Sunday, 28 July 2013

28 July 2013, Top Lake (Willinghurst)

Today was the first match in the Guildford Angling Centre summer league 2013, a series of 6 matches to be held throughout July, August and September across Willinghurst (2), Bury Hill (1) and Gold Valley (3). Each match is a 20 peg affair with the anglers split into 4 sections of 5 – league positions are based upon section points, with a total weight count-back used to differentiate those anglers tied on the same number of points. (Each competitor’s best 5 scores from 6 form that person’s final score.)

An aerial view of the Top Lake at Willinghurst from Google Earth

This first match was held on the Top Lake at Willinghurst. This is a strangely shaped venue that has a main bowl with 19 pegs (anglers on both long banks), another 18/20m wide strip known as the back spit with 7 swims (pegs on one side only) and a small circular section with 3 pegs (known as the Bung Hole) all interconnected (so in theory the fish are free to move between the three).
The stocking is mainly proper carp in the 3 to 6lb bracket with the usual smattering of nuisance (in the summer at least) roach, rudd and perch.

Looking onto the main bowl from the back of peg 2

Well, what can I say? My first visit to Willinghurst in about 10 years and I’ve only gone and drawn the “best peg in Surrey”!!! My draw (peg 2) was one of two in the Bung Hole today, at the point where the Bung Hole  joins the main lake and opposite the entrance to the back spit. The whole Bung Hole is amazingly shallow – probably no more than two and half feet down the middle – but absolutely stuffed with fish!!!

Before the start I identified four likely looking spots – under the tree to my left tight to the bank at top kit plus one; along the right margin at TK+2; across to the far bank at 13m and the method feeder to the far bank to the right next to the entrance to the back spit.
However I only set-up two rigs to start with – one for the far bank, the other for the right margin – both with the same components: black Hydro top kits, 0.17 Guru N-Gauge mainline to 15cm 0.15 hooklengths tied to size 16 eyed Kamasan B911s. Floats were SconeZoneV6s in 0.2g. (These are awesome bits of kit – super strong with a line through the body design and short stems suitable for fishing down the edge in shallow water.)

Looking across to my far bank and Dave Carter on the back spit

On the whistle (today’s match was a long one, starting at 1030 and finishing at 1700) I fed a little corn and a few 6mm pellets to the far bank and dropped-in with a single grain of corn – after a few false indications I was soon into a fish and I was off to a flying start with an 8lb carp safely in the net! However this was a false dawn as half an hour later I’d only added another small (1lb) carp and a few silvers to show for my efforts.
Time for plan B – I quickly mixed-up some Sonubaits 50:50 groundbait and fed a cup on the right margin swim sited at top kit plus 2. Not having fished this lake before I wasn’t sure that the carp were going to respond to this approach, but as I was in the process of shipping-out pot number 2 I could already see evidence of carp ripping-up the bottom! The following 90 minutes (1100 -1230) saw a good run of fish from this line on single worm hookbaits, and regular  re-feeding of big pots of groundbait seemed to be keeping the fish interested rather nicely.

The bridge over the entrance to the back spit

However the spell between 1230 and 1400 can only be described as a complete disaster – despite hooking eight fish only one actually made it into the net! The single fish that I did manage to land came via the method feeder to the far bank slightly to the right (next to the bridge), and I managed to lose four from the right margin, two from the far bank 13m pole swim and another on the method feeder!!!
Following this sequence of lost fish I actually stopped fishing for ten minutes or so to regain my composure, prepare some more bait, re-tie my existing pole rigs and set-up two new ones in anticipation of a good last couple of hours – the new rigs were a heavy version for the right margin and one for the left under the tree, both consisting of 0.21 Reflo Power straight through to a size 12 Guru MWG, again with 0.2g SconeZone V6s but this time with red Hydro top kits.

Close quarter carping under the tree to my left

I’d purposely not fed the right margin for a good 30 minutes but by 1415 it was time to try and restart it, so in went 4 full pots of groundbait, soaked micros and dead maggots. This certainly did the trick as another golden 90 minute spell followed with lots of big fish falling to the heavy rigs from both the left and right margin swims with either 2 whole dendrabenas or 8 dead red maggots on the hook!
By this point (1545) I’d clicked to 45lb in each of my 2 nets, so as 60lb limits apply at Willinghurst I decided to put in a third – as is often the case this led to a slowing of my catch rate and I only managed 3 more fish in the final 75 minutes!!!

The final reckoning

In the end my three nets went 108-0-0 – just enough for a section and match win as second and third overall in the match (and my section) weighed 105-11-0 and 101-0-0 respectively!!!

Today’s overall top 4:
  1. Phil Morris, peg 2, 108-0-0
  2. Mike Keeper, peg 20, 105-11-0
  3. Giovanni Barbato, peg 1, 101-0-0
  4. Pete Franklin, peg 18, 100-7-0

Today’s section winners:
  • Phil Morris, peg 2, 108-0-0
  • Mike Seymour, peg 4, 97-12-0
  • Dan Cooper, peg 26, 92-14-0
  • Pete Franklin, peg 18, 100-7-0

League standing after round 1:
  1. Phil Morris, 1 point, 108-0-0
  2. Pete Franklin, 1 point, 100-7-0
  3. Mike Seymour, 1 point, 97-12-0
  4. Dan Cooper, 1 point, 92-14-0
  5. Mike Keeper, 2 points, 105-11-0
  6. Martin Johnson, 2 points, 59-11-0

Guildford AC legend Giovanni Barbato on peg 1

Conclusions: in this part of each blog I like to sum-up the day and summarise what I’ve learned for next time, so here is today’s thought for the day – it’s better to be lucky than good!!!

Until next time …

No comments:

Post a Comment