I’ve had a mixture over the last few weeks, another section and my first blank for a very long time!
This week we were on Poplars up at the Oaks and I was determined to redeem myself after my blank! On arriving at the fishery at 8am, driving past the lake it looked to be frozen, as it transpired the aerators had been purposely left off to try not ball the fish up in certain areas. With the sun shining and a bit of a breeze it hopefully wouldn’t take long for the cat ice to thaw.
There were 22 in attendance today, and with the temperatures being slightly kinder over the week prior, although minus temperatures overnight, we’d all hopefully snare a few.
I really fancied being anywhere from peg 34 to the end or peg 1 which is a noted peg on the end of the island. So in went my hand, with only three pegs left I drew peg 6, Gordon took the last peg, 36!! The peg John had had some success on a few weeks ago.
I made my way round to my peg to discover that peg 2 to 5 were clear of ice, peg 7 up looked clear of ice, and my peg, peg 6, iced right across! Due to the low sun and a tree behind my peg meant that the sun wasn’t quite getting through to my peg! This would be interesting!
I set about breaking as much of the ice as I could with my landing net, but it was unsuccessful, I managed to set up a line about 5m in front of peg 7’s platform and also plumbed up a line at 11m and in front of the sedges. I wouldn’t be able to fish the second too but managed to plumb up for when the ice hopefully disappeared.
My rigs for in front of peg 7 and 11m were both KC Carpa Belters 4x12, these were on 0.10 Ultima Power Match to 0.08 Preston Powerline and size 20 Drennan Silverfish Pellet hooks, both on solid 6 latex elastic. The sedge rig was the same but with a 4x10 float and soft doubled 5 elastic. The deep rigs were only 3ft at best, I’m sure its normally nearer 5ft, though my sedge line was still 2-2.5ft.
Bait today I had some micros and some 4mm expanders and some black swim stim. I also had half a pint of whites and a pint of casters.
The all in was called at 10am and we were away, sort of.....I had to fish my short line, and if I hooked a fish, I’d have to navigate through the slalom of ice! I fed my 11m line with 3 micros and a pinch of groundbait first though to try encourage some fish into my swim for later. I fed the short line with half a dozen casters and hooked a single caster like a maggot and dropped it in. I was lifting and dropping the float every fifteen seconds or so eventually tempted a bite, I was a bit too eager on the strike though and missed it. I came back and rebaited and went in the same hole again, no sooner had my float settled and the wind picked up and you could see the ice starting to shift! I shipped in and amazingly 10 seconds later all the ice had near enough cleared my peg “upstream”!
Guessing the bite I’d had would have been from small roach I decided to put this rig down and go over the pellet line at 11m instead in search of “proper” fish but keep dripping a few casters in on this line just in case.
I dropped in on my 11m line with a 4mm pellet and slowly lowered the rig in, the float was a mere pimple and I was lifting the float 6inch out of the water every 15 seconds or so to try an entice a bite. Eventually the float “wobbled” and I lifted into my first fish. The 6 elastic was perfect and I soon had an F1 of about 12oz in the net. I shipped back out and this time fed 4 micros over the top, repeating the lifting of the float I hooked into a better fish and after a brief tussle slipped the net under a big F1 that must have 2lb plus, just goes to show that even on really light lines these bonus fish can be landed if you take your time. I repeated this for the remainder of the first hour and managed 9 F1’s for about 10lb.
I anticipated this line would fade and started to feed another 11m line but to my left instead. The first swim died and the second one never got going! Seems to be a common theme in my matches lately, I just can’t seem to get the fish to settle and once I’ve lost them that’s it!
I decided to drop in on my short and managed a few tiny roach and a perch of about 6oz. I then scratted about for bites for the rest of the day but only managed 2 more F1’s off the sedges and a handful of small roach.
At the all out I had 11 F1’s and my few silvers. From looking round, the other anglers at my end of the lake had struggled although the chap next to me had caught silvers fairly well all day and the lad on peg 1 had easily beaten me fishing down either edge.
At the all in peg 1 was leading with 31lb, peg 3 DNW’ed and then I weighed 13lb 4oz, the chap next to me ended up weighing 12lb 10oz so it was very close in the end and those few silvers I caught had vitally boosted my weight.
The match was won with 60lb from around peg 18ish and 52lb came second off the winners neighbour. Tubby Roofer weighed 17lb and he’d done me for the quid again! That makes it 2 all this year, need to pull my finger out! Or borrow Gordies drawing arm! Honest John had 9 fish for 6lb, obviously just a much smaller stamp than mine.
With the top four being paid out I managed my section again, as did Gordon!
It’s Alders next week, so hopefully with a bit of warmer weather the fish will be in more of a mood to feed!