Sunday, 3 May 2009

Mansfield Lake, Nr Canterbury

Mansfield Lake - 2nd May 2009

Some time ago Mick the Chippy Pearson (Worzel to his friends) posted that he was arranging a little get together at Mansfield Lake nr Canterbury. Having visited the lake before in the winter I decided to go back and see what it would fish like in the warmer weather.

As the place is tucked away in deepest darkest Kent Bill Gibbbins suggested he pick me up, mainly because I have a Sat Nav which would ensure he could find the place.

Bill arrived at 7am and the car was soon packed. Making our way through the Kent countryside I said to Bill I'd like to draw one of the pegs on the Southern Side by the car park. The reason for this was it was where I guessed most pleasure anglers would fish (they are lazy buggers you know) and hopefully have put in a bit of bait. Also there are some lovely looking patches of reeds and large lily beds which should be natural fish holding areas.

Now I normally like to draw early on but this being one of Mick's matches things were a little different. He had decided that we would draw depending on the order we arrived at the fishery. Well as Bill and I were the last to get there I only avoided drawing last by getting out of the car before Bill. There were still a few of the southern pegs in the bag when I drew so I was happy to see peg 11 nestling in my palm.

After the obligatory huge breakfast roll had been consumed I made my way to my peg and was pleased to find a nice looking lily bed on one side and some reeds on the other. For company today I had Kev the Catch on my left and Mike Jameson on my right.

Just to make things interesting onthe opposite bank was my arch nemesis Peter. As usual I had a £1 side bet with him and hoped that maybe today would be my day to finally win one.

I decided on three lines of attack, one margin rig for the reeds to my right where I found about 1 foot of water, 1 rig for the lily bed to my left where I found 4 feet of water tight to the lily bed and a waggler line. I set up both pole rigs with Malman 4 x 14 Thicko's with size 16 b911's and a 4bb insert waggler to fish approximately half way across the lake.

Bait wise I had with me, corn, luncheon meat, worms, maggots, various flavoured soft hookers and a ball of paste.

At the all in I fed 2 cups of 4mm skretting pellet laced with a few bits of corn and a few maggots on each pole line and fired out a couple of pouchfuls to the middle of the lake. My plan was to start on the waggler to give the fish time to settle closer in. First cast with corn and the float buried but it wasn't the greatest resistence that met the strike but a greedy 4 oz roach. which was soon in the net. After a few more casts and a change to worm on the hook the waggler shot away and this time my 12ft Normark Microlite rod arched over. It took a little while to subdue the fish but soon a carp of around 3lbs was in the net. Looking across to Peter it seemed he was stuggling and a s yet hadn't had a bite. Hopefully things would contnue like this and I might actually bag a decent net of fish. However as is usual for me things got worse, much worse. Even though I was getting indications on the float it just wouldn't go under so I started striking at the small dips. Unfortunately I didn't connect with anything so after about an hour I came in to the pole line next to the lilies. Baiting with half a worm I dropped the rig right next to the lilies and waited, and waited and waited. Even though there were bubbles everywhere the fish didn't seem to want the bait no matter what I used, corn, meat maggots and paste all taking a turn.

With the water so shallow on the other margin line I wanted to leave it longer so went back on the waggler. Again first cast it buried and another roach came to hand. Well by now I was starting to worry about where I would find any decent fish especially as Al at the far end of the lake seemed to be catching carp fairly regularly and Bill next to him having a couple of decent bream.

Mike next to me had managed a few small tench on the paste in the first couple of hours whilst Peter still remained fish less. Others around the lake had caught the odd carp but it was fishing very hard. I'm fairly certain that the carp had other things on their mind as the reeds all around were resembling a knocking shop.

Things remained hard and nearing the end of the match I'd only caught one more fish, another carp of around 3lbs from the shallow line.

However the good news was Peter was still struggling having resorted to catching small roach. maybe, just maybe today was the day. Peter had however set up a feeder rod as by now Mike opposite him had gone home, disappointed with his catch rate, and Peter was able to cast acros to the lilies by Mike's platform.
With a few minutes to go Peter had managed to find one carp so things were now getting a bit close. He has a reputation of mugging a good fish late on in matches so I kenw anything could yet happen. With barely any time left I looked at my watch and it read 4 o'clock, however as the 'All out' hadn't yet been called I assumed Mick was running the match to French time. Peter by now had gone over to fishing along to the next platform with his feeder as he had seen fish moving there. I was willing Mick to shout that time was up as I knew I had more than Peter and finally would take a £1 off him after too many times trying.

I heard Peter comment to Ryan that there was a ghostie carp which just wouldn't get it's head down when suddenly his rod was almost ripped off the rest. 8 seconds later, yes you read it right 8 bloody seconds, Mick called the 'all out' .......................... My heart sunk, I could see that it was a decent fish and was fairly certain that Peter wopuld have more than me if he landed it. Needless to say he was the target of much encouragement from everyone around the lake who like me couldn't believe he had the cheek to Mug yet another late fish....

As the scales showed he'd gone and done it again and taken another of my shiny coins. To say I was gutted was an understatement, the last time we fished Mansfield Lake he did me by 1 oz and this time he'd done me with a very late, possibly too late, fish as if i'd been running the match the 'all out ' would have been called by my watch which would have meant he wouldn't have caught it. ( I'm not bitter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! honestly I'm not !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no seriously I'm really not a bad loser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oi Chippy buy a new bloody watch, yours runs slow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Anyway back to the match. Congratulations to Al on a fine win on a hard day and to Dean for his 2nd place on his first MDer's outing. Thanks to Mick and his assorted brothers for organising the day and to Old Crapper for the after match refreshments.

After Mick had handed out the money to the winners I had a little surpise for him. I then made a little speech, I said to Mick that I knew what a family man he was and how it would be nice if his brothers could see what he got up to in his younger days whilst out chasing the ladies. I told him I managed, after searching the internet, to find a long lost, home movie and that I'd like to present it to him.
Here's what I gave him.

And here's a close up,

Somehow I reckon he might just find a way of getting his own back sometime, but don't worry I've got another surprise for a future match planned and this time it's not for Mick.

Be afraid, be very afraid..........................................

By the way, anyone got the number for the Samaritans?

1 comment:

Graham said...

I have fished this lake only twice and I must say the venue is stunning. Only this Tuesday (in the rain) My friend Dave Hall and I stuck at it and were rewarded with some lovely fish.Dave fishing the margins with sweet corn had a variety of fish and I floated bread in the middle for Carp between 3 and 10 lbs. All in all agreat days fishing I would certainly reccomend this lake to anyone. Tight Lines