I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
A Birthday Treat and a 50 Pound Carp
I was beginning to think I would not get to Mawgan Porth this summer to fish a match, as small groups of visiting anglers keep booking the lake for ‘private matches’ great for Janet as it keeps business ticking over, but not so good for yours truly who was desperate to wet a line! Last Wednesday there was a small open and I was keen to get there and hopefully catch a few in the process. The private match the previous day had been won with around 160lb from peg 47, the weights were much smaller as you went to the other end of the lake; obviously I hoped the bag of dreams was going to be kind to me but I ended up on peg 6, practically as far away from 47 as it possible to get, never mind mustn’t grumble! I have had two huge weights from this peg in the past so I was very confident. Besides, I had breakfast with Tourettes Taylor and Wrong Lake and we had a small wager on the winning weight. Tourettes plumbed for 150lb, Wayne went for 170lb and I couldn’t resist going for 179lb anything over that weight and the two quid was mine, easy money!
The colour of the water at my peg told me it wasn’t going to be a fast and furious start as it was reasonably clear, I knew it would take a little time for the fish to move out of the weed and get their heads down, but I still expected a big weight. My tackle was my now standard rigs for Mawgan Porth which consisted of a J3 4 x 10 float with all the shot just above the hook length and a J13 .30 grams for shallow. Main line was .20 Cralusso to a PR36 size 18 and 16’s on .18 line. I only had pellets with me and they consisted of a bag of fishery garlic micros, two bags of 4mm and a few 6mm garlic hard pellets for the hook. I was ready in plenty of time and could not wait to get started.
Janet blew the whistle and I fed my pole line by dropping a large toss pot full of micros in the swim and threw around 20 x 4mm pellets around the float, the swim absolutely erupted with fish, my float was moving around as if it was in a washing machine! The trouble was they were Rudd, hundreds of them mopping up every bit of feed that I put into the swim. I had no choice but to feed heavier to try and draw some carp, there were no bites to be had straight away. I could see Bob Dac on peg 9 into Carp straight away as was the guy on peg 8, Wrong Lake was also catching. But down our end on pegs 5, 6 and 41 we were still waiting!
Some fish arrived but it was difficult to make them settle, I seemed to catch a few fish and then nothing. By changing swims and feeding at least two places I managed to keep some carp coming but it was obvious to me that I was not in contention in this match. I consistently tried to feed the carp up in the water as I felt that was the only way I was going to catch a weight but they just did not want to come up, until the last 15 minutes or so when it was too late! I finished the match with 50ish carp for 75lb so overall it wasn’t such a bad days fishing, just not one that I have come to expect from such a prolific venue.
Simon Poynter hadn’t been to the venue for around 12 months but made it a happy return by winning the match with 127lb from peg 47, Nigel ‘Tourettes’ Taylor seemingly allowing Simon to have his peg for the day, mind he collected his mail from next door on peg 46 and came second with 119lb! Followed by Bob Dac with 102lb. What can I say about Tourettes, he is on fire at Mawgan Porth at the moment, but I really cannot believe he stopped catching just to win the £2 sweep!
Happy Birthday Mike O’Gorman
It was the Bolingey Lake Supremo’s birthday during the week and it was a ‘special age’ well at least one with a zero in it. Mikes business partners and good friends Andy and Kim Dare got together with Mikes wife Jan and decided that a surprise was in store for the old boy. A celebratory fishing match on the prolific lakes was arranged followed by a BBQ and drinks for around 15 friends. To be honest we all thought it was our birthdays, as we were been allowed to fish on one of the best lakes in the country in the summer, bring it on! By the way when is your birthday Andy, Kim, Jan and…….
Mike didn’t have a clue what was happening until three or four friends turned and the penny eventually dropped, he was really surprised and I think quite touched, good job he had his fishing tackle with him! The format was as a normal match but £100 had been donated for a couple of special prizes during the match. The pegging looked fantastic and I didn’t really mind any of them but when peg 23 came out of the bag of dreams I was over the moon with it! Mind you Clint Elliott had drawn peg 22 and Harry Billing 45 plus Andy Dare was on end peg 33 plus birthday boy Mike on 43 there was the potential of some huge weights. When I got to my swim it looked great with the wind blowing to my right and slightly into the island. I knew the method would be devastating but I really fancied fishing the pellet waggler and that is exactly what I did as well as a margin swim.
I have often seen anglers do very well from this swim by fishing down to the right hand margin and that is where I plumbed; the problem with the swim is that it is now very overgrown as it is the middle of summer and difficult to get close to the bank. I used a 4 x 10 J1 float from J Range that was tied to .20 Cralusso main line and a .20 hook length with a size 14 PR38 hook and a Mosella bait band. As a backup I also had a rig for the left side which was much shallower but I used similar tackle. My waggler rod was a SPRO power pellet rod, Red Arc Reel. A 3SSG Pellet waggler with an adapter was perfect for getting over to the island. Again I had a Cralusso hook length but this time .18 to a 16 PR36 and pellet band, I was putting all my faith in pellet and I had plenty of 6 and 8mm pellets. I also had 2 kilos of Yorkshire Baits Bloodworm Ground bait.
