawney followed by Pete Thomas (SW Baits) 28-13-0 again from Trelawney and Clint Elliott (Preston Innovations) 27-4-0 from peg 14 Jenny’s
Overall Simon Poynter is heading the table as we leave 2011 with 147 points from Harry Billing with 139 points and the ‘Breamer’ Micky Kearns on 137 points. I have managed to move up into 6th place with 121 points so in needs a concerted effort in the next few rounds if I am to make any impact this year
I was really looking forward to my first match of 2012 as it was to be at the awesome Bolingey Lake, a special treat to all the local anglers. It was going to be limited to around 25 so that only the fancied areas could be pegged. Well, that was the plan, enter the organiser ‘Wrong Lake’, suddenly we were not only at the wrong lake but Bolingey was the wrong venue as well! There had been a clash of dates, Clint had already organised a Charity Match at White Acres on the same date as the Bolingey bash, and so instead of splitting the field, Bolingey was cancelled in favour of White Acres.
The match was on the Match Lake, Trelawney and Jennies and 30 anglers were booked in on a cold and very windy day. To be honest I didn’t really mind where I drew but I did want to avoid the first section on Jennies as I felt a change of venue was in definitely in order. It was all fish count and today there was only section money to fish for, no overall with the exception of small winner take all. My dip in the bag of dreams put me on peg 24 on Trelawney and I was happy enough with it. I had young Steven Ragg for company on end peg 23 and Boz Phillips to my right on 25 the wind was around 25 miles an hour and was practically in our face which made it very cold on our bank. My plan was to fish practically exclusively for the F1’s as I figured 40lb would be a very good weight on the day.
Tackle was simple two pole rigs which were wire stemmed 4 x 12 and 4 x 14 J8 floats back shotted with a number 10 and a positive bulk around 18’’ from the size 20’s Milo T213 hook. I also set up a new Milo 11’ feeder rod with a small Drennan cage feeder and a short hook length which I wanted to start on. Bait for the day was red maggots and groundbait, I had some pellets just in case the carp wanted to play. At the all in a small ball of ground bait containing a few dead reds were introduced on two 13m pole lines slightly to my left and right. A few casters were thrown to around 5m but the wind made this simple job nearly impossible! I started on the groundbait feeder around 5’ from the far bank. Steve went out on the method whilst Boz was on the straight lead and T bag so it would be interesting to see what worked! That question was answered simply enough, for after about 15 minutes none of us had a bite! I could see over the island to the other bank and they all seemed to be catching on the method or feeder. I figured that if it was working for them, and the fish were in front of us we should also have been catching but as that was not the case I was soon reaching for the pole.
F f f Frustrating
That decision was the start of a very frustrating match for me as there was fish on the pole line but catching them was another matter! First drop in on my right hand pole line and the float buried, lifting into the bite saw some pink elastic come out of the pole tip and then retract as the fish came off! This was followed by no bites, swopping over to my left swim and following an indication I was briefly attached to a foul hooked carp. Re baiting, and out on the left swim again saw me foul hook another carp which stayed on for much longer before the hook pulled, not the start to 2012 campaign that I had envisaged, it was severally testing my New Year’s resolution to keep the right attitude!
Following that I could not buy a bite on the left line but by feeding a tiny ball of groundbait containing a couple of dead maggots and fishing a double sample on the hook, I had my first fish of the year which was a nice skimmer of around a pound, a couple more followed which was great. Our side of the lake was very slow. Boz had one fish and Steve had not yet had a bite on the feeder or pole. I hooked and landed an F1 and was hoping that a few had moved into my swim but I started to lose a few immediately after I hooked them. Around this time Boz was having the same problem. The bites we were getting were minute and the fish appeared very finicky. This actually prompted me to adjust the shotting and add a bit of Vaseline on the tip of the bristle, which just held the float up in the water. It was hard to see in the ripple but I thought it was better, a couple more found the keepnet before a spate of losing yet more fish. In hindsight it might have been better to take a shot off and leave a lot of float out of the water and wait for a proper bite! As it was my resolve was severely tested; I only just resisted the urge to throw the pole like a spear when I lost another!
Well fished young un
Steve had returned to the method feeder casting into the wide bay opposite him and his tip started to go round with more and more frequency as the F1’s found his feed. He fished a very tidy match using his end peg advantage to the full; he actually won the section by a country mile with 33lb more than doubling my weight. Well done you fished very well, I really hope you stay in the sport it’s great to see young guns doing well. I did have a go on the feeder but only managed one bite which appeared to be a stray F1.
Skip McCabe won the other section with a creditable 44lb of F1’s mainly on the method but he did have a few on the pole. The match was won individually by Andy Gray from peg 14 on Jennies he had 59lb he was followed by Pete Thomas who won the match lake with 55lb from peg 24.
I must admit that this was a very frustrating match to start the year with. But that said there were a few happy faces at the end including Wrong Lake, who had made a New Year resolution to beat me in a match when in the same section, and today was his day, congratulations mate, just don’t make a habit of it! The other was Steve Maynard who due to a new job has not been able to get out fishing much since the summer, his resolution was to win a Snicker bar instead of giving one to me on the way home, and he also achieved that landmark, well done Steve. I really must stop being so charitable and try a little harder!
I hear tell that the air on the match lake was Black and Blue during the day when Tourettes Taylor hooked a very large and very angry Carp. The Carp insisted on swimming one way and the wind insisted on blowing Tourettes pole the other way until eventually everything bottomed out, suddenly a stronger gust snapped the third section below his puller and he lost the carp and his top kit too! Never mind, mustn’t grumble its only fishing!
Happy New Year to all, I hope your strings are pulled tight throughout the year.