Sunday, 18 June 2017

18 June 2017, Middle Lake (Gold Valley)

Well that was rather a warm one! I’m the first to moan when it rains on a fishing day but I’m currently feeling like a cross between an extra on It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (look it up on Wikipedia kids) and a barbequed hot dog!!! As there was no Willinghurst open match today it was time for a change and a return to one of my old stomping grounds in Gold Valley.
Look at this lot!!!
The match was staged on Middle Lake, the pond that was stocked last year with a good number of F1s and small carp. Certainly during the winter it seemed that these new fish had grouped together and refused to move from certain end pegs – in fact I was lucky enough to draw corner peg 61 back on the second of January and managed to come third in the belated Guildford Apollo (now Guildford Bait-Tech) Christmas match with a bag made-up exclusively of these new fish.
Now that things have warmed-up a bit (understatement of the year) these new fish seem to have spread-out and it is possible to catch them from virtually every peg – however the lake is still full of the older, 8-10lb fish and these are the ones that need to be targeted in order to win. (150lb of F1s and stockie carp that run at two to the pound takes some catching!!!)
All the gear ...
My draw put me on number 91, a peg in middle of the far bank (from the clubhouse), not really a noted swim with any obvious features, but like every other it seemed to be full of cruising carp basking in the sunshine before the start of the match!!!
As a result I settled on a (mainly) shallow attack and set-up the following rods and pole rigs to cover the following options:
  • Long pole (14.5m) shallow with a long line swinger rig
  • Long pole (14.5m) shallow with a conventional rig for fishing with casters at 12”
  • Long pole (14.5m) shallow with a conventional rig for fishing with casters at 18”
  • Pellet waggler
  • Hybrid feeder
Given the number of pre-match cruisers I really thought I was going to bag-up and as a result I was somewhat ‘disappointed’ to reach the halfway mark in the match with just three stockie carp on the hybrid feeder for a grand total of about a pound and a half! With hindsight I’m thinking that I was too quick to chop and change between lines – if I could fish the match again tomorrow I’d stick with just one of these tactics (probably the long pole shallow with the swinger rig) and really focus on making this line work rather than being in a hurry to switch to the next tactic.
Bagger in the far corner
All the while I could see Paul ‘Tommy’ Hiller catching at a fair old pace from his short pole line so I decided to follow suit, setting-up a new rig at top kit plus two consisting of green Nick Gilbert Amber Core elastic, 0.17 mainline, a 4x14 Roob Titan and a hooklength consisting of 15cm of 0.13 into a size 16 Guru Kaizen hook (which by the way are absolutely awesome).

As an opening gambit I fed a ball of Bait-Tech Special G Green laced with a good helping of dead red maggots, and after leaving things to settle for 5 minutes I went over the top with two live maggots on the hook – the float dipped immediately and for the next 90 minutes the action was pretty rapid with a succession of stockie carp and skimmers hitting the net, regular top-ups of groundbait and maggots keeping the fish interested.
Nice to have an audience!
Whilst the action was pretty fast and furious there was a major downside – these new carp are still pretty small and the ones that I was catching seemed to average 8 ounces at the most, so every time I looked-up and saw somebody playing a big (old) fish I knew that I had to catch another 16-20 new fish to make-up the difference!!!
As time progressed this line started to fade and I had to feed more and more to squeeze-out a few more bites – I did try opening a new line at top kit plus 4 but this didn’t have much effect so I went back to the original spot and eventually saw out the match trying to nick a proper carp on the long pole shallow and/or down the edge, neither of which worked!!!
The final reckoning!
In the end my bag of small fish went 41-7-0, so whilst I managed to keep myself busy (in the second half of the match at least), as expected the stamp of fish was too small and as a result I was miles behind John Light (141-0-0), Will Raison (138-8-0) and Tommy (121-4-0) who all had good numbers of big fish in their nets!
Until next time ...

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