Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Medway Trotters Match, Monks Lake Bridges.

Today I was fishing with the Medway Trotter club down Monks Lake, we were fishing Bridges which is one of the pleasure lakes and stuffed full of all sorts of fish including masses of skimmers.

It was not pegged down today and we were going to be drawing numbers and walking off to pick a swim. The weather was wet and windy and the prediction was for it getting worse during the day so a swim with the wind off my back so I can set up the umbrella as a wind break was going to be my choice and I didn’t care where it was! As it turned out I pulled out number 2 so had a good choice of swims and decided to walk right down the far end as I heard this can be a good area. Conveniently the bank curved round and the wind was blowing at an angle from behind.
It has been raining for several days so the banks were very wet and muddy. As the water level was a bit low I couldn’t fish from the flat area and I perched my seat box on the muddy slope at the edge of the lake. I didn’t intend to set up the pole today in the bad weather and set up 2 feeder rods, one with a free running method. This had a short hook length with a size 18 Fox Series 7 hook. The other with a cage feeder, the trace was about 18 inches long with a size 16 Kamasan 911 attached to a 0.12 hook length. The waggler rod was also set up, this had one of my homemade peacock inserts, attached to a 0.12 trace and a size 16 Kamasan 611 hook. This was set to fish a couple of inches over depth.

Bait wasn’t too complicated, a couple of pints of 4mm and 6mm expanders, 3 pints of maggots, some corn and 2 kilos of ground bait which was made of ground pellet mixed up the night before to make it inert.

So with everything set up I was thinking of my plan of attack while waiting for the start. I had an island in front of me but decided to fish to the right of it in the open water trying to draw in some bream. The lake is not too deep with around 4ft everywhere in front of me so I just clipped up the feeder at about 30 meters. I didn’t want to fish out too far because of the strong cross wind preferring to cast shorter to be more accurate. I was also intending to feed at around 15-20 meters out for the waggler later in the match if things were slow giving me somewhere else to go allowing me to rest the feeder line.

The whistle went to signal the start and I chucked out a large Drennan cage feeder loaded with ground bait plus plenty of maggots, pellet and a bit of corn mixed in, hook bait was 3 maggots. Casting was difficult due to the wind and I had to throw the feeder out low and hard to get it in more or less the same spot every time! I re cast the feeder about every 2-3 minutes to get some feed down, and it wasn’t long before a few bites materialised. About 10-15 minutes in I was into the first skimmer and then a net sized bream of about 1.5lb. Things where quite slow and the first hour only produced 6 small skimmers and the bream. The second hour was a bit better with about another 10 skimmers and a bonus carp of about 2lb. I had been feeding maggot and pellet over the waggler line so was going to have a quick look, but before that I dumped in 6 big feeder full’s of ground bait before resting it.

The waggler was very slow only producing two small skimmers in about 15 minutes so the rod went up the bank and it was out again with the feeder. The rest did the trick and I was into small skimmers one a bung now, nothing big but fish were going in the net most casts. Maggots were still the most productive hook bait producing bites faster than the other baits. I caught steady for the next 2 hours putting at least 40 fish in the net.

I had continued to feed the waggler line and with an hour to go had a quick look to see if I could pick up a bigger stamp of fish. This time there were plenty of fish to be had but still all small skimmers. I thought I would stick with the waggler as I could catch faster than on the feeder. I did pick up another bream of about 1.5lb and with about 10 minutes to go took a chance and had another look on the feeder to see if anything bigger had moved in. No luck there and it was still the small skimmers and I added a few more before the whistle signalled the end. I lost count of the numbers of fish caught but guessed it was at least 80 possibly more, all skimmers apart from 3 bream and a small carp.

When the scales came round 30lb 2oz was winning, I thought I had around 30lb, and was hoping for more,but it turned out my estimate was spot on for a change and the needle on the scales went round to 30lb exactly, so narrowly missing out on 1st spot and having to settle for 2nd on the day with about 27lb taking 3rd spot.

Finaly don't forget to have a look at my range of hand crafted pole floats, super strong and will not take on water.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Float testing for the day down Monk Lakes

Today I was off to Monk Lakes, Kent to test out some of my float designs all available from my online shop (link on the right). The intention was to fish one of the match lakes but when I arrived I fancied a change from the featureless holes in the ground and decided to sit down the far end of Bridges Lake.

After paying my day ticket money at the office I had a drive round the lake to decide where to fish, apparently since the lakes were dug the silverfish population has flourished and it was now heaving with all sorts of fish growing fast on bait fed by the carp boys.

I decided on a swim at the far end with the wind blowing into it with a island to my right and lots of open water to fish.
The plan for the day was to give my new Finesse range of a good work out and the swim seemed perfect. This foat is designed with siverfish in mind but still retaining strength. The lake didn’t seem very deep with only about 3.5ft of water at 5- 9 meters, with it getting a few inches deeper out at 11 meters. Seeing as there were not many people about I figured the fish would come in close and decided to start at only 9 meters. If this was unproductive I can always fish out a couple of sections more. The rig for the session was simple with a 0.3g Finesse float.
This was shorted up with a small bulk of no8s 18 in from the hook and a couple of number 10 droppers at 6 inch spacing. The rig trace was a 0.10 Drennan rig line attached to a 16 Drennan Silverfish Hook. This was plumbed up to fish just touching the bottom. . Elastic choice was a doubled up 5 Preston Slip.

The bait for the day was white maggot, a selection of Got and Skrettings expander pellets, plus a very basic cheap ground bait which consisted of a 50/50 mix of fishmeal and brown crumb.

Cos it was cold I didn’t feed a lot to start just a small ball of ground bait with a handful of pellets and maggots. Things were very slow to start with no bites for 10-15 minutes so I decided to feed about 10 maggots every 30 seconds with a few expanders mixed in to try to draw a few fish. This was a good tactic as I soon started to get a few knocks on the float and was catching a few skimmers to about 8oz. After catching a few I stuck on a 6mm expander and the size of skimmers got bigger. With fish up to around the 2lb mark.
Things got slow after a while so I decided to try throwing in a couple of balls of ground bait as the fish seemed to respond well to a bit of noise, This worked well and I was catching the one a bung soon after fishing at about 10 meters just beyond the feed. It seemed maggot produced a selection of fish including skimmers, chub, roach, tench and rudd, where slicking on a expander sorted out the bream in the 1-3lb range.

It was easy fishing really and as long as I kept bait going in about every 30 second I was getting one a bung. I got a bit bored to be honest so set up the waggler to give that a try. Fishing my 2.5AAA homemade peacock insert just beyond the pole line at about 20 meters and again feeding little and often I was into fish one a bung, this time some hard fighting tench around the 1-2lb mark and a few chub to a 1lb.

It was getting a bit late and I decided to call it a day about 4pm after about 5 hours fishing probably catching the best part of 150+ fish! So not a bad days fishing giving the float a thorough workout.