I haven’t done a blog entry for some time because I haven’t been out since the first week of October. I didn’t have a lot of time before then so didn’t report on the two previous matches I fished either. One resulted in a win with over a ton down Hartleylands, The other was a small knock up down Sams Lake in Kent.
When I hear the Leatherhead Club were short of a few anglers in the Surrey Winter League match down Monks lake I volunteered to fill in. I was quite looking forward to the match cos I know the lakes this time of the year respond well to the maggot waggler one of my favourite ways of fishing and fancied my chances off a good draw.
I arrived and it was very cold, but at least it was not raining. We were on lake 1 and 2 today. I prefer lake 1 at this time of the year as the fish tend to be more evenly spread although they will still shoal up a bit like anywhere in the winter. Mark the team captain drew out the pegs for the day and informed me I was on peg 8, I would have preferred to be up toward the other end of the lake around peg 3 or 4 on the side I was on but it should hold a few fish. Well actually there are so many fish in the lake all pegs hold a few and if I put less than 25-30lbs on the scales I will give up fishing!
I got to the peg and there was a cold north/east cross down blowing down the lake and slightly towards me and a bit of a chop on the water, this could make lose feeding maggots a bit of a problem so the distance I fish out will be dictated by how far I can feed them and be reasonably accurate.
Bait for the day was 4 pints of red and white maggots, some 4mm and 6mm soft expanders, and the same in hard pellet. I couldn’t see any other bait would be needed but I did have a couple of tins of corn in the bag.
As always my tactics for the day will be simple (like me) one waggler rig was set up, 11ft Carbonactive float with 0.16 main line and 0.12 trace, This had a 3.5AAA inserted peacock waggler, set to fish just scraping the bottom, 3 number 8s were set down the line starting about 8in from the hook. I could then, swap to a straight peacock, add depth and drag these on the bottom if I need to slow the rig down. I didn’t see anybody else around me setting up the waggler so hopefully I will have the line all to myself. I did see a few setting up a maggot feeder but doubt it will do any damage or match the waggler as a method on the day. I also set up a pole rig to fish on the deck at 11 meters. This was done more to give me something to do if I wanted to rest the waggler line and hopefully pick off a few extra fish.
At the whistle I fed the waggler line with a pouch full of maggots that land at about 20 meters out and though that will do for distance then dumped a small pot full of pellet on the pole line, this will be topped up with a few every 30 mins. First cast on the wag baited with double maggot and the float settled with no indications, a slight twitch of the bait though produced an instant bite and carp number one was hooked after about 20 second. Another20 went by and it was in the net. 2nd cast was a repeat of the first and carp 2 was in the net both F1s around the pound mark. By the first hour I had 7 in the net and was beating all around me as far as I can see so not bad a start. I found the fish showed a preference for a red and white maggot combination resulting in F1 carp. A change to double white in the 2nd hour started I to find a few mirror carp too. Red maggot on its own produced nothing!
As I got into the 2nd hour I had a quick look on the pole line and didn’t have a sniff on maggot or pellet so just kept on feeding it and carried on with the waggler. I caught slow but steady for the next few hours on the wag, having a few looks on the pole line without a touch. With an hour and a quarter to go I was struggling for a bite and by this time had 20 small carp and some silverfish. I started to feed the pole line with catty, 4-5 pellets every few minutes hoping I can get a few late carp in the last hour. This worked a treat and when I had a look I had another 5 carp over the next half an hour. This died a death and with no more bite in 10 minutes so it was back out on the waggler for the rest of the match. This produced another 5 carp hooking the last one just on the whistle. I ended up the match with 30 carp which I was quite pleased with and was sure I had beaten the guys around me which is the best you can expect to do in the winter.
It turned out I had 41lb and this was enough to get 2nd in the section. The winter of the section had I think 51lb from peg 3 up the other end of the lake.
I didn’t manage to frame but still had a good days fishing considering the cold weather, and would like to thank Mark the team captain for letting me fish.
I have a match on the 13th at Wylands Specimen Lake and am expecting a big net of roach so look back soon to see how I get on