I was off to a new venue today; it was Sams Lakes near Headcorn, Kent. The club I joined this year the Maidstone Town League were running a small match on the top lake. This would be good practice as I had a match here next month with a £500 first prize on offer.
I arrived and found a very nice looking fishery, the lawns surrounding the lakes looked like a golf course and there were lots of vegetation all around with several islands in the lake. The lake we were on had 30 pegs but we were only fishing 1 to 17 most had plenty of water in front of them to draw fish in from. I pulled out peg 17 that was apparently at the beginning of a section known as the graveyard! A narrow bit of the lake that had the island at about 14-16 meters away that had a reputation as being devoid of fish. Great I thought. I have included an overhead shot of the lake so you can see what I mean
I got to the swim and it looked OK with a big tree on the far bank that was 11 meters away, there was also a couple of gaps in the cover where you could drop the float into at around 13 meters.
Today I was going to experiment to see what worked in preparation for the bigger match next month. I had 3 baits with me to try, hard and expander pellets in several sizes, corn and some maggots. Also a few chum mixers as floating baits are allowed.
I set up a few rigs one shallow with a Drennan Carp 4 to fish pellet. A on the deck pellet/corn rig to fish tight to the far bank cover and one to fish down the middle at about 7 meters both with Carpa Chimp floats. A lighter on the deck rig for maggots also with a Carpa Chimp float. Then finally a margin rig with a BGT short float.
I had a new rod with me to try today too, a 10ft Shakey Match 3 feeder, this would be ideal for fishing a bomb short over the pole line, something I have been doing well with lately. This was set up with a short 6in trace of 0.20mm, attached to a 12 hook to hair rig a pellet.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do so thought I would wing it! At the whistle I cupped in some pellet over by the tree and maggots down the middle. Out went the rig over by the tree with a single 6mm expander as bait. This produced nothing for about half an hour! I started to think no wonder they call this section the graveyard as there was no signs of fish anywhere! So it was down the middle where I had been feeding maggots with the lighter rig, baiting with a double white maggot I started to pick up a few small roach. I continued to feed the far bank with a catty about every 2 mins with about 6-10 6mm pellets in the hope of drawing something in while knocking out the roach.
The wind had been steadily increasing during the next hour and was really blowing strong by now from one side; this was making it difficult to hold the pole steady. I felt it was time to go back over the far side with pellet but holding the pole at the 13 meters needed was difficult to say the least. It bent quite alarmingly so I threw it up the bank as I didn’t fancy my chances of it staying in one piece. I picked up the bomb rod and baited it with an 8mm pellet wrapped in paste. This was swung out into the gap in the far bank tree. I was just tightening the line and the rod was almost pulled off the rest. Without too much trouble a 3lb carp was soon in the net. At least there was something in the graveyard!
Several of its mates joined it in the next hour or so some fish to around 5lb. Sport was slow but steady for the rest of the match as I continued to catch a few by feeding two areas of the far bank with the catty and pellet and swapping between the two. I ended up with about 15 carp by the end of the match.
I was last to weigh and 48lb was the best weight, followed by a 36lb and a 32lb. I ended up with 35lb putting me in third on the day, apparently this was a good weight from the swim I had and most had expected me to struggle to catch any carp. I managed to draw a few in by feeding positively little and often.