Today was the penultimate round of my winter league and with the last round being cancelled due to the snow i hadn’t been out for a few weeks so was really looking forward to it , although the weather wasnt going to make things easy because it had taken a dramatic drop in temperature with every were being frozen solid . The day before i had rung the fishery to find out the conditions of boulders+goose and they told me it was mostly free from ice with just the odd peg being covered in cat ice which sounded promising , i did decide to take my ice breaker with me just in case and it turned out i had made the right decision because on arrival there was a lid on the lakes .
In the conditions a good draw was going to be a massive advantage because there was a few areas that had fished hard on the earlier rounds , it was soon time for the draw and i left it till late to have my pick in the bag of doom pulling out 14 on boulders not what i wanted especially after leaving the lakes flyer in the bag which my main rival for the winter league was going to be on . When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i decided to break out three channels in the ice to eleven meters because i did not feel that the carp would want to be tight towards the far bank , after removing all the floating icebergs from my swims i had a quick plumb up and after finding just over four-foot everywhere in my peg i figured i was on for a tough match but at least i wouldn’t need lots of different rigs so i decided to set up ;
Pellet rig i used a 4×14 Md wire stemmed float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length , i expected this to be my banker swim with all the hand sized skimmers in the lake .
Maggot rig i used a 4×12 Md maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it , my hook was a size twenty guru maggot hook and elastic on both rigs was Preston size six hollo .
Dobbing rig which i would use along the edge of my ice channels and if it melted i would search all along the far bank , i set it at four-foot which was six-inch off the bottom and i used a 4×12 Md diamond float with all my bulk under the float then two size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six inch 012 garbo hook length with a size 16 guru lwg hook .
Bait for the day ;
1/2 pint of soaked micros
1 pint of red maggots with a handful of fluro pinkies mixed in
1 slice of bread
Small tub of 2+4mm expanders
When the all in sounded i began on my right hand swim and i tapped in half a dozen micros every couple of minutes but a bite less twenty minutes wasnt what i expected especially with the amount of small skimmers in here , i switched to my maggot line directly in front of me and bearing in mind what happened on my pellet swim i went even more negatively just trickling a couple of maggots in through a kinder pot , after ten minutes i had my first fish which was a small roach but at least it saved the blank because i had only seen one other fish get caught although that was a four pound carp so we was all playing catch up if we wanted good points today . I kept trickling in the maggots and i was slowly building up the swim putting some roach in the net with the occasional decent ide among them , after a while my bites stopped and i soon found out why when i hooked a carp which shot off under the ice towards my right , all i could do was put my pole under the water and pray that it stopped i did manage to get on to my top kit but it bolted again in the clear water resulting in the hook bending out slightly which meant it pinged off , so for the second round running i had lost what turned out to be at least second place on the lake fish .
Understandably the disturbance had disrupted the peg but slowly i got the fish back feeding putting some small silvers in the net , when the rain started it began melting the ice this had a disastrous impact on the fishing because everyone on the lake stopped getting any sort of indications for at least two hours , with all the ice now gone i picked up my dobbing rig to see if i could snare myself a carp but despite working my rig to the extremes of my peg both left and right i didn’t manage a single bite . With ninety minutes of the match remaining i was back plumbing up to see if i could find any sort of depth variation and i finally found an area about a meter square which was a couple of inch deeper at eleven meters towards my left so i put a swim in there with another at 11m to my right so i could rotate between them both , i started trickling in maggots on both but i only managed bites on my left hand swim and i was soon catching some small silvers with an occasional decent ide mixed in , when the all out sounded i was kicking myself for not finding the slightly deeper swim sooner and it goes to show how important it is to search all your swim but with the lake being frozen i was a bit limited on where i could go .
When the scales arrived at my peg i put my ten ide plus a smattering of silvers on the scales which went just short of six pounds this was enough for a comfortable third place but with only nine pounds + eleven pounds filling the places above me i just needed a bonus carp to challenge them , this result pushed me down to second in the league table just a point behind the leader but at least i know which anglers i need to beat on the last round although i will have to wait nearly a month to do it and it will take place at Bradshaw’s on lakes five+six somewhere i haven’t fished before so i will be up against it a bit .