Sunday, 22 February 2009

Shannons, Eridge 22nd February 2009

I had originally planned to fish Hartleylands Farm today to try out my new pole, a Maver 101 Competition and a new feeder rod, a 12ft Shakespeare Mach 3 but at the last minute received an invite from Bill Gibbins to join him and a few others at Shannons at Eridge nr Tunbridge Wells. The day was to be a friendly one with no keepnets allowed, just a good day out with some mates.

Arriving at 8.15am I found the gate locked so went to sit back in the car as Peter and Bill arrived. The gate was unlocked and we made our way to the car park. After a walk round the lake I decided to fish the far bank which would give me a nice easy chuck with the feeder to the island and a nice comfortable 8m line for my new pole.

Peter sat just to my left in a swim that had a comfortable 11m to an island so I expected a bit of banter during the day.

I set the feeder up first baited with corn and sent it flying to the island, with more luck than judgement dropping it tight to the far bank grass.
A few smalls plucks of the tip amounted to nothing so I put the feeder rod away for a while and concentrated on the pole. This too only brought me a small perch with a liking for corn so I went back on the feeder. Again I managed to drop the feeder tight to the island and after a couple of minutes the tip twitched a few times before pulling right round and Carp no.1 was on. After a fairly short fight and a little encouragement/mickey taking from Bill and Peter the Carp was soon netted, a nice looking Common around 6lbs.
Peter even took a picture of me playing the fish as he said he'd never managed to get one before, cheeky sod !!
After this excitement both the pole line and the feeder line failed to produce for an hour or so, so I popped over the fence behind me to see if I could catch any of the Chub or Barbel that live in the river that runs alongside the fishery. I'd already chucked a couple of handfuls of 3mm pellets into the swim an hour before so hopefully there would be something there. Dropping a feeder full of maggots in to the deep hole no sooner had I put the rod on the rest when the tip slammed over and it was fish on. After a short fight a Chub of around 2lbs was safely netted. On closer inspection I noticed it throat was full of the pellets I'd fed earlier so It was obviously a good move. A few minutes later and Chub no.2 was in the net, slightly bigger this time around 2lbs 8ozs. After about 20 minutes with no further cation I went back to the lake. Before doing so I got my camera out and took a couple of action shots of Peter playing one of his few Carp.

Before I'd left for the river I'd fed the pole line with 3 large cups of 3mm pellet so I hoped the fish had turned up. Dropping the rig in at 8metres I sat back and waited. It didn't take too long before the float twitched a bit before sliding away and to be honest I expected it to be a roach so I was quite surprised when a good length of black hydro stretched from the pole. After a short spirited fight the carp was netted a nice looking mirror of around 5lbs. Not too long after it's brother took a fancy to my corn hookbait and that was safely netted too.

Too soon it was time to start packing away as I had to leave early so I left the feeder in while I packed away my pole. Just as I was about to put the feeder rod away the tip flew round and an angry Carp tried to make it's way round the back of the island. It took a little while to get it under control, which proved a good workout for the new rod, and it wasn't long before it was netted. I was surprised to see that it was probably only about 2-3lbs but it fought like a 10 pounder.
I said my goodbyes and left having had a good time at Shannons yet again and made a promise to myself to make sure I visit again soon when weather turns a little warmer and the water level has dropped a bit after it was flooded recently.

My thanks to Bill for the invite and Peter, Dave, Colin and Al for a enjoyable day in good company, I may be out again with these guys at Oast farm next weekend, if so I'll post another blog afterwards.
I'll do a report on the new pole and rod soon once I've had a few more fish on each so I can give a more detailed review.

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