Back to Todber today, travelled down with Tony Rixon, stopped in Cannards Well for breakfast, was OK, but a couple of the items could have been hotter.
35 fishing this today, Homeground and Hillview in the drawtub and I pulled out 80, Homeground, a lake I haven't fished before, a quick ask round and I was advised the fish were a bit bigger than Hillview. When I got to my peg, I realised nothing too fancy would be on the cards today, as a strong wind was right into my face. I hoped that meant the fish were also pushing over this side.
Simple bait tray, pellet, corn and meat, as it was so windy I decided to get two lead rods out of the bag, one for method to the island, one for bomb and pellet, thinking that as pellet pinged into open water on the pole usually works, bomb and pellet should too.
3 topkits, a meat rig for short, due to the wind this was a 4x16 Malman Roob, a 4x16 float to fish pellet at 11m (as far as I could sensibly fish) and a rig for the margin, which given peg 81 was empty, I expected to catch from. For company on 79 I had legendary lead slinger Roy Worth and beyond him, Nicky Ewers, so some banter was likely.
I decided to start on the method and first cast with an orange wafter, I had a 2lb+ skimmer, he was obviously ostracised from the shoal, as it was to be the only bite. I unclipped and wound two turns on before reclipping, that brought a small carp to a 6mm pellet, but it was tough going. A sitch to the short meat line was equally as depressing, a tiny perch and a rudd led me to believe that there weren't hordes of hungry carp or decent skimmers down there.
Time to move onto the banker, pinging pellet, unfortunately this banker had crashed, leaving me bereft of anything to deposit in the net, I cannot recall ever fishing here and not getting a bite on a pellet.
Getting desperate, back onto the short meat line and another carp, but this was a short lived glimmer of hope, as none other were forthcoming. With over two hours gone and 6lb on my clicker, it was time for desperate measures, I had bought some maggots in the shop on site, for tomorrow and later in the week, not intending us them today. I put two on the method and had 4, 4oz skimmers in consecutive casts, but no point catching them, so plan H or is it J to hatch.
New line started up and pinging pellets again - it was if I couldn't believe it didn't work first time, I had 4 fish on this before it reverted to a biteless zone.... what now?
4 hours gone and 25lb in the net, I was starting to think how I would counter the banter when I was last on the lake, but thankfully, the wind seemed to drop and whether that was a coincidence or not, I started catching on the short meat line (which was up the slope, about 6" deeper than the full depth), a run of fish took me from 25lb on the clicker to 78lb with 35 minutes to go, I was thinking I could do the 'ton'. I had fed and tried the margin several times, one 3lber to show for it, the only bite, they didn't want to be in the shallow water it seemed. So heads down for the last 35 minutes and for some reason, the wheels fell off, the wind got up stronger and an undercurrent pushed back from the bank, but unfortunately it seemed to take loads of barley straw from the bales with it, dragging the float under and snagging on the hook.
I had one tench in the last 35 minutes, tried shallowing up, going further out, but all to no avail, as the barley straw got involved in every drop in. Shame, as that cost me the section money at least and maybe last place or so in the frame. Interesting place, I seem to just short of getting it sussed, as I was 3rd on my lake and 8th overall, today I just didn't expect it to be so tough at the start and maybe I attacked it a little too hard. Good excuse to come back and try again...... Well done to the winner and framers, same names cropping up regularly, so there must be something I am missing in my decision making here.