Peg 7 Silver birch , January 4th
After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes i hoped that today might be a bit better , but it didn’t start that well when i woke up to find the car frozen with a thick frost on the ground too and the dashboard on the way to the complex showed a mighty -2 degrees . The match on here Wednesday when they had to break the ice to fish went really well with 30lb not being enough to frame so i did have a feeling even in these conditions it would fish ok but as you will find out later i was way off the mark .
On arrival at the venue i parked up and had a quick look at the match canals which were fortunately not frozen but all the melted ice plus the recent deluge of cold rain would have a bearing on how i would fish the match today , there was a thick frost all over the ground especially on the low numbered pegs on Silver birch which doesn’t get any of the winter sun due to the trees blocking out the light and i really didn’t want to draw along their .When i arrived at the cabin i was a bit surprised to see twenty anglers deciding to brave the elements and a lot of new faces since my last visit which for some reason happens a lot on here but it is a hard water to master so some people give up on it far too soon , as the names were called out one by one all the better pegs went and when it came for my turn my drawing hand let me down for the second match running with peg seven sticking to my hand it did have some summer form but today was totally different .
As i got to my home for the day i was rather down hearted especially when i saw the cold water inlet at the side of my peg which i had forgotten about plus the lack of any far bank vegetation but their was nothing i could do about it now and just had to make the most of it , sitting at my peg i thought on how best to attack it not sure if that was the best word to describe it though . I didn’t expect the near shelf to work today due to the shade so i decided to target the channel which was nearly six-foot deep i put this towards the empty platform at 11m to my left and would feed it with a kinder pot of maggots every twenty minutes my rig was a 4×14 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a staggered bulk of number ten stotz the hook length was 010 garbo which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook.
My main areas that i expected to produce for me today was on the far shelf both at the bottom at four-foot and half way up the slope at three-foot , the rigs i used was 4×12 malman roob with 012 garbo main line with a spread bulk of number ten stotz spread an inch apart starting above my hook length of 010 and a size twenty matrix bagger hook . I decided to kick off on the four-foot line before going shallower when the sun burned off the fog as i expected the fish to move into the warmer water .
My bait was what i had left over from yesterdays match at Partridge lakes ;
1 pint red and white maggots with a few pinkies mixed in
1/2 pint soaked micros
1/2 pint dark ground-bait
small tub 4mm expanders normal and white
When the all in sounded i shipped out straight in front with my four-foot rig then tapped in six maggots and then proceeded to lift-drop , slowly dragging my rig through the swim trying to entice a bite but twenty bite less minutes later i was on to swim number two and yet again i began working my rig this time though i had the tiniest tremor on the float which resulted in f1 number one making its way to the net this put me level with those anglers who had been lucky enough to catch . Another bite less twenty minutes and i was on verge of changing swims when another little dink resulted in a stockie but no other bites ensued so i had no option to change swim and yet again i had to start from scratch but it was really hard work for everyone on Silver birch .
Another rotation of my swims and out of the blue i had an indication from where i caught my previous two fish and another f1 was in the net , at twelve o’clock the sun finally burned off the fog and began warming up the water so i decided to go further up the shelf so picked up my three-foot rig i proceeded to tap in six maggots before working my rig to try to trick a fish into taking it , i had a quick burst of three fish near to where i caught at four-foot and even after working all along the far-bank i would only get bites from a two foot square area which seemed strange but thinking about it after the match i should have concentrated all my attention in this part of my peg .
I caught a couple more from this swim plus i bumped off a few which may have been foul hooked and i did miss some bites that could have been liners , so i should have tried further up the slope but with no overhanging vegetation i choose not to set up a dobbing rig which i think now was a mistake .As the all out sounded i had seven f1s+carp for about 12lb which would have been good enough for fourth if i had weighed in but didn’t bother as both end pegs and peg three had a dozen fish , with peg twenty winning with 30lb , peg three getting second with 21lb and peg one getting third with 20lb . All those anglers suffered a lot with foul hooked fish which goes to show where all the fish are shoaled up because that corner of the lake gets a lot more sun in the winter .
Well that’s my double-header out-of-the-way with a lake third and fourth not a bad start after having taken the month of from fishing , the only way is up from now on and lets hope my drawing hand improves , I’m not sure where i will be fishing at the weekend because we have been forecast some strong winds and more rain in the next few days so i might be pleasure fishing if i can find a suitably sheltered venue .