I arrived at the lake well before anyone else and the weather wasn't great, a few rumbles of thunder and some heavy rain was falling on my way over, this seemed to follow me and the waterproofs were donned on arrival. The weather was due to warm up and become brighter as the day progressed. Winds were generally light and variable in direction.
As everyone else arrived we had a bit of banter, again at Adam Caswell's expense, bless him. The talk soon turned to fishing, and the hot pegs were labelled, these were pegs 5 and 20, decent pegs that are worth a few all year, and as it turned out they were the end pegs, bonus for those on them!!
I fancied fishing for silvers if I didn't draw either of these 2 as it would make a nice change for a while.
Anyway, back to the draw and I waited for most guys to take theirs, I drew peg 7, an ok peg that was at the end of the 1st island. Top carp bagger Brian Shanks had peg 5 (fish to the boards perhaps?), Lionel Legge was up on peg 20 (fish to the gap/cut through perhaps?). For company I had Alan Healey on peg 9 and Steve Burgess on peg 6.
|Avalon peg 7|
I went into my rod bag to grab a whip and saw they were not there...ooopps. So a topkit with 14 elastic was the substitute, at least I may have a chance with a bonus carp which may happen along.
I only set up one rig for the pole to target silvers, this was a NG Power pencil in 0.4g, 0.14 line to a 0.10 hooklength and a 16 B911 F1 hook.
The 'whip' rig was a NG dibber type float in 0.2g size tied to 0.16 to 0.12 to B911 F1 size 18.
For the carp I set a pellet wag with 0.20 hooklength, size 16 B911x hook and a band on the hair to take 8mm pellet, this would be fished off the end of the island where there seemed to be a few fish mulling around, but I couldn't get too close as the reeds had grown up and out off the island, plus they pull hard on that lake.
A shallow pellet rig for over my silvers line at 13m and a margin rig for just off the empty peg of rarely fished peg 8, sadly both of these rigs only gave me 2 small silvers so no more on them.
A paste rig was assembled, but other than 1 look, remained unused. But paste fishing is something I don't do much, if any. I do need to practice.
The 10:08am all-in was called and I cupped in several small balls of groundbait at 13m in front. Some 8mm pellets fired out on the wag line and a few maggots out for the 'whip' line.
I started on the waggler and despite a few fish being present they were not really having it properly. They were easily visible in decent numbers in Steve's peg next door and further along in Brian's peg they were present.
I stayed on the pellet wag for about 40 minutes or more while the groundbait line settled, this period gave me 1 single 3lb carp and a couple small chub of 4-6oz each. I think Brian had a couple and Steve one too. I couldn't see much else.
I went over the groundbait line as we approach hour number 2 and despite plenty of bubbles and fizzing I couldn't get a bite other than from rudd taking the bait on the drop. But I stuck at it and managed to put a 3oz skimmer in the net. So I left that line again, switching to the shallow 'whip' rig, this gave me a couple pounds of silvers to 5 or 6oz, a mixture of rudd, perch and roach. Most of which were small 2 to the ounce fish, but I was happy enough and busy.
Elsewhere I couldn't see much being caught, so I was soon back out on the pellet waggler, but this remained a struggle, I did lose a fish which went straight into the reeds, but I had not lost as many as Steve or Brian, they'd lost a few each and some floats too.
The 3rd hour was soon in progress and Adam Caswell came down to tell anyone or everyone rather, that he had 11 carp and was flying (p19), now most peeps leave their pegs for a wander when it is quiet, not Adam, he goes for a walk when doing well....checking out the opposition methinks, lol. News also drifted down that a few guys were properly struggling and one or 2 only had a couple little silvers each. But Will Dearlove and Lionel Legge had been catching well on pegs 17 and 20 respectively.
This hour gave me a few more silvers in the form of skimmers of 3 to 4ozs and some roach and another chub. I had by now ditched the soft pellet as I was getting bitted out, so a small banded hooklength was attached for 6mm pellets. This was better for me as I got past the baby fish.
I had one more carp on the pellet wag, a fish of 4lb perhaps.
Steve Burgess had landed a crucian on the pellet wag, but was fishing the lead as he'd lost a few more fish/hooklengths/floats....Brian Shanks has set up the pole as he too was on tackle loss restrictions!!
The 4th hour saw me land a couple carp, but I went through a spell of losing 4 fish to the reeds and one to the platform breaking the hooklengths. Something which I don't normally suffer, but the reeds were fresher green ones, which is when they tend to be at the most destructive. The fish too seemed rather hyper, maybe the recent rains had increased the dissolved oxygen, which definitely helps the fights of fish.
At this point myself, Steve and Brian were neck and neck with perhaps 4 carp each. I had maybe 5lb of silvers in my net I thought. I had also noted that Brian had a carp shallow on the pole, so I upped the feed on my long pole line, which as it turned out didn't make a difference as I never had a shallow carp on the pole.
Into the 5th hour and I had been told that Lionel and Will were battling for 1st and second as far as we could tell, but not much else had been caught. Adam was probably comfortably in third as he'd had 14 or so carp on his usual paste. Brian had switched to fishing on the bottom and landed a carp and a couple skimmer, he'd lost a couple foul hooked fish too.
I spent this hour picking up occasional carp on the pellet wag along with the odd silver fish. I had also foul hooked a carp on the long silvers rig, so I knew they were about, but as soon as tried for them with a specific rig I never had a bite, typical. I also managed to chuck my scissors into the grass/brambles that overhung the margin, they fell into the lake.
The last hour soon came and went without much action, I did manage to foul hook and lose another carp off the silvers line. Steve landed and couple more carp in quick succession and Brian landed at least one on the pole. Me, well I put another couple small 2lb carp in the net.
The all out was called just after I put a 3lb fish into the net, leaving me on about 10 carp, Steve had a similar amount and Brian was on maybe 7 but looked a bit larger than mine.
Alan on peg 9 landed 4 or 5, but one jumped out of his net, much to my amusement. Mr Burgess's fish tried their best to do an escape act, but they obviously were not as fit as Mr Healey's so were content with scaring Steve with their attempts.
I was slow in packing up and it wasn't long before the scales were a couple pegs away, Will had landed 86lb or so and was around 10lb short of Lionel's weight. Adams 17 carp went around 45lb and he had 10lb of accidental silvers.
I reckoned I had 35lb of carp and maybe 6lb of silvers, this was a little out and my silvers weighed 7lb dead and the carp went 46lb 8oz for a combined total of 53lb 8oz.
Steve weighed next and had 40lb or so and then Brian I think had a little less. So I had a quid off Steve, which he paid me via Alan Healey who had 22lb from peg 9.
As it turned out my weight was good for 4th on the day, giving me 3rd in the money by default as Adam's 10lb 8oz of silvers gave him that money, which was a pleasant surprise.
1. Lionel Legge (20) 95-5
2. Will Dearlove (17) 87-0
3. Adam Caswell (19) 56-4
4. Lee Williams (7) 53-8
Silvers: Adam Caswell 10-8
So all in all an ok match, but a tricky day for most, the silvers really didn't want to get their heads down, maybe it was too warm and sunny. The carp, although loads were about and swirling at the feed (especially in Steve's peg), they knew what they were doing, maybe in hindsight a more traditional waggler with corn, meat or caster could have worked, I did try 6mm pellets but this never made a different, maggots gave me bits. So needed to be selective.
Next up for me is the Pawlett Club's Silvers Winners Final at Nether Stowey Lakes.
Now I have never seen these, let alone fished them, so if anyone has any info then it'd be much appreciated.
Until next time, take care.