I was off to fish a 2 day event at the fishery, I’ve only ever been to the place once before so wasn’t that familiar with the best tactics so decide to just fish it how I see it on the day. From my previous trip I know the lake held lots of carp and F1’s plus roach, rudd and skimmers. There were 40 anglers fishing the event on the match lake and pegging was going to be a bit tight as the place is not very big.
At the draw I pulled out peg 37, this didn’t mean a lot to me but when I arrived it looked OK with a big reed bed out in the middle of the lake at about 9 meters, this was right in front of me so I had a limited amount of water to fish. The two pegs either side of me were quite close and there was no cover down the margin so it didn’t look like it would be worth fishing there!
I didn’t set up many rigs just a on the deck one with a BGT Short float that could be used up against the reed bed, the depth was the same at 4ft all along so this would cover all along it. Also a shallow rig with a Drennan Carp 4 dibber to fish pellet and one to fish the margins but I didn’t expect to catch there.
Bait wise I had with me plenty of 6mm pellets, 6mm and 4mm expanders, corn and a pint of maggots. I also knocked up some groundbait.
At the whistle I fed 3 small balls of ground bait mixed with 4mm expanders at one end of the weed bed to try to attract skimmers, at the other end I started shallow on the pellet rig. The first hour on the shallow rig produced not a sniff of a fish. The whole lake was producing very little! I had been feeding a few 4mm pellets at the other end of the weed bed and dropped the bottom rig in over the top with a 4mm pellet and had a bite almost immediately and an 8oz skimmer was in the net, then nothing for the next half an hour. Another spell on the shallow rig still produced nothing. I had been feeding the margin and had a go there and had not a sniff. Lucky for me the rest of the lake was fishing poor with only the odd carp being caught.
A quick re think and I though I may be able to win the section with small fish, so I quickly got out another top kit with a number 8 latex in it, I attached a small dibber, 0.12mm trace and a size 20 Kamasan Animal hook. You may think the hook and trace bit strong for small rudd and roach but I wanted to land any bonus carp I did hook so it was a bit of a compromise.
With a single white maggot hook bait, feeding little and often I started to pick up a few small rudd and roach, nothing big but as least I was putting a few in the net, the guy to my right in my section had had a couple of carp though so I really needed one to catch him up. Just as I was thinking that the float buried and I was into a carp, playing it very carefully it was only about 1.5lb but the way the lake was fishing desperately needed. A few smaller rudd followed and with a hour left I was running out of maggots!
I did notice a carp nosing the reed island in front of me so I quickly picked up my shallow pellet rig, flicked out a few pellets to the edge of the reed and dropped the rig in, this produced an instant but and another small carp of about 2lb was in the net. As I only had a few maggots left I continued to fish pellet shallow against the reed but didn’t have another touch.
With only 15 mins to go and a handful of maggots left I went out again with the shallow maggot rig and feeding 5 at a time picked up another 10 small rudd before the whistle went.
The lake had fished really poor and sections were being won with low double figures. I didn’t think I had done that well as surely someone had caught a few carp in my section? Unbelievably the top weight in my section was only 8lb 6oz with most just having a couple of carp, and one guy had blanked! My two small carp and rudd went 8lb 11oz taking the section. Setting out to catch small fish was a big risk but it had paid off on an out of sorts lake.
The section win put me 4th on points as 3 of the other section winners had a better weight than me although the top 5 all had one penalty point. I was well in contention for day 2.
It a good job I’m not superstitious as I pulled out peg 13, This was good looking peg that juts out into the lake with lots of open water in front of me.
I had 3 pints of maggots with me today just in case it fished poor again but looking at the lake I had a feeling I won’t be needing them today, you could see a few carp moving which they were not doing yesterday so prospects were looking better.
It was quite warm so I decided to go for an all out shallow pellet/pole attack, although I did set up a on the deck rig, a margin rig and the shallow maggot rig just in case. Being a wide part of the lake I also set up a pellet waggler rod.
I had one of the section winners from day one for company on the next peg just to make thing interesting.
At the start I dumped some pellets in the margins and went out with the shallow rig at around 9 meters where I had already seen carp cruising. Feeding pellet little and often things where slow with not one bite in the first 45 minutes. Everybody around me seemed to be picking up the odd carp fishing on the deck with the guy on the next peg caching 6! Where I had been feeding shallow the peg was fizzing so I dropped in with the on the deck rig and had plenty of indication on the float. Unfortunately none of these were bites; you could feel the fish rubbing against the line if you lifted the float but the seemed to be shying away from the line. They were obviously in the swim and feeding but I couldn’t hook one.
Two hours into the match I suddenly had a brainwave, quickly setting up a bomb rod, I attached a small bomb and on the end was a size 14 hook with an 8mm hair rigged pellet, I wrapped the pellet in a big lump of paste and swung it out 9 meters over the pole line. Tightening the line the rod got pulled round and I was into my first carp, this was followed by another one quite quickly.
I continued to feed little and often to try to get the fish shallow and did spot a few swirls so quickly went out with the shallow rig and picked up 2 F1 carp. And that is how the rest of the match went, fishing shallow feeding little and often then if I spotted a bit of fizzing in the peg just drop in with the bomb rod and more often than not I would pick up a carp. I can’t remember the exact number of fish I had but it was around 15 by the time the whistle went picking up 7 on the bomb and the rest shallow.
The lake had fished a lot better today with over 60lb winning the match but luckily not my section! 25lb was top in my section and the word was none of the previous day’s section winners had won today. With just me and two others left to weigh my carp went 29lb and the other two couldn’t better it.
So with a 2 point score over the two days this was enough to take the title, a big trophy and collect £510 for the two section wins and overall. So I was well pleased.
Looking back swapping to the shallow maggot rig and catching rudd on day 1 while other sat it out for carp, and switching to the bomb on day 2 were crucial. It was a difficult but challenging 2 days fishing.
Next week I’m fishing a small club match at Sams lake, Headcorn. Somewhere I’ve never seen before. If anybody has any info on the place send is a mail!