I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
With all the ice and cold weather we had last weekend, I was glad I took the decision to have one off, as from what I heard everywhere fished absolutely dire! For 4lb to win at Lindholme Lakes, you know it is proper hard, so I took the opportunity to sort my gear out. I have just bought a new Rive box and sold my old Milo, so I took my time transferring all my gear across and arranging it nicely in the trays, it looked remarkably organised when I had finished, I know it won’t last long!
The break also meant I was raring to go come last Saturday, when we had Round Five of the Ranskill Teams Of Four League at Lakeside Fishery. I got the job of doing the team draw, and pulled us three half decent pegs out, with 3,13,22 and 30. The one I really didn’t want was peg 3, as this at the shallowest end of the lake and normally the worst peg in the section, it had blanked in two out of the four rounds we had fished previously!
The order was called out, and guess where I was heading- peg 3! To say I was not amused is an understatement, I thought any chance of breaking the new box in with a good result was out the window. After talking to a few people, I decided to set three rods up, and not even bother with a pole, as it is that shallow that I reckon you would spook fish as you shipped out. I planned to fish a bomb and corn down towards peg one, maggot feeder long in front of me and a waggler at around 20 metres.
Realistically, I knew my only hope of a good result was to snare a couple of carp, but I wasn’t exactly optimistic of this happening. Nevertheless, I decided to give it the first hour sat on the bomb then feel my way in. I decided to fish proper gear as I know how big the fish can be, so it was 0.18 through to a size 16 PR36 and two pieces of hair rigged corn.
I was surprised to see my tip move with a couple of liners, and with the knowledge that a few fish were in the area I decided to give it slightly longer when my hour was up. After an hour and a half, my patience was rewarded when the tip flew around and I had a fish on. I took my time as I only expected to get the one bite, and around ten minutes after I had hooked it I slipped the net under a mirror. It was a large mirror as well, probably around 12lb, and most welcome.
With that in the net, I decided to give it a bit longer, and when my tip flew around again almost instantly and I took another one about 6lb I was beginning to think that the peg wasn’t so bad after all!
A further two hours without a bite put things firmly back into perspective for me, but then a curious rattle on the tip saw me striking into a skimmer about 2lb. With that in the net, I wondered if a few silvers had followed the wind up the lake into the shallow water, but a biteless 20 minutes on the wag and mag made me feel I was perhaps being optimistic.
I sat it out on the tip for the last hour, and I was just dropping off to sleep nicely when the tip flew around again with 5 minutes to go. Five minutes after time I slipped the net under an 8lber, and that was my day! As you can probably tell, I am not a big fan of sitting on a lead in winter, but a mans got to do what a mans got to do, and though I hadn’t had a particularly enjoyable days fishing I felt I had fished the peg in the only way I could.
I was last to weigh in, and I was pleased when my four fish went 28-14-0, which was good enough to win the section and the match overall, and secure another £100 for the kitty. I suppose the day goes to prove that no matter how bad you think a peg is going to be, you should always go and have a go as there could be some fish there. Matt Godfrey sums it up well, whenever I have a mump about a draw before I get to my peg, he always says “they have got fins you know, they can move about”, and Sunday proved it holds true, even in the coldest of weathers. Fellow Woodseats Angling angler Mark Holmes was second overall with 24lb, also made up of three carp on the tip, and we won the team match by a point, so all in all it was quite a profitable day!
Lindholme Winter League
On the Sunday, it was round seven of the Lindholme Winter League. I picked Matt up nice and early, as we weren’t sure how easily two Rive boxes would fit in my Hyundai Getz, but as it happens they flew in, so we were in the café nice and early! A hearty breakfast set us up for the day, and it was off to the venue for the draw.
The car park was awash with a sea of red jackets, as Daiwa Cleveland showed up in force to get some practise in for the forthcoming Winter League Semi Final, and it was a good turnout with 60 anglers fishing.
The two lakes in were Bonsai and Oasis, and we really wanted a draw on Bonsai, as this would almost certainly be where the top three weights would come from. No suprises then, when we both dipped and pulled out Oasis!
I was on peg 58, not a great draw, and the only ten peg section in the match, with all the rest being nines. I also had some very good pegs in my section, with an end peg in 68 and 63 which is probably the best peg on the lake, with a big corner all to itself. Once again I managed to draw in a section of celebrity anglers as well, with Alan Scotthorne, Rob Hitchens, and league leader Wayne Ibbotson to beat to name but a few.
My day went down hill from the moment I drove onto the lake, when my car got stuck in the mud. I have to confess to a bit of first degree Numptyism however, as once I realised the car was stuck me and Matt got out to assess the situation, then I got back in and Matt, Keith Dowell and a couple of others started pushing. I was really revving in first gear, and it wasn’t shifting, so I got out to have another look, got back in and realised I hadn’t taken the handbrake off first time. A bit of a Frank Spencer moment its fair to say. Anyhow, by this time about six people had come to help, including Alan Scotthorne. So with two World Champions pushing my car, and the handbrake safely off, I managed to get out of the mud and get me and Matt to our pegs in one piece.
I opted to fish my usual approach of maggots on the pole, and with the wind being bad I wanted to catch in the deep water down the track so plumbed up several lines, at various angles, then one line across where I would try and hold it, in around 3ft of water. It was a slow start for everybody, and with half the match gone, six fish was winning the section, and I only had two fish, it really was desperately hard.
Presentation was really tricky on the pole, and the wind was only getting stronger as the day went on, so I decided to try something and put the bomb rod up. I had two F1’s in as many chucks, and then started catching fairly steadily on the bomb. I was dropping it at 13metres, all the way along the peg, and it was generally going around within 10 minutes. Furthermore, there was no problem with foul hooked fish, and I only lost one of the ten fish I hooked, while those fishing on the pole encountered a higher rate of fish losses.
I was motoring ahead of the anglers around me, and foolishly got giddy and thought I was doing alright in the section. A phone call to Matt confirmed that he two was bagging up, so I decided to stick to my guns on the bomb until the end of the match. I ended up with 13 fish for 13-12-0 oz. I was third in the section with this when the scales got to me, but following them around the angler on 63 peg weighed 17lb to lick me as did Keith Jowell on end peg 68 with 19lb odd. So it was a five for me, if I had been in any other section it would have been a four but still. The venue really is tremendously peggy at the moment, when anglers such as Alan Scotthorne and Rob Hitchens are struggling to catch and getting beaten either side its obvious that the fish are in pockets and if you don’t draw on a few there is nothing that you can do. That said, I wish I had fished the bomb earlier, as I feel I could have probably caught a few more fish, which may have micked me a couple more points.
Matt put on a sterling display to win the lake with 29-12-0 however, securing 110 beer tokens for us to share, so all was not lost however. The match overall was won by Daiwa Cleveland’s James Dent with 60-0-0 from Bonsai Lake, an awesome display from a briliant young angler, and a really nice kid to boot. All in all, it was a bit of a Cleveland domination, as they took first and second spot, and about three section wins as well! As they would say, with a bit of a Geordie twang “it was mint like!”
Below are a few pictures my mate Gary Simpson has been taking from the past few matches of the Ranskill series.