We’ve got a couple of extra matches booked in on Alders up at the Oaks over the winter period, with the first one coming up on the 7th of December it seemed ideal to have a practice this weekend and get a feel for how its fishing.
Gordon arrived at my house at around 7:45 with Rab and we made our way up to the fishery. With a bridge out it meant we had to take an alternative route through the villages to get there. We arrived up there at 8:15 and were greeted by Honest John, Paul Cooksy and Pete ‘the garlic kid’ Whale. With a few already setting up on the lake we decided to dump our tackle on our pegs before we headed for breakfast. I drew peg 34 and to my right I had Paul on 36 and Pete on 38, to my left there was Rab on 32, Gordy on 30 and Honest John on 28. I was fairly pleased with my peg, its very wide; probably over 20m and this meant I had plenty of scope for various methods.
Anyhow we went for breakfast and I had time to plan my attack for the day. I was planning on a 14.5m line on the pole with bomb tight up to the island. Hopefully this simple approach would pay off.
We started to set up at 9am and fish 10-3; I was official timekeeper for the day so would let everyone know ‘TIME!’
I already had the bomb set up, a half oz lead with a 6inch hook link of 0.13 to a PR36 18 which also incorporated a hair so I could present up to 2 bits of corn. Pole rigs were the same I normally use on Cedar. I had a 0.5g Preston float on 0.12 with a bulk 18inches from the hook and a few droppers. My hook length was 0.10 Powerline to a size 22 Middy 63-13. I also had a typical Cedar ‘Sedge’ rig set at 2ft to use over the top if the fish came shallow.
I shouted time at precisely 10 o’clock, and proceeded to ship out around 70ml of maggot and 5 bits of corn to my 14.5m line. I tipped it in from a height and tried to spread the bait around a bit. Then it was a nice chuck to the island with the bomb. I planned on fishing the bomb 30 minutes and if I’d had no real indications then to drop onto the pole line. I managed a few liners but nothing more. All the while I had been flicking maggots (in an area the size of a football field) to 14.5m. After a non existent first half hour I went out on the pole with single maggot. I was about 3 inches over depth and after a couple of indications I was into my first fish of the day, an F1 of about a pound. It lead me a merry dance on my 8 elastic but was soon in the net. I managed a couple more of a similar size and was soon creating a lead over the rest of Team In-Betweeny! John, Gordy and Pete had all had one carp each, Paul hadn’t had one and Rab had had 2 F1’s.
It remained like this for the rest of the match, for them anyway, I was obviously on fish and after tinkering with my depth and shotting pattern I got into a rhythm were I was getting a fish almost every put in. At one point I had all 5 of my competitors watching behind me, the fish were obviously there and fancied a bit of feed so I would constantly keep flicking out half a dozen maggots and re-laying my rig in until I got a bite, even if I struck late into a bite, yards of elastic would still pile out, this was brilliant!
Paul and Pete decided they’d had enough and packed up at 2pm and headed home. John, Rab and Gordon had also started packing, meanwhile I was still catching one or two although it had slowed somewhat. Although I did manage a mirror of 3lb and a common of 5lb with 10 minutes to go. Normally on Alders, especially at this time of year you would expect the Ide to be feeding and not the carp, but hey ho I’d had a really good day.
At 3 o’ clock I shouted time, even though I was the only one still fishing! I had my personal photographer with me so managed a final catch shot to round off the day. In total I’d had 18 F1’s, a Skimmer and two proper carp fro over 30lb. Rab finished with 2 carp and 3 Ide so came 2nd.
In one sense I’m looking forward to next week, although I just hope I’m on fish, if not I also might be heading home early!