My turn on lake 3 and having drawn venue expert Tony Rixon in the knock out, I was going to have my work cut out, in fact as I was so far down the league, but with a glimmer of hope in the silvers, I was intending to fish for them.
The draw slightly changed my thinking, as I drew 41 and I would prefer a non corner peg for silvers - unless the F1's feed, but as there had been a match on the lake the day before, I wasn't confident, as whilst the carp at Landsend often respond to being fished for the day before, its usually the kiss of death for silvers.
The margins on 41 are considerably different in depth left and right, so two rigs made up, as I was hopeful of a fish or two from the edges, especially as we were fishing until 16:00. I set up a rig that I hoped would catch a few silvers, but also land any bonus carp, so 0.16 with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 Guru FI maggot hook.
I thought that meat might work, so I set up a rig on 0.20 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 16 Kaizen, this would do for many areas of the peg, as except for the area where the aerator used to be, the peg was the same depth. I also set up a rig for across to the spit that sticks out, as this usually holds a few fish, this was on 0.16 with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18 F1 hook. There is a shallower area tight across and the rig was plumbed to be just on the bottom on this shelf.
This peg does offer the option of going down to the end bank, but I refuse to do it, the bank is eroded and has trees and other snags in the water, I just won't put myself through what would end in frustration, Tourette's and tears......
Whilst the weather was mild, the water temperature was still very low, so reluctantly I put a pot on the end of my topkit (I'd rather be using a catty) and started across to the spit with a few pellets dripped out of the pot and a 4mm expander on the hook. I had an indication straight away, lifted and dropped it back in and a positive bite saw a 6-7lb fish netted, great start, the next 30 minutes saw 3 more between 3-4lb in the net and I was no thinking of abandoning the silvers and going for carp.
The first half hour was a bit of a golden patch, as the next half hour saw only one more fish in the net. I fed a ball of GB into the open water on the hour mark and left it 20 minutes before dropping over it with double maggot, this brought another small carp and a couple of roach, a switch to 4mm expander saw a small skimmer come to the net and several more roach. But the carp seemed to disappear.
Now with the beauty of hindsight, I should have got my head down and fished the rest of the match for silvers, but I was fairly convinced the last hour or so would see the carp come back, I did have a look down the RH margin - which is the deeper of the two and it was barren, I wanted to leave the LH margin to the last 30 minutes before going in there.
I did manage a very small F1 and a carp that would struggle to push the scales to the 1lb mark from across to the spit again, as well as a couple of roach. The margins only produced one carp, probably 2lb, so that was a disappointment and confirmed my poor decision in not fishing for silvers, as the lake silvers was won with 5.04 and I weighed 4.12, I think 7 or 8lb would have been easily obtainable. My 8 carp went 38lb odd and Rob Watts on 43 had 4 for 39lb odd and his silvers just beat me, the top 3 weights on the lake all came from the opposite bank, so another mediocre day for me, I felt I fished a tidy match, but the size of the fish I caught cost me.
Dreadful winter, really not sure what I am doing wrong as I just can't seem to put any quality in the net, be glad to see the spring arrive and the water temps climb up above 10° or 12°C.