Sunday, 21 February 2016

Windmill Fishery Open

It has been a funny old week with some real ups and downs. Had to see a physio as it turns out I've torn my calf muscle, work was full on again, the wife had to take her Dad to hospital for an op and on the way some clown drove into the back of her car, it will probably be written off as it's not worth a lot. My youngest daughter was 18 on Saturday and that means I don't have kids anymore (both adult daughters now), and of course Bristol Rovers were taken over by a very wealthy Jordanian family. Going fishing was a late decision on Friday when I heard from Shaun Townsend about a match up at Windmill, with no time to get any maggots Dave Haines kindly bought me some.

I woke up bleary eyed Sunday which was mainly due to being woke up by my daughters coming back in from town at 3:45am, hey ho I was young once too lol! Decided to have breakfast at home and I managed to pour fruit juice on my cereal, cranberry infused weetabix is not a good taste. No more mishaps today please. Car loaded I was on my way, had to first negotiate my way around a driver who seemed hell bent and driving in the wrong lanes / middle of road, he gave me a nasty stare as I passed him, think he was high...   The drive along the fishery road is a good test for any car suspension, and with the pot holes filled with muddy water the car was filthy when I finally parked. There was a club match on the match lake today (Steve Jefferies and Joe Thompson both on that) and the open was on the speci carp lake. I was told this lake was "full" with "thousands" of little carp, and a maggot and micro approach would suffice, of course there was a chance of connecting with a bigger carp too. There is a golden peg running here and it is up to £200, and three golden pegs were in the hat. Fishery owner drew Shaun's peg and it was end peg 1 and a golden peg, I got myself peg 8 which was also a golden peg.

Drove to the side of the lake to find my peg had been fished the day/night before by carp anglers (I'd seen them packing up when I arrived). They'd certainly churned up the bank into a mud pit, and I hoped they'd not dumped a load of bait in. I've got no pics of the peg as I kept the phone tucked away from the rain and mud, but I was basically in a wide bit with an island over to the left and right. I was never going to reach them though as the wind was fierce and I had taken all my rods out of the holdall (very likely a mistake). I tried to get my box in place on the steep sloping bank (no platform) and I ended up with in the water in a nice position. I set up just two rigs to fish on a top set, and a top set + 3 sections, a 0.5g PB Inter4 with a 18 PR412 to 0.12, and 0.75 rugby ball jobby with the same end tackle. On my side tray was micro, maggot, a few expanders and some corn.

On the all in I cupped micros and maggots on my top set line, and out further, starting on the long line with a maggot on the hook the float moved, but only due to the tow. It was about 20 minutes in before I had my first 4oz carp, I never saw a bite, so I shallowed the rig by an inch. Ten minutes later I had a little dink and a 8oz carp was netted, twenty minutes later a 2oz fish was swung it. It certainly wasn't a blistering start and after an hour I only had those 3 carp, Martin Reyatt on my left had 7.  The wind got worse and it became a challenge to hold the pole at times. I tried the heavier rig with 6 inches of line on the deck to help keep the bait still, I did take a small carp on this rig but then no more. Topping up with small amounts of micro and maggot was done via a cadpot, but I had no pattern to feed to. The next hour was just as tough and I only had a couple of small carp, Glenn Bailey turned up for a quick watch and caught 2 more little uns whilst he was there. He walked the bank and said only Shaun was catching regularly but only those same little carp.

In the next hour I had a major issue, the bank was collapsing and my box was slipping and sinking forwards. I had to get off it and try to lift it back up, this was not easy as the bank was steep and very slippery. I had to repeat this twice more during the match to prevent my self being submerged. The fishing never improved, I did all of a sudden get 3 small carp in 3 drops on the long line but that then heralded an hour+ without a bite. The top set never produced anything despite it being the same depth as the long line. I went for a walk in the end, and everyone was struggling, Shaun and Norman Ferris (both end pegs) both in the lead admitting to 4lb, and so a decent carp was all that was needed. I fed some corn and micro to my right and fed half a pot of micros and maggots on the original line. I sat a long time without anything, and then had 3 small carp again on the bounce on the maggot but then nothing. With an hour to go with everything covered in mud, with no signs of a decent fish and my box slipping away I packed in. If I had taken a lead rod with me I would have chucked that out and waited in hope, but I messed up there. Walking back down the other side of the slope with my gear I lost my footing and landed on my ass, more mud lol!

Martin kindly text me the final weights, in the end Norman Ferris won the match with 13lb 4oz which included an 8lb 14oz carp landed with 15 mins to go. That meant Shaun came 2nd with 12lb and missed out on the golden peg, I believe he was ever so slightly gutted, especially as he lost an estimated 15lb carp at the net, ouch!  Martin came third with 5lb 3oz.  I think I'll wait till it drys out somewhat before fishing this lake again.

Will I be fishing next weekend, not sure, I am away most of this week working in Czech Republic and may have to go looking for a car next weekend.

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