January third , peg ten Big Max
At the weekend i was due to fish the latest round of the Diggle AC winter league at Old Hough but in the week i found out that there had been a mishap with the booking of the venue , rather than be on lucky dip + prospect we was going to be on Big Max which at first i was rather happy about as it has a big head of large f1s +carp and i had also won my last match on it with a near ninety pounds . Although my happiness soon faded when i found out that the match on it the previous day was only won with thirty pounds with only low teens being required to frame plus they had decided that the match wouldn’t be part of the winter league , the weather over the weekend was forecast to be pretty damp to say the least and on the day of the match it rained constantly from start to finish but at least we hadn’t had a concerted cold spell yet which is good for the start of January .
After my short thirty mile journey to Old Hough i was one of the first to arrive the conditions didn’t look that bad with light drizzle and a slight breeze from left to right although it was due to increase considerably as the day progressed , as the hustle + bustle of the draw took place i ended up with peg ten which i found round the far side of the lake and on arriving at it i had the misfortune of a head wind meaning i was going to get proper soaked it was also noticeable that it was quite colder than the far side i felt it could have an effect on the fishing as well , the peg itself had an island chuck of at least thirty meters and some reed lined margins but the front of my platform was also weedy i don’t think that this peg had been fished a great deal in the past few weeks.
On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decided to attack it by setting up ;
Matrix 8ft carp master tip rod which i clipped up at 25m because i remembered on my last visit that it was weedy + shallow tight across i also felt the carp or f1s would be happy sitting in the deeper water and as it was a bit colder on this side of the lake i decided to start by using the straight lead with a two foot hook length of 014 garbo that had a size 16 guru hook it also had a bait band attached .
Pole line i plumbed this up at eleven meter which was manageable in the conditions and it also gave me options of going further out later in the match , i decided to use a heavier more stable float with a 4×16 malman roob coming out of the box my shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers and it had 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch hook length of 008 garbo , attached to it was a size twenty Matrix bagger hook this would allow me to use either pellets or maggots on the hook .
When the all in sounded i cast my lead out to my far bank marker with a yellow buoyant bandam in the bait band which i hoped would stand out in the muddy water and i had intended on pinging a couple of pellets over the top , but the wind was that strong i just couldn’t reach i had to make the most of any quite spells that came along . After ten minutes of inactivity i recast my rig out but this time with a hard 8mm on the hook which was the same as i was trying to feed , this seemed to do the trick because 15 minutes past before my rod was nearly dragged in and i was attached to one of the many large carp in the lake , i was just getting it under control when it darted to my right which broke my hook length and it was probably my fault as i had not tied up a fresh hook choosing instead to use one from a few years back worse was to follow when i found out i didn’t have any more long enough .
After rummaging through my hook length box i found one that was around a foot in length but after casting back in it just didn’t feel right and i decided to start using a pellet feeder as at least this would allow me to get some bait near my hook bait , i had three quick casts every five minutes to try to get some fish to settle in the area and then began the wait for a bite , ten minutes passed then twenty without even a liner and i was on the verge of giving up before going on the pole when my tip pulled round by keeping my rod low , bumping and winding i soon had a big 2lb f1 in the net . I cast back out with renewed vigour hoping that a couple more had settled on the feed but yet again i was in for a bit of a wait and it took another ten minutes before my next pull round but it did result in a similar sized f1 on looking around the lake this put me in front , i then had a thirty minute spell of inactivity and decided to go on to my pole line to pick up a few silvers and maybe the odd f1 as this would at least allow me to keep adding fish to my net , i began by feeding a full kinder pot of pellets before lowering my expander hook bait among it and then proceeded to keep my rig still over the top of it this resulted in a couple of missed indications but when i did finally connect with one it turned out to be a 4oz skimmer not exactly what i was looking for especially as bites were really hard to come by .
Another thirty minutes on the tip did not produce a single liner so back on the pole i went but i decided to change it for maggots hoping this might get me among the large head of roach , i began catching small silvers around 1oz a piece but i was struggling to get a bigger stamp and i started to feed a full kinder pot after every fish to try to get a bit of bait on the deck , i also changed my shotting pattern to a bulk + single dropper because i felt that the small roach were intercepting the bait as it fell so hopefully my increased feed would help pin them to the deck and might even drag in a bigger stamp by doing that i did pick up the odd four ounce silver among the bits . When the bites began to slow down i had another look on my tip rod but this time i began getting the odd liner which at least showed that a few bigger fish had made their way around from the other side of the island , although i didn’t get any proper indications and thinking about it now i should have kept clipping up closer + closer towards me until i had a proper pull round because it seems obvious that the fish were settled in deeper water .
Back on the pole and i was considering putting in a line further out but with the wind still gusting badly plus the lads either side of me who was fishing at 16m were not catching any quicker than my short line and in fact it was easier for me to put a few fish in the net , i spent the last hour fishing the pole on my short six meter line and among the plentiful small silvers i managed my biggest fish of the day which was a 3lb f1 it came in really easily even on my solid six elastic but it felt like a block of ice , unfortunately i didn’t manage any more before the all out sounded and to be honest i was glad to call time on what was a pretty poor match as i hadn’t caught a great deal like most people around me plus i was soaked through . When the scales arrived at my peg 13lb was in the lead and my net went a surprising 10lb that lost carp cost me dear you just can not make mistakes at this time of year because it would have been more than three-quarters of my match weight , as i began packing up the rain stopped wind dropped and the sun came out Typical ! !
As i got back to the van i heard that 20lb had won so i ended up third which i was sort of happy with because other than the lost carp i don’t think that i could have done a great deal different , back on the winter league next weekend this time it’s on boulders+goose lets hope i can finish in the top three which should keep me in contention and I’m looking forward to getting amongst the recently stocked f1s let’s just hope the weather is a bit better for fishing .