Another new venue for me this Sunday, and following on from Trinity I think I may be sticking to venues I know! I gave a lift to Warren Bates and he and I both had a lot of bait and rigs made up to cover all eventualities. This lake is a snake lake, and you can see it when travelling north on the M5. Mind you getting to and from the venue once off the motorway is hilarious. My journey involved (not in order) travelling down various windy pot hole lanes, driving over the canal, going through a tunnel just bigger than my car, driving directly under the M5 through a fly tipping area and crossing a railway. A Land Rover would be better!
At the draw I spotted some faces that I had not seen since last summer, old Cider Farm regulars, including Steve Howells and so I knew one flyer would be gone! Steve advised the lake contained small carp, skimmers, a few tench and the usual roach and rudd. With 23 fishing there was £100 for the winner today! When I drew peg 39 I tried desperately to get some info, all I got were upturned noses. The best I got from one local was that peg is either all or nothing, and you'll know soon enough.....
I had lots of room as I was in a corner and the other side of the corner (peg 1) had been left out to help me. I set up a 0.3gm inter 4 with 0.10 to 18 for use with soft pellet initially used at 7 sections at 10 o'clock. Across I found 18" of water and set up a 4x10 durafloat with 0.12 to 16 B911 for soft pellet. A 4x12 durafloat was set up for 14 mtrs next to some reeds with 0.14 to 16 B911. At the start I cupped small amounts of micros across in 2 spots and on the 7 section line, half a cup of 4mms were fed next to the reeds. Let me now jump ahead to one hour gone, I've got one roach and have bumped one skimmer and I was thinking of lots of plan B's! I had some worms with me so introduced some CW&C in the open water, and I tried this on and off all day long for 1 roach!!!! I finally managed to pick up 3 small carp and a tench from the far bank but that died, and you had to feed another line and look elsewhere. The wind was awful though and the far bank was pulling like a river and fishing was difficult.
Halfway through and it was like pulling hens teeth, Lewis Jones on 37 had hardly any wind in his peg and had caught far more than me by fishing next to an aerator. With 3 hours to go I went down to the reeds at 14 mtrs for another look and the float buried, I managed to catch a few small carp here over the next hour and a half. It then went a bit iffy and I foul hooked a few and it went very quiet. Despite trying all of the swims I fed I could only manage 1 small skimmer and a carp away from the reed swim, and so had to stay there and wait for the very odd bite. I did catch one small carp down the edge, and I thought for a while that there were a fair view carp in the margins. I later realised it was actually the now rare water vole, and there were a few about. Lovely to see them again as when I was a kid I saw them all the time on the Avon, then the bastard mink wiped the lot out.
I was quite pleased when the whistle went I can tell you! My total weight of 19lb 14oz was never going to trouble the others, and Lewis gave me a lesson weighing 25lb, I weighed more carp than him but he had lots of skimmers. Warren had not had a single carp and caught 9lb of roach and rudd by fishing caster across. 32lb won the match and Lewis was 3rd beaten by 8oz for 2nd by Steve Howells. Steve told me he had 15lb of skimmers in his net and had them fizzing, so they are in there!
All the locals said the venue had not fished this bad for a long time, in fact one local who regularly picks up had not had a bite after two hours fishing for carp and went and fished on another lake! I think on the day I messed up as there were carp against the reeds, I should have stuck to feeding with a toss pot but the catty came out as I thought the noise would help. However, other than that the rest of the peg seemed devoid of fish. I won't draw too much from this one match, but suffice to say I won't be going back until the weights are much more consistent!