A week or so back Bill G posted asking for someone to take him fishing so having not managed to get out on the bank for a while I jumped at the chance of a day out. Now where should we go? Monks, Hartleylands, Framfield, Mushroom Farm all sounded appealing but I wanted to go somewhere I hadn'y been before. I decided to see whether there was any chance of a sneaky days practice at Shannons match lake ahead of our plannned get together on the 9th February. A PM to Bill was all that was needed to secure a day out and it seemed I wasn't the only one with the same idea as arriving at the fishery Bill told me that Dave the Fish and Tony (Spamwham) would also be joining us.Being the friendly people that we are we let Dave have his usual swim just inside the gate whilst Bill, Tony and I opted for pegs on the right hand bank. This was to be my home for the day.
Following Bill's advice I set up a top kit with a 12 elastic to fish at 9-10 metres. I potted in a large cup of pellet baited with 2 red maggots and sat back and waited for a bite. The lake had flooded heavilly recently so that was possibly going to have an affect on the fishing. 2 minutes later and fish no.1 was landed. It was only a small Roach but hopefully things would get better. As the day wore on it quickly became apparent that the Carp were not playing ball and the only fish showing were the Roach. Tony did finally manage a Carp of around 6lbs his peg at the far end of the lake but was finding the going hard. After suffering loads of tiny twitchy bites which came to nothing I decided to have a wander over to the small river that runs alongside the fishery to see what I could catch. Reports from Bill of loads of Chub and some Barbel had whet my appetite and to be honest anything was better than the tiny Roach I had been catching. First run through showed that the depth was only maybe 3 feet and the flow was quite strong but I still fancied it for a fish or two. After a couple of unsuccessful swims I settled beside a lovely long (approx 30 yard glide) that just screamed Chub. After feeding a small handful of maggots I baited with 2 reds and started the 1st run through. Halfway down the run and the float buried and I was attached to my 1st Chub of the day. After a little difficulty due to the over hanging trees and a landing net that wasn't really long enough I safely landed the fish. A nice Chub of around 2lbs was soon back in the water and my run 2nd through had started.
(Sorry about the picture quality but I took the photo with my phone.)
As before the float reached about halfway down the run and buried again. The strike was met with somewhat more resistence and a rather angry Chub did it's best to get in to any snags it could find.After getting caught in the trees a few times I finally netted the fish and this time it was a better Chub of around 4lbs.The next hour or so continued in similar fashion and when I finally decided to go back to the lake I had caught 6 Chub between 1 & 4lbs 5 Roach between 6ozs and 1lb and a soilitary huge fat Gudgeon.I'd really enjoyed fishing the river, it was something I hadn't done for far too long.Back to the lake and I potted in some more 4mm pellet and again dropped the rig in baited with 2 red maggots and waited. Unfortunately the Roach were still there and a succession of them between 2 and 4ozs frustrated me for the next hour. Bill started to pack away as he had a prior engagement to go to and as he came up to say goodbye I hooked into something slightly bigger. the 12 elastic did it's job well and a beautiful Mirror Carp of arounf 5lbs nestled in my landing net. It really was a stunning fishing with gorgeous scale patterns and will look superb when it gets to 15lbs.Tony and Bill had both managed to catch Carp but poor Dave hadn't had a sniff of one. I expect he'll come up with some excuse but then a bad fisherman always blames his tackle (or in Dave's case, someone else's tackle as in his excitement at having a sneaky days practice he left all his top kits at home) .
Thanks for the day out Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
There wasn't much I learnt about the match lake prior to my match there in a couple of weeks time, but I did learn something from the day,
1) pack a shorter rod for the river,
2) take a longer landing net handle and
3) pack a feeder rod as the island in front of me looked so inviting.
I'm looking forward to the 9th when hopefully the Carp will come out to play.