It was my 1st visit to the lakes and finding info wasn't easy, although they have opens several times a week, they tend to rotate the lakes used.
What I first noticed about the lakes in phase 1, was that they looked extremely well kept and pegging wasn't as tight as a lot of other place. With only Lake 5 in on the 1st phase and all the lakes on phases 2 and 3 in the draw we expected plenty of space and this proved true. I figured a weight near 100lb would be pushing a spot at Cudmore in July.
After a chat with a couple of guys, one from Yeovil, it was down to the draw. I managed to squeeze in around 40th in the line of 130, just pushing in front of Warren Martin I plucked peg 14 on Crater......I was told it was ok, I didn't have a clue.!!
A quick look at where it was and I headed off to phase 2, which is only a few hundred yards up the road.
I parked the car and had a quick look for my peg, I found it easy enough, it was literally 40yrds from the car park and there seemed to be a good few carp roaming up in the water in the vicinity of my peg. I didn't expect them to stay there as 40 or so guys were expected to pass the area on their way to the lakes further along, true to form, the fish vanished 10 minutes after I plonked myself on my peg.
|Crater, Makins Phase 2 (my peg top right)|
|My left hand area|
|P14 Crater, in front.|
I set up a small method feeder, just incase of emergencies, plus 4 topkits:
A rig for 4m in front using meat over dead maggots.
A rig for banded pellet along to my left hand edge in several spots right along to the tree, this rig was suitable for tight over to the left hand island at 15m, but I never fished there as the wind would make presentation tricky,
A rig was made to fish meat tight to the right hand island at 15m, again this didn't produce a fish and I only tried it a couple times.
Lastly a rig for 13m in front, again for banded pellet. I never picked up this rig,
I had my 2 bags of green swimstim pellets, a bag of 6mm and a bag of 3mm, I didn't use any 3mm!!
Some 6mm meat and a pint of dead maggots finished my bait tray, except 1/2kg of groundbait for the feeder and maybe down the edge.
I began at 11am by potting a few small amounts of bait into various spots and began on the short maggot/meat line. After a while I remained biteless, though the guy off at the other end of the pool had landed a couple small carp.
A look across to the islands and then down my edge gave me nothing in the 1st 90minutes. It didn't look great!!
After just under 2hrs the fish started to venture down to me and I managed to hook and lose a fish from near the tree down to my left, a scale returned from my culprit. I landed my next couple of carp, both 2lb or so. A fish soon broke my hooklength on the legs of the empty peg to my left, that peg lost me 2 or 3 other fish over the day.
I missed a couple of bites and I thought they were liners so I shallowed up to around 2ft deep, this worked as a couple more fish came before 2pm. I found that feeding 4 or 5 pellets randomly in the area worked best at keeping the fish away from the margin, I would struggle to get too close to the edge over at that distance in the wind and these little carp were mental fighters.
It was now 2:30 and I had landed 8 or 9 carp up to 3lb, the guy on peg 1 was ahead of me as he seemed to be getting fish regularly from the end bank and his side of the island.
Then I had a mishap, my number 5 section broke and I had no spare. I telescoped the section and chucked a method feeder down to the same area and this gave me 3 or 4 carp of 2lb max!!
I gingerly shipped out the pole to the same area and managed several more fish over the next hour, it wasn't fast and furious though.
The lad on 1 was doing well and the man to my right on 12 was getting a good stamp of fish compared to mine, he also had a 4lb barbel and some nice skimmers. The other 3 were struggling.
As we approached the last hour my clicker showed 43lb as I had 16 carp and 1 roach at this point.
A look down my margin never gave me a fish, just crap and snags, the fish were there but catching them was tricky,
I tried my short meat line as the chap on 12 was doing all his fish on meat short, but I only had 2 small carp from here in the last 60 mins.
20 minutes from the end came and the guy on peg 1 landed 3 lumpier carp for around 16lb+ in the last period, which I was sure pushed him ahead of me. I couldn't get any stamp fish from any of my lines.
A couple more fish shallow from my left hand side were netted before the all out. My clicker stoped at 53lb. 20 carp and 1 roach was my tally for the day, losing 4 or 5 for various reasons.
I packed my gear away happy enough, bar the broke section, and I knew that I'd probably done ok really. The scales took a while to arrive, but when they did the board showed the section was being won with 39lb. The chap on 12 landed 42lb or so before I plonked 65lb 12oz on the scales.
Peg 1 weighed next and those last 3 fish proved decisive as he weighed 70lb 4oz to take the section money, unless he finished in the top 6 I wouldn't win a penny.
It proved that way with him just falling short of the overall frame.
I think I finished 10th (or higher) on the day, a decent result overall, I could have done some things different and I made some mistakes, but I am happy enough with how I did.
1st, Simon Colclough, 93lb 8oz. Lizard peg 16.
2nd, Wayne Ibbotson, 93lb 40z. Lagoon peg 2.
3rd=, Rob Wootten, 91lb, Lagoon peg 3.
3rd=, Andrew David, 91lb, Lizard peg 10.
5th, Andy Geldart, 89lb 4oz, Lizard peg 32.
So a few things I learned a few things today and enjoyed the day, it pretty much stayed dry too, which was a bonus.
Next up for me is Cary on Sunday, whether I have a pole or not remains to be seen.
Until then, Take Care.