At the start I threw some pellets down the right margin and cast the waggler short of the island firing a few pellets around the float. There was no immediate bite but I could hear Clint playing a fish on peg 22. Before long my float dipped and I was into what felt like a large carp, it tore off to the right, obviously foul hooked, I lost that one. That prompted me to shallow up by six inches and before long I had a couple of F1 carp in the net, but I was missing loads of bites from those crafty F1’s on occasions I could see the line behind my float move and I still could not connect with the bite! It was a nice feeling when I eventually struck and the rod went into a big arc that signalled carp on! The first hour wasn’t fast and furious but I wasn’t complaining as I had three or four carp and several F1’s for around 20lb I could hear that some of the others were struggling a little after catching a couple early.
Stick to the plan!
It was difficult to keep them coming and I doubted for awhile my plan of no method! I had a look down the right side, a little earlier than I really wanted to but this margin has to be treated as a main swim rather than an edge for late on in the match. After about 30 seconds I had an indication which saw me well and truly stuck fast to a bramble! As I pulled to free it, the rig was completely destroyed, those brambles rarely lose! I decided that I didn’t want to play down that side any more, so fed four balls of loose ground bait down the left side margin and went back on the waggler. This time the carp were there and I started catching, whilst I was playing one I noticed a huge cloud of red to my left, the carp had turned up. Dropping an 8mm pellet into the cloud I had a bite straightaway and had a very lively 8 pounder. I had a smaller sample next put in before it went quiet. And that’s how my match went swopping between the waggler and the edge taking fish on both lines.
With just over three hours gone I was back down the edge and the float buried, it was one of those feelings when you initially think you have snagged bottom but then the bottom moves! It was obviously big, I put on sections before I needed to, eventually the carp came to the surface and it looked huge, a great big Mirror Carp, it looked like a contender for the special prize of biggest fish so I didn’t want to lose it, the purple J Range Lastix was just about perfect and soon the carp was in my landing net, it did look big. I guessed I had around 40lb in my keep net, so I added it to the net and then thought for the rest of the match that I might have gone over the 60lb net limit!
My match just got better as it went on with good spells on both the waggler and the pole; I finished the match down the edge taking around 40lb late on. The scales came around; my first net weighed 58lb so I was very close to the limit as the big Mirror Carp went exactly 50 pounds! Well it actually weighed 16lb 9oz but as it was the biggest fish of the day it was worth £50, thanks very much. The other two nets were weighed and I finished with 149lb which was good enough to win Mikes Birthday Bash, Clint Elliott coming second with 110lb mainly caught on the waggler. Clint included a load of F1’s in his catch including a few carp late on the straight lead.
Mike had a great day finishing with around 90lb including a whopping Common of 15lb plus in his net, overall the lakes fished really well with some fantastic catches. After the match we all enjoyed a great BBQ and drinks. What a great day and a fantastic idea, ‘Happy belated birthday Mike’, just don’t be too surprised if you see a load of your friends congregating in the car park one Saturday, in late June 2012!
Baking at Bake Lakes
Sunday was another day I had been looking forward to. We were Plymouth bound for the Bake Lake open on Treasure Island, the lake looked fantastic in the early morning sun, it was a cracker weather wise, the forecast was sun all day and it was expected to be the hottest day of the year. I had my dip and out came peg 18 at the far end of the lake.
I wandered round to my peg and to say it looked fishy would be a whopping understatement! It was Lily city and they were rocking around as carp swam under the giant leaves! It was however a bit daunting as I sat and worked out in my mind just how I was going to tackle the swim. The pads were mainly to my left starting around 3m away, moving to the right I settled on two swims one at 4m against the pads and one further out and to the right. I had a J12 float which is a very strong pattern for fishing next to the pads. The depth was over 5’ and I must admit I was worried as I thought it was going to be too deep in this weather. I had an edge swim to my right at 9m against the bank and the last thing I set up was a SPRO blob float on .20 line with a 4’ hook length. I planned on presenting a pellet on the edge of the pads hiding the pole away from the carp.
The match started and I fed some micros and 6mm pellets on my two lines and had a quick go on the deck. There was a bit of movement on the float which I suspected to be liners so after around 10 minutes I was on the blob fishing at 6mm. I had three small carp of around 1 ½ lb each in the first 15 minutes, Man, they were a tussle as they tried to get back into the sanctuary of the pads! Unfortunately the lake just switched off and bites were hard to come by as Treasure Island just refused to give up its most prized possessions!
During the day I actually set up a silver rig to try and catch some of the prolific head of Rudd and skimmers that are in the lake but even they were not playing ball today. I actually spent some time taking photographs of the flora and fauna, as well as some of the anglers! I actually quite enjoyed taking in my surroundings, it is a fantastic location. Our sport is truly out of this world as there is so much more to it than just catching fish. Late on I had a couple more carp ‘blobbing’ over the pads but it was clear I was going nowhere so packed up and watched eventual winner Jay Chapman who was fishing tight to an island catching small carp. He weighed 40lb to win the match by a few pounds. I have misplaced my notes so I have to apologise to the angler that came second! Wrong Lake came good from peg 1 finishing with 32lb to take third place. It really was difficult for him, as he had to walk past Flamingo lake peg 1 to get to his swim, with his previous mishap I am just pleased he fished the right lake! I would really like to fish this lake again, I’m sure it was the huge change in air pressure that we had that put the fish off on the day.
Next week I am staying local concentrating on Gwinear and Mawgan Porth. Following that my match fishing in July may be curtailed as I plan on visiting Maver Larford a few times practising for the Match this final in August. There are not many open matches on the venue so I will have to practice on pleasure sessions but I have managed to get a place in the August festival, which I am really looking forward to.