Finally, finally moved house last weekend but only today have I had my broadband installed, hence the very late blog! (I've also located my diaries so they'll be a few old memories on here in the next couple of weeks as I cannot fish for two weekends.)
Glenn Bailey picked me up Sunday, think he used his sat nav to get from Kingswood to my new house in Longwell Green, lol! I was very happy to be getting a lift as I was totally knackered from all the lifting and lumping that goes with moving. Arriving at the fishery we could already feel the chill of the Easterly wind, and so I plumped for the big breakfast to help keep me warm. I knew the fishing was going to be patchy after Brian Slipper told me how hard the fishing had been on the previous day, a draw next to a bridge would be crucial for high section points. I pulled out peg 7, and that put me up on the old lake 2 pegs past the bridge where it is about 12.5m wide. On the other side of the bridge was silvers slayer Nige Bartlett, and to my left (empty peg in between us) was Nigel Vigus (I think that's how it is spelt). I was told that I would enjoy being pegged on this lake as I would get plenty of bites from small skimmers and the recently stocked small carp.
I plumbed up the swim and from around 3mtr to 10mtr I could hardly find any difference. Although the depth was only about 3ft, with the wind whipping up I went with a wire stem 0.3g PB Inter float. The other rig set up was a 4x12 jobby for right across against the spiky grass where the depth was only about 9" shallower but it was a bit sheltered across there. To start the match I fed a small amount of micros at 5mtr, some micros and maggots right across and some casters down towards the empty peg (but never had a bite here.). Starting at 5m with a single red maggot on my 18 PR412 I had nothing for 15 mins, hmmm I was told to start here and chase the fish across but wasn't chasing anything! I put another section on and fed some micros, and tried again and on the 30 min mark I had a 8oz skimmer. I think it was about 15 mins later I had my next skimmer, this was slow going and at this early stage only Lance Tucker was catching well by fishing across (he was 4 pegs below Nige Bartlett). I decided to try across earlier than I had planned in the hope of some stocky carp, at 10 min wait to get a bite and a skimmer, then no bites so I refed it again.
At this stage I was only a couple of skimmers behind the Nigels! I then picked up a skimmer a 5mtr and another on the further line, before it went quiet again. I went across and had a 1lb carp and a 2oz carp and then no more bites, in fact I never had another bite across all match so no carp here. Three hours in and I put another section on and fed with more micros and needed some action as Mr Vigus had been catching really well over his groundbait (of which I had non with me, lol!). The wind was really severe now, I mean in strength and low temperature and holding onto the pole was physically demanding. At one stage my pole blew off the roller snapping the no4 section which had caught in between my box and box leg, poop!
By swapping between lines I managed to have a much better last two hours on the skimmers, and whilst I did take a couple on soft pellet, a couple on double red maggot, it was single red that was the best. I was still really happy when the whistle went as my hands were really suffering from the wind chill, thank goodness I didn't need a pee as I doubt I could have undone my zips! I knew I hadn't done well but hoped to avoid a disaster, Paul Faires on the end peg had some carp for 15lb, Mr Vigus had 14lb of skimmers plus some carp for 18lb, my skimmers went 12lb and my carp 2lb 4oz. Mr Bartlett (to many Nigels) had 9lb of skimmers and with his carp was short of my weight, Lance paralysed the section with 23lb but moaned the wind had stopped him from fishing across at 16mtrs where the carp were. So 5 out of 8 points in the section, not great and in hindsight I think I would have done better fishing longer for the skimmers earlier, but who knows.
Glenn was extremely fed up by the end of the day as he had just 2 skimmers for 1lb 4oz and what he assumed was last but one in the match (Fabio packed up next to him and DNW). You really do need a draw on any venue in this cold weather. You'll all know the results from the other bloggers fishing this series, the next round is on Easter Sunday and that is my next match. Please, please, please let it be warmer by then!