Monday, 19 May 2008

The Oaks, Sessay - Alders Lake 18th May

After the disappointment of my last two matches I thought I'd have a break last weekend, recharge the batteries and re-tie some rigs. The match today was to be on Alders, up at the Oaks, Sessay, North Yorkshire. Alders is a 41 peg rectangular lake with an island running the full length. Due to mass confusion we only had pegs 11-41 and there was another match on the first 10 pegs. The first 8 or 9 pegs can all be reached easily with the pole at probably just over 13m where as the rest of the lake varies between 15-25m to the island. This was in the back of my mind when getting all my gear ready, I knew I might not be able to pole fish the island so I'd have to take some rods with me too! I didn't bother with the waggler as I've not used one in years so thought it best to stick to what I know and just take the feeder rod with me as well as the pole.

After speaking to a few people, the main attack would be to fish to the island with pole if possible and pick up a few carp, before coming shorter and fishing shallow for the abundant Ide population.

So for once I felt extremely prepared and was hoping for a good days fishing, I was about due one! So I woke up at half six and had the obligatory half an hour snooze whilst watching the news, then at 7am all I had to do was load up the car and make my flask. By half seven I was on my way up the A1 and I arrived there at about 8am. I quickly joined the breakfast queue before it was out of the door and then went for a stroll around the lake with butty in hand!

Whilst walking round there were a few fish topping and a few reeds nudging on the island but mostly in the wide pegs. Apparently you didn't want to draw any of the three pegs at the top end because there always in the shade and they've never thrown up any weights in previous matches.

So, once everyone had paid in and the football card had been done it was time for the drawer, as usual everyone surrounded the draw bag like vultures and I probably only had half the pegs to pick from, I was to be on peg 18 for the day, only two pegs down the straight from pegs 'you didn't want to be on'.

What I like about the oaks is that you can drive right to your peg, so I didn’t even need to take the barrow today, I tend to be worn out after lugging all my gear to my peg and need a 10 minute sit down to recuperate!

When I arrived at my peg it looked quite good, I must admit, on first glance I thought I might just be able to reach the island so that would be a welcome bonus!

Whilst setting up I couldn't see any more fish rolling as there was a little more cloud cover but my mood was still fairly high. First things first, level the box and then straight out with the pole to see if I could reach the island...... and yes I could, be it a full 15m away which meant even the dolly butt would see daylight! Now I knew I could reach I knew I wouldn't need the feeder and so proceeded to pump my hookers and start setting up some rigs.

Bait for today was very simple, micro pellets for feeding to the island, 4mm expanders for the hook, and two pints of maggots for fishing shallow. I only bought two pints in the hope that I’d get a narrow peg and that I’d be able to fish pellet for half the match. However if I got a wide peg I could have still got some more from the onsite tackle shop.

I set up plenty of rigs for hopefully every eventuality,

Rig 1 - 0.7g body down roach float on 0.11 Powerline to a size 18 Colmic hook, with a Garbolino yellow hollow, this was to be my down the track bottom rig for the Ide, I set it up with a 'shirt button' shotting pattern to hopefully find where the fish were.

Rig 2 - 4x10 Preston Chianti on 0.11 Powerline to a size 20 Colmic hook, again with Garbolino yellow hollow. this rig was to be used over the deeper Ide line, at half depth, I had a couple of the same rigs in my tray but with a size 14 hook, I’d been told that often you can get pestered with small roach but they can't get the size 14 in their mouths! Crude but you’re not going to compete with small roach today!

Rig 3 - 0.2g BGT shallow float, this was on 0.18 silk shock to a size 18 PR36 tied with a knotless knot. The elastic for this was Middy 12-16 Pink Hollow. I know 0.18 sounds a bit heavy but it was quite snaggy with reeds to the left of the peg and other vegetation lining the bank so I opted to beef up in order to not get run ragged all day! This was to be used on the deck tight up against the island in about 3ft of water

Rig 4 - the same as rig 3 but half depth once again in case they came up.

The all in was sounded and I quickly fired three pouch fuls of maggots to 9-10m out for my Ide rig, I then went out with Rig 3 over to the far side with a 4mm expander and a kinder pot of dampened micros. My float settled and after a few seconds shot under, I struck and to my dismay it was an Ide of about 4oz, this was quickly followed by another. I was continually firing maggots out to the Ide line but went back out to the far side. This time I double kinder potted in the hope that the Ide would shove off and let the carp move in. then, nothing, I couldn't buy a bite, twitching the float, lifting, slapping, brought nothing.

With the first hour gone and only 2 small Ide in the net t was time to target them properly; I swung Rig 1 out with double maggot and watched the float, motionless once again. Up until the start of the third hour I had managed another Ide and a small roach. Looking around the lake I could only really see to my left as there was a tree and bushes on my right. I could see Nigel on peg 22 catching a few carp and Terry on peg 20 had had a few also.

Something needed to be done, what it was I didn't know, but it needed doing! I decided to go back out to the far bank with Rig 3 and sit it out for the carp. I went back out with an expander and another pot of micros, this time the float shot under straight away and carp number one was in the net! Although it was only about 1lb it was more than welcome.

I fished the rest of the match in this swim, and with it being at 15m I was shattered by the end of the match! I managed to put a good run of fish together over the lat four hours and finished with around 20 carp all the same size as the first with one bonus mirror of maybe 8lb. I also had 3 or 4 skimmers and even a perch succumbed to the 4mm expander!

By the time of the all out I was feeling fairly confident as I hadn't seen many catch through out the match, although I couldn’t see the start of my section from my peg.

As we were all packing up a few people asked how I’d got on, and for once I didn’t really have a clue, I knew I had more than 20lb but wasn’t sure how much more? When the scales came round disappointment struck, the pegs at the start of my section had all done very well; in fact the whole of my section pretty much out fished the rest of the lake.

By the time the scales arrived at my peg, John Livesey was winning with 51lb; there was a 40 odd in there and a couple of 34's. There was also a DNW and the bloke next to me had about 15lb I think. Paul Cooksy on my left had tipped back as he'd had a shocker of day to be fair, although I wouldn’t have fancied his peg due to the aerator not giving you much scope on where to fish.

I managed to weigh in 31lb 4oz, so my best result of the year but seeing as all the weights had come from my section I didn’t get a pay out.

The other side had struggled and one section was won with about 18lb.

Still, I was still chuffed to bits as for a change I’d done well in a match, I did lose a few but so did everybody else probably, or at least I hope I’m not the only losing so many fish!

After we were all packed up it was back to the onsite cafe for the full result, I met Rob Minikin and we decided to have a couple of hours pleasure fishing on Maple lake, I thought I’d be able to learn a bit, which I did as Rob is top of his game when it comes to pellet fishing tight to islands, I just didn’t realise how good until we got fishing.

I plumped for peg 50 and Rob went on 51, we both only set up one rig for the island to fish expander over micros. To cut a long story short, I had a very good couple of hours in my book, catching 18 carp before it got dark for about 40lb. My result was cast deep into the shadows though; Rob amassed 50 carp for over 100lb in two hours! We didn’t fish too dissimilar or at least I didn’t think we did but all the tiny differences Rob had over me all added up to effectively 32 fish!

We had to pack up at ten past nine as the gates get locked at half past, talk about cutting it short! I didn’t get home until about 10pm and it was shower then straight to bed and try to stretch my back out, 8 hours fishing at predominantly 15m takes it toll to say the least!

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