Three pairs of socks. Two long sleeved thermal vests. Two pairs of thermal long johns. One T-shirt. One pair of heavy weight walking trousers. One fleece top. Two fleece jackets. A bib and brace. A Gore-Tex jacket. A baseball cap and a woolly hat. Welcome to spring 2013 in the south of England!!!
|Bramley Park Lake|
After (sensibly) giving last weekend a miss due to the freezing winds and heavy rains I joined eleven other hardy souls (a mixture of club stalwarts and southern legends Ian Dixon, Dave Steer and Dave Johnson) for a Godalming AS club match at Bramley Park Lake.
|Aerial photo of the lake from Google Earth|
Bramley is one of Godalming Angling Society’s stillwaters and is a three acre venue near Guildford. The main species are skimmers, tench and roach – though there are a few twenty pound plus grass carp that occasionally win matches with a single bite!
|Sir Ken Cardwell|
This venue has over the years been badly effected by cormorants – however sterling work by the club and Bramley head bailiff Ken Cardwell (including the creation of five mini islands that act as fish refuges and regular restocking), have lead to decent match catches.
|The view from peg 8|
I adopted my usual drawing posture (right foot off the ground, left hand into the bag of dreams) and out popped peg 8 – in an area that has apparently fishing well, a suggestion reinforced by the fact that pegs 7, 9, 10 and 11 had also been included despite the venue boasting 32 swims.
Before the start I set-up a tip rod and 2 pole rigs – though I won’t go into details of these pole rigs as I never actually tried the pole during the match! The tip rod was my usual 10’ Preston Innovations Carbonactive Mini Carp, matched with a Daiwa TD-R 3012D loaded with 8lb Daiwa Sensor. It was set-up to fish a running rig so on went a Preston feedabead, and my now trusty 45cm of 0.15 Guru N-Gauge with a size 18 QM1 (in a loop) was slipped inside a loop made from a figure of 8 knot in my main line – one of the advantages of using 8lb main line is that you don’t need anything to stop a feedabead slipping down onto the hooklength, helping to keep the rig as simple as possible!
|Drennan feeders used today|
Before the ‘all in’ I removed my hooklength and attached a large green Drennan groundbait feeder in anticipation of launching 10 lots of dead maggots, 4mm pellets and Sonubait’s F1 Black in my swim at 35m.
Having done so I swapped to a micro Drennan stainless cage feeder, reattached the hooklength and slipped two dead read maggots onto the hook before casting out with much anticipation! Nothing first cast (which I left in place for 12 minutes), but 5 minutes into cast number two the tip launched itself into a nice curve and a pound and a half skimmer was soon in the net.
Unfortunately this was something of a false dawn and it took until the end of the second hour for my next bite – though this time it was a better specimen of about 3lb. By this point I was well behind the leaders (who had 4 or 5 fish each), but I knew I wasn’t out of it if I could put a run of fish together.
|A Ringers 8mm pop-up|
|The banjo feeder rig|
Again this turned-out to be wishful thinking as despite persisting with the cage feeder and trying a fluro pop-up on the straight lead and the banjo feeder with micro pellets and a 6mm on the hook, I was only able to land one more skimmer and a small roach (both on the cage feeder) to give me a total of 5-14-0.
|Looking left from peg 8|
This left me sixth or seventh (from 12) and well behind the leaders who all managed 7 or 8 skimmers each.
The top 3:
- Colin Underwood, 20-14-0
- Perry Gray, 19-4-0
- Chris Kampa, 18-14-0
Well done to all of those that braved the arctic conditions, but the question on everyone’s lips is: when is spring 2013 finally going to arrive?
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