The plan was set for Gordon to pick me up at 7:30 on the morning of the match, as I was getting my final few bits together Gord rang to let me know that Alders was frozen all the way around and that the aerators weren’t shifting it! We decided it was still worth going otherwise it’d have been a day in front of the tele, of which neither of us wanted.
We arrived at the complex at 8:15 and decided to go see what was happening. The lake was definitely frozen all the way around and didn’t look like it was going to break itself! I ended up chucking the plastic life ring in on every peg, that was until 5 pegs in Pete ‘The Key Juggling’ Whale let go of the rope and we were then left looking at a ring that we couldn’t retrieve! Wayley managed to retrieve the ring by hooking the rope with his bomb rod!
After that little mishap Tom went around in the boat which broke the ice but in fairness it all just settled like shattered glass on the surface.
Something to do with organising getting drunk in a brewery distinctly came to mind when trying to sort the draw and people paying on, thoughts of a rover match on the whole complex were also suggested but instead we were to fish Alders and make do after all the effort that went into breaking the ice, that and the fact that all the other lakes were frozen too.
Last week there were 29 people booked on for this match. A fair few turned up, 14 paid on and by the time we were sorted only 6 people actually fished! The open on Cedar was also cancelled due to the lake being frozen.
Gord and I decided to go near the bottom aerator, Gord settled on 38 and I was on 36. Gord had a completely clear peg in front of him and the ice started out of pole reach so hopefully he’d do ok. I on the other hand could fish 13m but if I caught any fish I would have to bring them back through a slalom path of ice!
I only set up the one rig, for fishing full depth and it was the same rig that I used last week.
Within 10 minutes of starting I had a bite, which was a surprise in itself, let alone that there was elastic coming out! The excitement was short lived and the fish and I departed company. This would seemingly be my only bite of the day.
Fifteen minutes later Gord repeated my earlier misfortune and hooked and lost his only bite of the day.
Then the excitement really started, Gord got the bomb rod out! After tweaking his set up for a few minutes he decided his plan was to cast onto the ice then slowly drag it back so that it plopped in just in front of it. Easy enough by the sounds of it! Anyway up the rod went followed by a light chuck onto the ice. This is where the bomb and the rest of his rig stayed for the rest of the match, on the ice! His bomb froze solid to the ice and wasn’t going anywhere; it was still there at the end of the ‘match’.
After losing his bomb he went to the shop to buy some more links, swivels or whatever and I decided to have a walk around the lake to warm up and see how everyone else was doing. First stop on my walk was superstar Stu Stott – blanking. Next up Nige – blanking although he did catch the bottom when I was watching him. Next up Bob ‘the builder’ Sinclair – wait for it……………a chub AND a roach! We can’t all be angling superstars I suppose. Last but not least was Acko - ……….blanking.
By the time I got back around to my peg the sun was disappearing and it was getting colder. We decided to pack in at 2pm and make our way home to the warmth! Easier said than done. The van was stuck! The more the wheels span with no conviction the nearer it got to the waters edge. Plan A – I would put the barrow ramp under one of the rear tyres and Gord would try slowly drive up it, this wasn’t working, even setting off in second didn’t even see the van make it onto the board let alone drive on it. Plan B – I remembered seeing a shovel outside the café, this would be used to clear a path in the snow for the van to drive up, genius, if I do say so myself. After clearing a path Gord started up the van and…………. Plan C – it was noticeable that the van was just spinning on the ice under the rear wheels, so with this Gord would spray de-icer on the ice around the wheels whilst I tried to get us out. After covering Gord in diesel fumes and snow we were still no further. Plan D…..never happened even after doing my best impression of Ray Mears by chopping up a branch with the shovel. Plan E and frankly the plan we should have gone with from the start, ring Robbie, to ring Tom to get David to come pull us out in the tractor. Sorted!
On our way out in the car park we met Bob the builder who was receiving his prize money from Stu, Acko also claimed £20 for being the only other person to catch, a tiny, tiny roach! Probably the most valuable roach ever caught!
I’m not fishing next week as I’m off to the Peak District for a beer fuelled weekend. The weekend after however sees the Xmas Cheer match on the Sunday! I might even try get down on the river on the Saturday for a few hours depending on a few things…….oh ok, depending on the weather!