Now I like the venue, it has loads of silvers, eels and a decent head of carp. It is a venue that gives rewards to those who think about their angling. The only slight is that it is a public park and occasionally dogs (and their walkers) can enter your swim in certain areas. But generally there isn't any problems. The swims are decent, platforms or solid bank and the water is of a nice depth (3-6ft as a rule).
Anyways onto the match. I arrived at the car park around 8:10 in time for the half past draw. It was a nippy morning with a bit of a frost. Slowly the others arrived, and we were soon handing our money over to Mark Bartlett and Rob Fogg who were sorting us out while Adie was not present.
I had been down to have a look on Saturday, where a mate had been fishing, and it was hard, in fact he waited a long while before his bites began, but sport was slow. The frosts had knocked the fishing a bit, so we need a settled period for it to pick up again. Apex can be an excellent winter water, I have had weights to over 40lb of skimmers and bream.
The most popular pegs would be 1-6 and those from 43 back to around 32. I fancied the mid 30's really, along the footpath, or maybe peg 2 or 3. Peg 4 is seen as a/the top peg, but I have never really done well there,
There was 13 or 14 of us down to fish, only 1 no show.
Into the bucket goes all the hands, out comes a piece of paper, peg 4....decent enough, and I expected a few fish. So a quick jump in the car and I drove round to the other car park. Once in my swim I set about getting my kit sorted and any luggage placed back on the barrow as rats can be a pest on this lake, some of them are super friendly and are not shy...
Peg 4, Apex Lake.
Once I had mixed my groundbait (50/50 mix of sensas matchblend and magic), pumped some expanders and organised my box etc I set up 4 rigs, which I actually made on Saturday.....now I am getting good at a little prep...lol.
These were all Nick Gilberts Silverfish Caners. A 0.6g float on 0.14>0.12>B511 size 18 for soft pellet or if I was to be catching steadily, this had a bulk and a single no.10 dropper.
The 2nd rig was the same float, with a 0.10 hooklength to a size 20 B511, for maggot/caster, maybe soft pellet.
The 3rd was a 0.4g, spread shot, 0.08 hooklength and a size 22 B511, this was for the roach on the drop or up in the water, should they show.
Lastly I had another 0.4g float, but this was on 0.12 and a size 16 B611, for chopped worm next to the tree to my left (you can make out the edges of the tree in the pic). Maybe a decent perch or a rogue carp being the target here.
I also set up a small guru feeder with a 2ft tail of 0.12 to a size 18 b611. This was my banker tactic.
In the hour or so before the whistle I never saw one fish top, not one bubble, nothing, so I was expecting a struggle.
The all in sounded at 10am, and I cupped a decent pot of worm and caster by the tree, but I never had a bite there, so no more on that.
I cupped a Satsuma sized ball of groundbait at 13m in the 1pm position, a pot of wetted micros and a few soft pellet went in at 13m on the 10am position. I was feeling positive. Sadly I never had a bite on these 2 lines either, despite varying my rigs, mostly using the lightest rig and feeding softly softly.
Anyways, there is not much to tell you about the next 5 hours except I had my 1st bite at around 11:15 when a suicidal skimmer took my bait on the feeder. Others had caught a few, some were still biteless and the remainder were on 1 fish...it was tough.
I did bump a baby skimmer off when the poor thing took my single red maggot on the feeder, that was around 13:30, so at this point it was 2 bites, 1 in the net, 1 bumped....Lance Tucker on peg 32? was in the process of packing up after only having 1 bite, others had packed their poles away as I don't think anyone except Mark Bromsgrove on peg 8 (apparently he was getting plenty) had a fish on that line...
Around 2:30 I started packing up, an hour before the whistle, I left 1 pole rig and the feeder set up, but I had switched to a larger feeder and a 5ft tail, 0.08>size 22 b611, a scratching feeder rig...lol
At 3pm something happened....another bite, a minute tap on the tip, which I missed, I chucked back out and low and behold 5 mins later I was into another fish, a 4oz skimmer was netted. Sadly I only had 20 minutes left!!....at 15:15 I bumped a fish which never registered on the tip, it fell off when I was pussy-footing in bringing it in, it felt a decent skimmer...a couple mins later I landed a small 4oz skimmer, then I missed a couple bites in quick succession and then bumped another baby skimmer. The fish were only lightly hooked and these smaller skimmers have really soft mouths. The bites were taps on the tip, not positive knocks.
So bites were coming and as the all out sounded I missed a bite.....But I was glad it was over!!
I was soon packed up, a few of the others had packed up with plenty of time left!!
Rob Fogg came and weighed my 4 or 5 fish, they went 3lb 8oz, which he said looked ok for the section....if he could remember what pegs were in what sections....lol
The other pegs on my right didn't weigh in as they were fishless, Rob himself was on peg 6 and had packed up early, but informed me that Mark Bromsgrove on peg 8 was bagging...maybe over 20lb in his net.
During the match I could see Nick Harvey, Paul Faires and Phil Deacon catching the odd skimmer from the pathway pegs opposite me and were looking like contesting the placings, but Mark Bartlett on peg 42 only had 1 small skimmer and dnw'd. Also the far peg opposite me (peg 35?) had Simon Carvallo catching a few all day, especially at around 1-2pm where it seemed like he was getting a bite a chuck on the feeder.
Anyways, I loaded the car and scooted back to the main car park for the results.
As expected Mark Bromsgrove won with 28lb+ from peg 8, I guess it makes sense as that peg gets the sun all day and was out of the cold winds we had for the last couple days. Maybe the water was warmer? But well done him....
Alas I never got my section as Phil Deacon and Kev Perry both had better weights, but I think it was Phil who won my section.
1st, Peg 8, Mark Bromsgrove, 28lb 8oz
2nd, Peg 40?, Paul Faires, 16lb 4oz
3rd, Peg 35?, Simon Carvallo, 11lb 10oz
Sections: Phil Deacon, Peg 41, 9lb 4oz. Kev Perry, Peg 33, 6lb 13oz.
So all in all a tough day, not un-expected as we'd had a few frosts and a cold northerly. Other fisheries were slow by all accounts on Saturday, lets hope it improves.
I was a little surprised that everyone, except the winner, didn't catch on the pole, and feeder weights were the outcome. But I am not surprised that I had bites late on, a little too late, because that is how Paul Wharton had found out on Saturday.
Maybe I should have switched to a lighter hooklength earlier? Maybe a bigger feeder should have been put on earlier? Maybe I did everything ok (except land a couple fish), that's fishing...that's why we keep going.....
Next up for me looks to be a match on Trinity Woodlands on Sunday, I know PSV had a match there on Sunday, but the blog has yet to be done, I think......but 5lb separated their top 4 with around 30lb winning.
Until next time...stay safe and have fun...