Peg 59 covey three , January 3rd
After not getting on the bank at all during December due to various reasons but mainly because i just didn’t want to sit in the cold being a soft arse a break does you well every once in a while , today i made the decision to brave the elements and test out my new matrix suit . I planned on having a double-header with Saturday being at Partridge lakes and on Sunday at Sycamore fisheries , when i woke up for todays match the weather forecast had been for consistent light rain but little in the way of a breeze and unfortunately even after bouncing it down all night they had got it right . As i set off in the car to the fishery the dashboard showed a mighty three degrees and i wasn’t expecting it to rise above that during the day either .
Their was 54 anglers due to contest the open match so i was a bit surprised when as i joined the queue for the draw we were informed that they were only going to pay out on the top three plus sections of eight anglers and with covey 1 to 5 being in you would have to nearly win your lake to pick up any money which seemed a bit strange , so it was a nice easy match to blow away the cobwebs and worse was to follow when i pulled out peg 59 on covey three ( as per usual ) this was a peg that i had struggled to catch f1s on in summer but did get out of trouble by catching a few big carp in the margins for a section win .
On arrival at my peg i found it to be only ten meters wide so i decided not to over complicate things and put feed all over the swim so settled on just the three rigs ;
Two foot for dobbing along the far-bank with bread or white pellet i used a 4×10 scone float with just two number 11 stotz along the 012 garbo main line to allow for a slow fall of my hook bait , my hook length was 010 garbo which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .
I decided against a three-foot deep rig and went for a four-foot one to fish on both slopes although finding a flat spot against the far-bank was a bit tricky with the point of the island coming quite far under the water , i hopped this was to be my main line of attack and i used a 4×12 malman roob float with a one inch spread bulk of number ten stotz starting above a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook .
My other rig was for the channel which i placed at eleven meters to my left into the wider bowl out-of-the-way , this is a line that lots of people use on here to a great deal of success but it is something i just can not get to work and because i don’t have any confidence in it i probably dont give it enough time , my float was a 4×14 malman roob which had a staggered bulk of number ten stotz the main line was 012 garbo and hook length 010 garbo which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook attached .
My bait was the usual for on here but with a couple of winter baits included ;
1 pint red and white maggots plus a few pinkies
1/2 pint soaked micros
1/2 pint dark ground-bait
small tub 4mm expanders normal and white
slice of bread with 4mm punch for dobbing
When the all in sounded at ten i went out to the far-bank and began dobbing bread against the reeds at two foot deep which was six-inch of the deck , i spent the first hour working all along the extremes of my peg with only two bites to show for it but luckily for me i hadn’t fell to far behind because all the anglers in my eye shot hadn’t caught either and they were all fishing at different depths so i had no clues at what the best area to go on next as usually f1s tend to stick in a certain depth of water where they feel the most comfortable .
I decided to give my four-foot deep rig a go and plumbed up three areas of the peg i purposely didn’t plumb up at the start of the match here because i didn’t want to disturb my far-bank before i began dobbing also i tend to have the memory of a goldfish so forget the exact positions to fish .I went out directly in front of me with a single red on the hook and tapped in six maggots over the top of the float i began lifting-dropping or slowly dragging the hook bait for about twenty minutes without any success , i was then off too another part of the peg and started again but this did not produce either so yet again a move was in order i was working my peg from right to left towards the bowl at the end of the split were it was at its widest part and i was now at the point of the island . After working my rig here i had the slightest dink on the float i had hoped that i had found a nest of f1s but my luck was out when a big ide surfaced at the net and at least i had got rid of the dreaded blank because after two hours it was looming large .
With no more bites forthcoming i decided to re-feed all three of my four-foot lines each with six maggots before giving my channel line a try but as per usual for me on here this failed to produce a bite even after being fed for half the match i did continue to drop a dozen maggots in every thirty minutes for another try later in the match , with the lack of action from the fish and the constant raining my hands began to cramp up so i decided for a ten minute time out to try to get some blood circulating in my fingers it was at times lack this that i remembered why i don’t like winter fishing .
It seemed that the rest had done my swim some good because first drop with my four-foot rig directly in front of me and my float slowly slid under a firm strike saw yards of elastic dragged out of the pole , this was not going to be an ide and after five minutes of careful playing i had a carp of around 4lb in the net .Another ten bite less minutes past before i had another little dink on the float and another slightly smaller carp made its way to the net things were beginning to look interesting as these two carp had put me level or even slightly in front of the six anglers within eye shot apart from the guy on peg 73 who every time i looked up seemed to be playing a fish and after the match i found out he had won it with 110lb all on dobbed bread the Sunday open was also won from the same peg using the same method .
I rotated my swims again but i only managed two more ide from the point of the island and as we was fast approaching the final hour of the match i felt that i needed another carp or a run of f1s to be in with a chance of my section today as i figured that a low weight would be good enough , with forty minutes remaining the rain stopped the sun came out and the fish began feeding with seemingly a life less area of covey three now producing the odd fish . I was back on my original swim but unfortunately for me the next bite resulted in being attached to another big carp which lead me a merry dance and when i failed to net it not once but twice it made a bid for freedom dashing under my platform , i could see the carp of about 5lb near the leg of my stage and when i tried to scoop it the fish bolted breaking the hook length my lack of recent match practise had cost me today as i waved bye-bye to a no doubt section winning carp .
Before the all out sounded i managed one more bite which resulted in my only f1 of the day being added to the net , when the scales arrived at my peg i had 16lb to beat but could only manage 12lb consisting of three ide , two carp and a solitary f1 for i think third on the lake plus if they had paid normal sections of five anglers i would have picked up the section but also if i had managed to land that carp then i would have been second on the lake but that’s match fishing for you and with my first contest of the year over with its hopefully onwards and upwards starting at Sycamore fisheries tomorrow .