Hard to believe that a year has passed since the last winter league, where is the time going.....
I must admit, I haven't been enjoying this winters fishing and am not taking every opportunity to get out on the bank, as I usually would, I'm not sure if the stats would bear me out, but I feel as if the winter fishing is getting worse every year.
But, it was with renewed enthusiasm I got my kit ready for this, I have always liked team fishing and this year sees us with an unchanged team of Myself, Paul Faiers, Freddy Roberts, Glenn Calvert and Mark Broomsgrove. We are looking to improve on last years finish, hopefully emulating 2016's league win, but there are some good anglers and the draw bag to overcome to get near that aim in the 5 matches.
Its great to see the banter and atmosphere that these big matches generate, something that is missing from todays match scene, along with the social side, when many used to have a pint or two on the way home. A great sense of anticipation from the 90 anglers in attendance, anticipation and hope that one of the 'shite draws' doesn't come their way.
With renowned poor drawers in the team, we all voted Freddy to pluck our rotation and peg from the draw tubs, that put him on 132, Mark on 103, Myself on 71, Paul on 52 and Glenn on 20, not the worst draw in the tin, but probably Glenn and myself of the least favoured of the pegs.
Peg 71 on Lodge is a bit hemmed in, but this year with peg 55 not being in, you can cast the waggler a little further. Lodge lake section is float only, so no need to set up a lead rod, I had two wagglers set up, one with 0.12 and a 18 Guru F1 for caster and one with 0.15 and a 18 PR36 for corn or meat.
I did set up a rig to try under the brambles to my right, although I was far from convinced that I would catch short, a rig to fish at 14m and a double bulk rig for the same distance.
Starting on the waggler and meat saw the waggler sitting motionless, a switch to corn was no better, finally a switch to maggot brought 2 missed bites. I had fed a bit of GB, with dead maggot and caster in at 14m, a look over this saw a roach netted - that was the blank saved, but it was pretty much it, as far as the pole lines went, nothing on caster, maggot or even prawn down to the bushes and nothing else on the 14m line.
I spent most of the match fishing the waggler as far as I dare without encroaching on to peg 56's boundary, this was the only lace I could get bites, corn being the best bait. I kept persevering as peg 70was getting a few bites doing this and he had 3 decent carp and some skimmers to win the section. I managed 12.01 of skimmers for 7 points, one 10lb carp would have seen my points doubled, that's how tight the lake was.
Teamwise it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't a bad day, Fred taking 15 points, Mark with 14, my 7, Paul had 15 and Glenn 9, so 60 points and joint 4th, Colmic were runaway winners on the day with 75 points.