Having never been to Docklow and hearing good things about it, I booked into this match along with fellow local blogger, Ken Rayner, who travelled up with me. We arrived earlier and had a look round, it is a peaceful, scenic spot, looks ideal for a fishing break in the holiday cabins.
We were on a lake called Snake, it was a very apt name, as the lake does snake through an area of the complex, it appears to have a solid 'bridge' across it at one point, making two seperate lakes, one of which was coloured, the other, gin clear. I was hoping we weren't on the clear section, it reminded me of the Bridgwater and Taunton canal before it was reopened to boats.
We had a breakfast there, all in the ticket price, it was OK, not the best I've had, but far from the worst. Here we discovered that it was the clear section we were on. Given the weights I had heard, which were of 40lb nets of silvers, mainly roach and ide, I had planned to fish maggot and caster, but as a back up, I bought some fishery pellets and some soft hookers.
I drew peg 34 which meant nothing too me, Ken picked 32 and we were in the middle of the match stretch, given the clarity of the water an end peg might prove useful, but we were mostly pegged everyother peg so all had some room.
I set up two whips, one with a small waggler, one with a greased loop rig, fully expecting roach to come up in the water. 3 topkits, two with chianti's both with strung out shot, one at depth and one set to 2/3rd depth. Last rig was a MW Steady, with a bulk of No10's , a No11 dropper 4" below that and a 4" 0.08 hooklength with a 20 63-13.
I started on the whip, feeding caster down the track, with maggot on the hook, I had a small roach 3rd flick in, a bigger roach and then a few perch, but the bites weren't forthcoming as expected for the expected weights. I tried swapping to the pole to improve presentation and this brought a couple more small perch, but generally the fish were conspicuous by their absence. I had 4 lily pads across at about 9m so used these as a marker and fed some of the fishery pellet, which I had softened.
Going across with a 4mm pellet I had a run of 4oz crucians and skimmers, along with the odd roach and small ide, Ken was struggling and walked down ro see what I was doing, he scrounged some hook pellets and wandered back to his peg. There had been some other bank walkers, so I knew it was fishing hard, I set myself a targe of 5lb for the last two hours, the pellet line died off and the maggot lines I'd kept fed were just as barren.
I did manage another 5 or 6 fish in the last two hours and put a level 16lb on the scales for second place, behind a weight of 26lb for match organiser Herbie, who had drawn one of the coveted end pegs. A long way to go for a tough silvers match, but some consolation in getting a pick up. I'll let you read Ken's tale of woe on his blog.
1) Herbie 26.00
2) Chris Fox 16.00
3) ?? 13.00