Another week has rolled by and to mark the end of the week another club match. This time around we were on Partridge up at Woodlands. Gordon picked me up at 745, and there was no sign of Rab? Gordon had been to his before coming to mine and there was no sign of any life form, we went back to his after loading up the van with my gear but all the curtains were still shut and he wasn’t answering his phone, we would later find out that he’d had a night on the pop and slept in!
A quick sandwich and a visit to the shop for some fishery pellets before we started to unload the van. As we were finally loading the barrows and getting ‘dressed’ other club members were walking past and asking what peg we were on, we were drawing on time then! I managed to snare peg 14 and Gordon was to be on 23, we were both at the right end of the lake as all the weights had come from this top end on the previous few matches. Pete Whale was on corner peg 18 and I was fully expecting him to empty it if the lake was in the right frame of mind.
After having pretty minimal success up at Woodlands in the past I drew for some experience of some of the fishing forums. I got some good advice and formulated a plan of attack.
It was basically to fish a line at 6m with corn or expander over a light feeding of 6mm hard fishery pellets for the first three quarters of an hour and then move onto the long line which I’d have primed from the start by firing half a dozen 6mm pellets out every 10 seconds or so.
So with the plan of attack in place, I set up the following rigs to cope with every eventuality.
6m line - I had a 4x14 Preston float set up on 0.16 Ultima Power match, a hooklength of 0.14 to a size 16 B911, this had a bulk shot 2 feet away from the hook and a couple of droppers equally spaced thereafter. Elastic was size 14 Maver Latex.
14m deep line – this was the same set up as the 6m line just with a slightly deeper rig.
14m shallow line – this was a 0.2g Malman MTD1 on 0.16 straight through to a PR36 size 16 and a hair rigged band. Elastic for this was Preston Latex, size 16 and for the first time I laccied the kits up with Dacron connectors, hopefully I’d be able to snare a couple of fish and try it out.
Margin line – I didn’t intend on using this but set it up more as a desperation rig if I wasn’t catching.
Bomb – I teamed up my Shimano Catana medium feeder rod with a 4000 series Ultimate reel, mainline was 8lb Maxima, hooklength was 2ft of 0.16 Ultima Power match again with a PR36, 16 and a hair rigged band.
Bait for the day (in keeping with fishery regulations) was:
3 Tins of Corn (not that I intended to use them all)
2 Pints of fishery 6mm pellets
½ Pint of fishery 8mm pellets
The rest of my pellet quota was made up with some 6mm expanders and an array of different hookers.
Gordon finally called time, after getting permission of Stu; we wouldn’t want the match to start 2 minutes early again would we!
I shipped out to 6m with a dozen 6mm pellets, a couple of expanders and a couple of grains of corn and dropped them in. I decided to let it settle for 10 minutes and went out on the bomb to see if I could mug an early fish. Whilst on the bomb I had also started my rigorous feeding pattern on the 14m line.
No bites prevailed on the bomb and so after 10 minutes I went onto the 6m line expecting a bite straight away, I was wrong! When the float finally did dip at about 10:30 I was greeted by a skimmer of maybe 6oz. I plodded on with the 6m as I didn’t want to go long until at least 11 giving it an hour of constant feeding. As I was starting to get a bit fed up the float dipped and then yards of elastic poured out until the fish gave in and I slipped the net under a mirror of about 3lb, that’ll do! I carried on a bit longer than planned in the hope of another fish but no bites materialised.
Meanwhile Dennis Geldard on 13 had managed to carp for about 12lb and lost an absolute dog that was easily double figures. Martin Whittaker on 15 had had a skimmer but nothing else. Up on 17, Kev Bell was starting to extract a few fish and from where we were sat they all looked good fish too. Meanwhile Whaley on the end peg hadn’t had a thing.
I finally went to the long line at 11:15 and started on the deep rig. No sooner had the rig settled, the float dipped and I was into my first fish off the line, until it pinged off, a foul hooker. I repeated this twice more and losing another two fish before deciding it was perhaps time to go shallow!
Out with the shallow rig and the float was dipping but I couldn’t hit any bites, not that you need to really, generally they hook themselves and wake you up when you pole starts getting dragged off! I decided to try a bit deeper and see if they were sucking at the bait or if it was just smaller fish having a go. The extra depth didn’t bring me any more bites so I wrote it off as being small fish but kept feeding it.
Next plan was to go out on the bomb whilst continually feeding the long line. I would eventually just rotate lines and hope for bites, I couldn’t buy a bite anywhere although I did manage 3 more small carp and another skimmer on the bomb.
Kev Bell was now on about 30lb with 8 fish, Whaley I think only had one carp, Alan on 16 had had a couple and possible a similar weight to myself and either side of me still had the same 2 carp and one skimmer.
Entering the last hour it was dire, everyone was waiting for the final whistle and a few cheers echoed when the hooter finally went off.
I was hoping Kev had done enough to place in the top four as I’d not seen many catching and then hopefully push for my section.
Tony Minikin was leading with 91lb of carp taken on the bomb and ‘’50mm’’ pellet, quite an achievement on a very difficult day. There were a few 40’s and the odd 50 so my chance of a section had all but disappeared. I still however wanted to capture Dennis and Alan’s scalp for second in section. Dennis weighed his 2 fish in for 10lb 10oz, next up was myself and I surprised my self when the scale went to 12lb 12oz, with Martin not weighing his lonely skimmer in it at least meant I’d beaten either side. Alan weighed 12lb 11oz so I ounced him, get in! Next up was Kev who have just over 30lb, Whaley then surprised me when he weighed in 19lb 12oz of skimmers and Ide, all on maggot, his plan B worked, or at least better than mine! Over the other side there were weights averaging between 18-30lb with the odd bigger weight thrown in. Gordon hadn’t weighed in so I was at least taking my quid back from last week!
Overall a very frustrating day and I’m not sure why it didn’t produce as we’d all expected. The lake was flat calm all day and the sun baking hot which could have had something to do with it but you still expect more than 6 fish over 6 hours! Next week is Poplars up at the Oaks and I’m in 2 minds whether to go or not, but come the end of the week I’m sure I’ll be raring to catch next to nothing once more!