Wildmarsh is the largest lake on the complex, housing over 70 pegs. It has a decent head of silvers including bream, tench (inc golden tench), perch, eels, barbel along with the usual skimmers and roach. The head of carp is reasonable, with fish to over 25lb, and they don't half hang on!! Depth around 6ft, but areas to 9ft in places, with a odd layout due to a leg/spit and an island.
Well, I arrived for the 9am draw at around 8am, where I chatted with the guys, more about the carp anglers fishing along the road bank (the pegs in the 60's) and how they were fishing to the spit, which soon changed. The posse of early arrivals included Vic Bush, Eric Fouracre, Chris Ware and Phil Clapp amongst others.
Now I know I have only fished around 3 matches with this club, but it really is well supported and each match usually sees around 30 fishing, which is a testament to the fact that it is just for fun (cost is peg fee plus £7 or so pools).
After a bit of banter and some 'admin errors' with the pegging, the draw was made. I did fancy an island peg or maybe in the high 50's where the calmer water was. I didn't know what pegs were in until I came to writing my name on the sheet. But I drew halfway along and ended up on island peg 4, three of us only on the island.
View from my peg (note Vic Bush on the end spit peg)
After reading a few blogs about the lake gave me a few ideas, and thus my tactics were based around margins, topset+1 and 14.5m. I did take 4 rods with me, but lack of space in front meant they stayed in their bags.
I mixed some groundbait for one long line and prepped some 6mm expanders, and got everything ready for the all in.
I had a 0.8gram (0.14-0.12 size 18 B911f1) for the gb line at 14.5m to the left, to target, mostly, the skimmers.
I used a 0.6g (0.18-0.14 size 16 B911) for in front at 14.5m, where I planned to fish 6mm pellet and corn/meat/whole worm with the target being carp (or better sized silvers).
Also a silvers rigs (topkit +1) for 2-3ft shallow for if the fish come up in the water along with a 0.5g NG Caner for on the bottom over the same line. Caster and maggot was bait for this area.
My margin rig was an NG Margin in 0.3g on 0.18-0.16 size 16 B911, this was to my right in 3ft of water, towards a tree. Baits for this was 6mm pellet feed, various hookbaits.
The all in went at 10:30 and the 6hrs began, I cupped 6 balls of groundbait with a few free offerings were deposited in line with a tree, 2 helpings of 6mm pellets with a pinch of corn and meat went in on the long 'big fish' line in front. Some casters were flicked to my short line while I gave the margins a liberal helping of bait too.
Starting on the short line for 30 minutes gave me a few motherless minnows and rudd, but nothing over an ounce, so I shipped a whole dendra over the pellets at 14.5m (I had planned to fish paste, but the wind put me off), I missed a bite immediately.
By this time Vic on the end peg of the spit (peg 30) had landed a decent golden tench and a couple skimmers on the pole (he started on the tip 30m in front of him, which was 30m in front of me too).
A few moments later I hit a bite on the worm and a little elastic came out, it was a decent weight on the end and seemed like I was attached to my 1st carp, 15 minutes later, after it woke up, I netted a carp close to 10lb. Bonus.
Back out to the same line and nothing happened, so a short while later I re-fed and came in on the short line, single caster at depth was the starting point, I ahd bites right away with roach and rudd to 3oz coming in fits and starts along with an f1 of 6oz. I did hook something which plodded off breaking my 0.10 in the process, I think it was probably and eel.
I did try over the groundbait a couple times with no joy. So I left it a while longer.
Vic was still catching on and off on his long pole line, mostly decent skimmers, nobody else I could see was doing much.
All the while I had been baiting the margin as I reckoned on a few fish from there during the match.
A look over the long groundbait line didn't bring a bite, so with nearly 2hrs gone I had to decide what to do. I could see Vic catching on chopped worm, so I decided to put some in over my groundbait and leave it to settle.
Back on the short line, I put another little f1 in the net, some more rudd and a couple 4oz roach, I also had a couple eels of around 8oz, both of which had minnows in their mouths. It did look like the tench or barbel which can get had short were not playing today.
For the next half hour or so I fished over the groundbait (with added cw&c) with a quarter of a dendra, this bought a few palm sized skimmers and roach, I was pushing 4lb of silvers and a single carp, not enough for anywhere as it stood, Vic probably had around 25lb of skimmers/bream/tench and I had seen a few carp landed along the 40's and 50's.
With an hour to go I had a look in the margins, corn on the hook, sailaway bite, mental carp attached , ploughed under the trees to the next peg, into a branch (baby tree more like) that was not seen, rolled on the surface, looked 7lb-ish from what I saw. It looked like it was a gonna, and so it proved. I managed to get my rig back and the offending snag out of the lake. I also managed to crumble my 5th section on the male joint when I never got my sections together when the fish ploughed off.
I re-fed the edge and went back onto the long pellet line with a whole worm, no bites came. No bites came over my gb/cwc line either, so I put a couple more small fish in the net from the short line.
Vic had lost a carp on his margin line, the fish ploughing through his 'feature tree'.
Chris Higgs over on about peg 50 also was given the run around by a carp, at one point I am sure it was 3 pegs away from him......
By now I had given up on any chances really and with a few people having packed up, but with 5 minutes of the match left I looked down the margin again, but this time, should I get a bite, I was going to react quick and try and get the top kit 90 degrees from where I was fishing as soon as the float goes under. I missed a bite almost immediately, and next drop the float continued going, I was into another carp, this time I got it out into open water. The all-out signalled, so I had 15mins to land the fish, this one, like the one I landed, just plodded, other that a solitary run where I had to put a section on it just used it's weight to waddle around on the bottom occasionally coming up to swirl near the surface forming vertexes in the water. So a few minutes later it came towards me where I scooped it up, it looked around 6lb but fought a lot better than it's weight.
With the fish in the keepnet I started to pack up, sure that I hadn't really made any headway into Vic's catch. I shall have to see I thought.
Word had it that the low numbered pegs had not produced, but Chris Ware on the spit had landed a few as had one of the corner pegs near to the spit had given up a few fish. But I couldn't be sure.
The scales duly arrived at my peg and it turned out Vic had around 32lb, Chris Ware had 40lb+ and there was another 30lb weight. That was pretty much it really upto me.
On the scales, my silvers went 4lb 7oz and the 2 carp weighed 16lb 11oz. 21lb 2oz was my weight.
So I put the rest of my tackle away, and headed to the entrance car park for the results.
Most commented on how it had been a bit iffy and the wind was more of a hinderance for some, coupled with the peg layouts, resulted in low weight catches. But then Wildmarsh isn't a 'bagging' water by any means.
Results/Payouts: (top 3, 1x silvers, 3 sections)
1st - C. Ware - Peg 25 - 41lb 2oz
2nd - R. Baker - Peg 39 - 35lb 11oz
3rd - V. Bush - Peg 30 - 32lb 2oz
Silvers - M. Hembury - Peg 50 - 13lb 2oz silvers from an overall weight of 20lb 12oz
Sandra - Peg
E. Fouracre - Peg
L. Williams - Peg Island 4.
So I picked up my section money which was a surprise as I didn't know the payout set-up before it was announced.
I came 4th overall. 3rd was to far ahead to make a difference.
So an enjoyable (if not expensive thanks to a carp and my cack handedness) day, another venue for me to fish again no doubt.
Next up for me looks to be the 1st evening match at The Sedges this Thursday, before Saturday's Clevedon match at Plantations Horseshoe lake, another 'never fished' venue.
Until then take care and tight lines.