Monday, August 06, 2007

Willow Park Battering

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Today I was off the Willow Park for the first time. I was representing the team; there are 3 other forum teams in attendance, Total-fishing, Talk-angling and Angling forums. The team orders were I had to be last in my section to keep with the tradition of Maggotdrowners finishing last. I was on the middle lake that apparently held plenty of carp, f1s, and silverfish and would be perfect for the pole shallow, or even the pellet waggler.

I was a bit worried in the run up to the event when I noticed a club match was won on the lake with only 27lb. Surely a lake that demands a £10 a day peg fee offers better fishing than the result reflected? Further alarm bells rang when I read on the forum that the carp had all escaped from the lake in a recent flood. Added to this one of our team was down there the day before for a look around and reported not a lot was being caught on the middle lake! Things were starting to look grim.

I arrived the morning of the match and I must admit the lake looked good although the pegging was tight. After a tea and chat with the other members of the team the draw was made and I was on peg 20, this meant nothing to me not having seen the lake before but I was informed it was a decent draw. Arriving at the peg it did look good, a large willow to the left overhung the water, and a corner to the right with plenty of cover in the margin was the 2 obvious places to fish. Disappointingly I was limited the distance I could fish out in front of me without “crossing swords” because my peg faced a line of anglers on the other banks.

With the enforced bait limit of 3 small bags of pellet my tactics were going to be fishing shallow with the limited amount of pellet I had, also I was going to target the margins with paste and corn, I would have rather used pellet but didn’t have enough to use for both, an all out carp attack. I also had a few maggots with me to avoid a blank if things went wrong!

I won’t bore you with the rig details but I set up one for the margins, a couple shallow and one for on the deck. Also a pellet waggler rod.

At the off I fed a few ball of groundbait on the pole line straight out in front, and some corn and hemp in the margins both sides. I started with the on the deck rig but flicked out a few pellets every 30 seconds to try and catch shallow. During the next hour I went through several hook baits, corn, pellet, paste, eventually catching a small roach on maggot! The swim was devoid of fish as I was getting very few indications on the float.

During this time I also was flicking half a dozen pellets out to my right at about 25 meters as I noticed the odd carp cruising, I had a few cast with this rod to try and mug one of these cruising fish but again caught nothing. I wasn’t keeping track of time but at about the 2 hour mark with only a few small roach to show for my efforts I dropped a lump of paste in my right margin where I had been feeding, the float settled and started moving about then went under, lifting the pole I was into a carp, then 10 second later it came off. I won’t repeat what I said next!

The next hours were a not event fishing wise as I had a few more small roach by switching between the lines I have fed. It was now time to really attack the swim to try and make something happen, out of desperation I took the decision to concentrate on the pellet waggler and I had 2 pints of 6mm pellet left, so stepping up the feed to a dozen pellet every 15 second where I had spotted the odd cruising carp out to my right. All this achieved was to push the carp out of range!

40 minute were left and I quickly set up a shallow maggot rig to put a few more fish in the net, flicking a few maggots out at about 6 meters I managed about 10 small roach then hooked something a little bigger, playing it carefully it was a F1 of about 3lb. No more followed and I was relived when the whistle went to signal the end.

This scratching about sort of fishing that was required on the day is not really my style and to be honest I didn’t get the best from the peg. 2 hours in I had lost interest really!

The scales came around and I put a pitiful 4lb on them, putting me about 14th out of the 20 anglers on the lake and 4th in the 4 man section. 18lb won the lake!!!

Thankfully I did my bit and our team came in last on the day as expected.

The result being.
Angling Forums 40 pts Total Fishing 1 38 pts Talk Angling 33 pts Maggot Drowners 29 pts

I was tempted to ask for a refund of my peg fee as the fishing was poor, personally I expect to catch a few if I am paying £10 and quite frankly the place is not up to standard, There was plenty of talent fishing the lake and most struggled. I do think the 3 pint pellet limit is in place to stop you overfeeding the few fish present! The rumoured lack of carp in the lake seemed true as I saw little evidence of large numbers of fish present, it was a hot sunny day and you would have expected to see plenty of fish cruising in the surface layers.

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