As I had no transport Bill agreed to give me a lift and arrived around 7.30am. The family had heard about his celebrity status and being Emmerdale fans were looking out the door to see if he really looked like the head of the Dingle clan. Bill duly donned his flat cap and posed to keep them happy.
The journey to the venue was uneventful due to me taking my Sat Nav along for the ride and we arrived in good time which was probably a good thing when confronted with the huge breakfast roll being dished out by the food wagon.
A quick look at the lake confirmed that a peg with the wind on your back would make for a reasonably comfortable day so I opted for peg 18. This looked good especially as no one was at to my left effectively making it an end peg. (Unfortunately Jeff decided the wind on the other bank was too much and took away my end peg status by sitting on what I think was peg 21)
My attack for the day was originally planned to be either waggler or feeder however I decided at the last minute to set up the pole to fish at 4 metres if all else failed. Maggots were to be the main bait with worms and corn as change baits. I'd also got various tubs of soft pellets to try if the carp showed.
First cast with the feeder to the far bank produced a wrap round bite but I struck into nothing. Unfortunately only tiny little plucks on the tip followed this and I and I went on to the waggler after about half an hour. First cast and roach no.1 was safely in the net (at least I wasn't going to blank today).
A few more tiny roach followed before a slightly better sample showed up, at around 6ozs it was most welcome. It was interesting that single maggot wasn't producing many bites but 2 or 3 maggots did so I stuck at it. More tiny roach continued to take the bait before another better fished came along in the form of a skimmer bream.
As bites were a little difficult to hit I decided to try the pole on the same line but for some reason it wasn't so productive. Looking to my right I could see Peter was catching a few roach but thought that maybe I was just in front of him for now. Mike provided the entertainment a while later when hooking one of the resident carp, I thought it must be pretty big judging by the amount of elastic stretching from his pole but it transpired he was only using a no.4 laccy. After playing the carp for what seemed like ages it was safely netted by match organiser Mick. (Mick, Please note, A trophy, medals, arranging a tea wagon and paying the peg fees is fine but landing others anglers fish is just taking things too far, unless of course you were trying to knock it off)
Mick soon hooked a carp of his own which lead him a merry dance. I fully expected Mike to repay the compliment and net the carp for him but he stayed firmly sat on his box. Either he was frozen stiff or he was hoping Mick would lose it. My match continued in similar fashion with small roach coming in small bursts but none of the better fish wanted to play. Soon it was time for the wiegh in and I was 2nd to weigh. My meager net full net 2lb 4ozs not a lot but I'd still quite enjoyed my days fishing. A couple of pegs later and we reached Peter. Looking at his catch I knew it would be close and so it proved with the scalesman calling 2lb 4ozs. Well at least I hadn't lost another £1. Peter however was obviously incredibly hard up and disputed the weight. A number of others looked at the scales and weights between 2lb 3ozs and 2lb 5ozs were offered as his weight. My personal opinion was that we got equal weight. Peter had obviously paid some one off as his weight finally got agreed at 2lb 5ozs and I'd lost by 1 ounce. The weigh in continued and it appeared that no one had caught that much with just 2 or 3 pounds being brought to the scales by most. Well done to Mike on his win and also Colin on catching a lovely roach. It looked quite an old fish and had probably been in the lake for many years. The journey home was not so good as the Sat Nav battery ran out and with the cigar lighter not working in Bills car we had to follow the road signs. Somehow we went wrong and had a scenic tour of Ashford before finally getting back on the right road.
Once again thanks to Bill for the lift and for helping me back to the house with my gear. An enjoyable day out once again in the company of the Southern Maggotdrowners. I look forward to fishing the lake again when the weather warms up. Some of the pegs had lily beds and reeds which looked very inviting.