Sunday, 12 July 2009

Rolfs Lake 10th & 11th July 2009

Day 1
After spotting a post from Malc Doyle suggesting a special night match at Rolfs Lake in Oxforshire I jumped at it. I just love the place, it's a beautiful lake with wildlife in abundance.
Tonight match was to be something that had never been tried before at Rolfs and with fishing times being 6.30pm till 11.30pm it was going to be dark before we finished.
I'd formulated a plan in the days running up to this match which was to fish paste exclusively, as I'd read that it was producing a lot of decent weights and had made up 8 huge balls before I left home.
I've never done very well when I've drawn in the little side of the lake so hoped to draw away from there, of course when I stuck my hand in the draw bag I found peg 2 stuck to my palm. Exactly where I didn't want to be but when I got to my peg it looked quite inviting.

I spoke to Eddie Taylor-Green, who fishes Rolfs Lake an awful lot, about the best way to fish the peg and he told me to fish two lines one straight in front at 5 metres and the other at 3-4 metres along the margin to my left. His other piece of advice was to feed, feed and feed, oh and not to forget to keeping feeding. One other thing he did say was that the fish in Peg 2 were big so I should be prepared. Luckilly I'd just bought some Red Hydro so was ready for whatever they threw at me.

Armed with his advice I was set up with plenty of time to spare and wandered round and had a chat with those close by which included Tony (spamwham), Al, Nick (Neo1) and Terry (Wily). All were really looking forward to what proved to be a great match.

The first couple of hours for me went by with little action apart from a couple of carp early on. They were both good fish though, the first going 13lbs+. the others around me were also finding things alittle difficult although most had caught a few. I kept feeding staedilly, as Eddie had said, and eventually things started to improve. Try as I might I couldn't buy a bite on the margin line but the fish were now queing up at 5 metres. As the darkness fell John, who runs Rolfs, turned on the floodlights which was great for those in their beam but it didn't make a jot of difference to my view so I quickly attached a starlight to my paste float which made all the difference.

With an hour to go I was really motoring and had already passed the ton (the 1st time I'd ever done this at Rolfs) and was looking good for a very big weight. Eddie had been right when he said the fish were big as all bar two of the carp were 'weighers' and I was up and down like a fiddlers elbow back and forth to the weigh station. Tony on peg 40 to my left was suffering and having a real nightmare with fish that kept trashing his rigs whilst Al on peg 4 could be heard moaning everytime I got up to weigh another fish.

By the end of the match I was absolutley knackered and knew I'd caught a big weight. Two of the fish I'd caught went 16lbs and 17lbs 2ozs and went mental when hooked but I have to say I was very pleased with the way my pole handled them armed with the new Red Hydro.

As the scales went round the lake it appeared that a lot of fish had been caught although a few had struggled once the lights went on. Dave the Fish in particular had really suffered and had to go for a walk to cool down as the lights were burning the back of his neck.

Finally the scales reached my peg and when the 'weighers' sheet was added up I'd got 190lbs without the couple of fish in the net. My final total was 202lbs 2ozs, a personal best match weight and of course my first ton and double ton from Rolfs Lake. I was ecstatic...................

It turned out my weight wasn't quite enough to win the match but I'd finished a fantastic 3rd and I knew I'd sleep well tonight even though I was sleeping in the car. Simon E on peg 16 had won the match with 242lbs 4ozs with Steve Wilson on peg 30 finishing 2nd with 225lbs 4ozs ( a new personal best match weight). The total weight of fish caught by the 19 anglers was 2288 lb, an average of 120lbs 4ozs per angler. There were 3 x 200lb+ weights and 9 x 100lbs+ weights so it showed what the lake can do when it gets dark.

I have to say the night match was a great success and most importantly everyone had managed to stay safe and not fall in. I for one can't wait to do it again.

Day 2
After finally getting to bed at 3.30am I had a decent nights and woke about 7.30am to the sound of Malc laughing and just knew he'd been awake all night. This turned out to be the case as Steve Wilson had originally planned to sleep in the fishery caravan but had mysteriously been locked out by Gemma and Simple. Now whats that saying....When the caravans rocking don't go knocking.....Steve obviously decided not to disturb them so he went and woke Malc and they stayed up all night talking.
The mornings discussions were all about the way the lake had fished last night and whether the pegs that weren't fished last night would be at a disadvantage today. A few of those fishing today had not fished last night and were soon arriving and were looking for information about which pegs fished well and what methods had proved successful.
Peter Morton, my arch nemesis, came and spoke to me and seemed genuinely pleased that I'd caught a double ton the night before but warned that now he was here things were bound to go downhill. By the time the draw arrived everyone was bursting to get started apart from Peter who semed to be hanging back from the draw bag. It seems he was worried about drawing peg 13, somewhere he'd drawn a bit too much lately, and one he'd really struggled on. My lucky drawing hand seriously let me down picking me peg 36 not only was I again in the little lake but worse than that it was one of those pegs not fished the day before.

To make matters even worse when I got to my peg I looked round and saw Peter dumping his gear down on the next peg !!!!!!!.

I have to say I've drawn peg 36 before and really struggled so I wasn't looking forward to what the day had to offer but as last night proved I can catch plenty of fish when they are in front of me so there was some hope.

This hope soon faded when after 2 and a half hours I'd caught next to nothing and had to watch those around me bagging. Peter was catching steadilly and I was well behind him whilst Tony on peg 7 was absolutely flying. I remembered what Eddie had told me the day beofre and decided to really go heavy with my feeding and in the last two hours fed 6 bags of pellet. This seemed to work as finally I was getting bites. The trouble was so was Peter and he continued to keep catching well. I thought I'd better take an action shot as he was bound to ask me for some pics for his blog.

The fish had taken his some time to land and proved to be a good fish so I took a pic of that too.

By the end of the match I'd only got 4 'weighers' for about 50lbs but at least I'd managed to catch a few. By the time the other few fish were weighed I'd finished with 61lbs. Peter kindly returned the favour and took a pic of my best fish a lovely common of 14lbs which fought like crazy, I'm sure John must feed these fish steroids.

Today hadn't fished quite so well but almost eveyone had caught a few fish. Spare a thought for Gemma though who having finished last on friday night managed that feat again having only been able to catch 1lb 4ozs of silvers. (Probably a good thing as I expect she was tired after the night in the caravan !!................behave Vince!!)
I'm not sure of the full results yet but do know that Ryan won the day with, I believe, 197lbs from the car park bank, Well done Ryan.
Finally I must thank a few people, firstly Malc for organising both matches and giving me an invitation.
Secondly to John for letting us fish the 'Special' on friday and for all his hard work in keeping the fishery the place of dreams that it is.
Finally my thanks must go to Eddie Taylor-Green for his help and advice, cheers mate.
My final thoughts must go to Dave, the owner of the website. Not only had he travelled all the way down form Yorkshire to fish but he'd managed to snap one of his top kits playing a carp but then went on to lose another when he stuck it between his legs to feed his peg whilst playing another fish and had it dragged in to the lake. OOooopppss!!!!!!!

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