I had booked into the open on Woodland at Trinity for Sundays match, but as there were a few at Viaduct, the match was cancelled. I thought long and hard about fishing this match, Woodland has been kind to me, more often than not I've left with some coin. Not so Wildmarsh, I've really struggled on this lake, not a single pick up!!
I decided that I should fish it, to try and exorcise whatever demon it holds, so I booked in with Darren 'Nuddy' Vowles, who was running the match in the ansence of his master, Paul Nicholls. Paul, your bitch did OK - at organising, not so with his fishing, I now realise that the sticker maker who made the - Darren 'Nudd' Vowles - sticker for his box was suffering from dyslexia, it should read Darren 'Noddy' Vowles.
Given the weather forecast, I decided that a caster, maggot and pinkie approach would be best, to try and catch a few roach, I also took a few worms for the skimmers. There was also a tin of corn knocking around the bottom of my carryall. I put the ice breaker in the van, as the frost was thick on the windows, but on arrival was pleasantly surprised to see the lake ice free.
The pegging had been delegated to Paul Faiers and Glen Calvert, when they got back they said they had included peg 41, behind the island - my initial thoughts were that if the skimmers showed in the main body of the lake, the peg could struggle, but it should be good for a few roach and the odd chub. The easterly wind was blowing straight into the faces of those in the 60's, I didn't fancy that bank!!
I drew 41 and was quietly pleased, as it offered open water fishing towards the footbridge and some cover to fish against the island at 15m. I decided to feed four lines, a 3m caster and pinkie line to my right, a waggler line with caster in open water towards the footbridge, caster and maggot to the island and a few grains of corn to the 'tree of death' (a tree overhanging the water on the island to my right).
Starting on the waggler, I had a chub on my third cast and for an hour and a half had odd chub and a 2½lb skimmer. When the sun came round, the waggler line died, I couldn't get a bite on the 3m line and not so much as a liner, chucking corn on a straight lead to the tree.
I went over to the island and had two bites in two put ins, losing both fish, one shed the hook, one took the hook. I then had a couple of chub and small carp, before hooking a better fish, I managed to get it into open water and thought that I may get it in on the 0.08 / 22 Gamma black and purple middy hi viz elastic - I then tried to be too clever - don't answer your phone whilst playing a fish!! It took me round the corner and shed the hook in the rushes.
Up until now I hadn't had a roach, so decided to fish for carp and set up a heavier float, 0.15 hooklength and a 20 B911 - first two fish on this rig were roach...why? I carried on getting bites, all fish falling to single maggot, with carp from just over a 1lb up to 7 or 8lb. A really good days fishing and the demon exorcised. The rest of the lake fished hard as you'll see by the results below:
1) Chris Fox 44lb 7oz peg 41 (Carp, chub a couple of roach and 1 skimmer)
2) Ivan Currie 5lb 6oz peg 49 (1 Carp, 1 Skimmer)
3) Simon Carvello 4lb 7oz peg 46 (2 skimmers)
4) Glen Calvert 3lb 11oz peg 64 ( 1 bream caught 2 mins before the all out!!)
5) Darren 'Noddy' Vowles 3lb 3oz (1 suicidal bream)
All the rest DNW.
1) Chris Fox 10lb 15oz
Photography by Misha, using my phone after it was dropped into the net of carp!!
Watch out Whiteacres, as a posse of Clevedon misfits make their way down the M5 for next weeks festival, I'm sure the tales of woe, lost pole sections and lager induced memory loss will abound when they get back!! Good luck lads, I bet Des Shipp, Coxy and co are quaking in their boots.