Monday, 3 September 2007

Monk Lakes - Match Lake 4 - 3rd September 2007

As I was due back to work on Wednesday 4th September after 6 weeks holiday (I work as a teaching assistant) I decided to finish my summer break with a visit to Monk Lakes at Marden, Kent. One of the main reasons was to see how a trapped nerve in my elbow affected my fishing especially as I've got a couple of matches coming up. A while ago I had watched the old catfish lake being emptied, dredged and re-stocked and fancied a day fishing what is now known as match lake 4. The lake is stocked with all the usual suspects, as far as Monk Lakes goes, although there are a larger amount of silver fish rather than carp. I had read reports recently of winning match weights of 100lbs+ so was looking forward to a good day.

Upon reaching the lake the wind was blowing quite strongly, no surprise there then, so I looked for somewhere reasonably comfortable to set up. I finally decided on peg 140, a featureless peg compared to many of the others, but with the wind off my back making fishing a little easier.

My plan of attack was going to be a main line at 5 metres and a margin swim to my right in case the main line failed. Both rigs consisted of a Malman floats 4 x 14 Thicko, 5lb main line to 4lb hooklength and a size 14 Preston PR28. Plumbing up I found 5 feet at 5 metres whilst the margin swim had around 2 feet. I started by cupping in 3 pots of 6mm skrettings pellets on the main line and 2 of the same in the margin swim before baiting the rig with 2 grains of corn. First put in and the float buried after about 5 seconds and I found myself attached to one of the smallest tench I've ever caught. Still it was fish so no blank for me today.

Back in with the corn and this time I was attached to something a little better, a small carp about 6ozs in beautiful condition. The tail was a very bright red colour something you don't see that much.
The next 2 hours continued in similar fashion with loads of tench in the 6-8oz bracket as well as a few carp, then things started to change. I wondered whether any better fish may have been sitting slighlty off the feed so added another section. Shipping back out, this time with 3 small grains of corn, the float dissapeared almost as soon as it had settled and I was suddenly attached to something stretching my Vespe 14 solid elastic to it's extreme. I had heard there were a good number of decent tench in the lake and hoped this was one of them, and so I proved when I slipped the net under a tench of around 3lbs.

Ron, the bailiff had agreed I could use a keepnet if I wanted to for some photo's at the end of the session so I laid it out gently in the margins in the hope that there were more larger tench to come. Back in and again there was decent resistence on the strike, it looked like the bigger fish had finally found my feed. and another tench of the same size was safely deposited in the keepnet. The next 2 hours were fantastic as quality tench came one after the other until I packed up at 2.30pm.

My final tally was 103 fish, 63 small tench to 8ozs, 8 carp to 1lb, 10 skimmers to 1lb and 22 tench in the 3-5lb bracket. A lovely bag of fish and barely a carp in sight. Below is just a few of the fish I caught.
All in all it was a superb days fishing, one that I look forward to repeating soon. My arm stood up to the fishing fairly well although it wouldn't manage fishing anything much more than 5-6 metres or catching anything that pulled back stronger than those I caught today.

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