We had 25 fishing today so a nice turn out, the weather was set fair but a north to north-westerly would be blowing up the lake, strengthening as the day went on. The lake is really affected by wind and the tow can be extreme at times.
I arrived in plenty of time and had a natter with a few peeps. We had John Fuidge and Ziggy Slowinski with us again today after they joined a few weeks back. Mark Watkins was making his debut on the day and would be on peg 24. He fishing Apex a fair bit but is relatively new to match type fishing.
I fancied any of the pegs in the 30's as you'd get a bit of room and they are consistent silvers pegs, I didn't expect more that 1 or 2 carp to get caught today. Pegs 3 to 6 would be a nice draw, but I really didn't fancy anywhere else to be fair, maybe peg 10.
The draw took place and I had the 3rd last ticket, peg 11 was my home for the rest of the day, well unless I left early!! It isn't a great silvers peg but you have the island a decent chuck in front and the usual marginal reeds, both likely to be the carpy type areas. If the wind go up as predicted I knew the tow would be stronger closer in than further out, but you'd have trouble holding the pole long....hmmm.
Another issue with the peg is the fact you have brambles behind you so anything over 13m is tricky to fish as you'd need to triple break down, so 13m was my maximum distance for the pole as this was fine enough to double ship.
I made my way round to the peg and got my tackle down the slope onto the platform. For company I had Pete Manning on peg 10 and Nigel Hull down on peg 12 in a corner.
|Peg 11, Apex Lake|
I sorted out my bait, mixing just of 2kg of groundbait, I thought that a lightly lightly approach may be best. I also prepped some micros for the method feeder. 1/2pt live maggot, 1pt caster and some corn and 4mm pellets for the margin would complete my bait tray.
4 top kits assembled, the 1st was a margin rig for corn at 8m down to my left, this was fishless so nothing more on that. The 2nd was a light 0.2g caster rig for top kit on both sides, this remained fishless. Lastly 2 rigs on light number 4 laccy, 4x14's Carp Gents with 0.10 and 0.08 hooklengths and a size 20 hooks on each. The 1st of these was a bulk and one dropper for if the skimmers arrive, also if the eels want to feed, I didn't expect them in numbers to be fair as the water was still cool. The 2nd was a bulk at half depth (had 4.5ft from 4m to 13m) and 3 droppers, I expected a few roach to be off bottom. I also set a waggler up after 2hrs after a few bubbles had been appearing at 25m, but that was fishless.
At the all-in I fed 3 decent balls of groundbait in front at 13m, 1 at 8m and some pellets and corn went down the edge, never to see any action. Similarly I began to feed both sides by hand with caster, but as I mentioned I never had a touch on either despite a few roach spawning in the reeds.
I began on the feeder with big pellet as hookbait, 1 carp would be there or thereabouts at the end of the match. Sadly I never had a bite in the 50 minutes I spent on it.
In on the long pole and I had a small silver bream 1st drop, this was followed by a few more and odd roach on the drop. Infact the second hour saw me switching between the long and short lines picking up a few fish including a bonus 10 or 12oz skimmer, but most were 3 to 5oz palm sized silver bream.
The sun was shining and I was out of the best of the wind and it was really nice, rather warm too and I could have sat shirtless....I didn't though as there were kids around!!
As we entered the 3rd hour bites had slowed and it was only John Fuidge on peg 26 was having a few silvers. I had fed around half of my groundbait by now and had figured out a routine that would usually see me pop the odd fish in the net. I had bumped a couple fish so I switched hooks a couple times, which helped. The 3rd hour gave me around 8 or 9 small fish. The wind was also getting up and the tow had picked up, nicely against the wind, I hoped the better skimmers would put in an appearance. The short pole line wasn't doing much so I deposited a nice helping of maggots and casters here hoping for the eels to arrive.
The 4th hour was nice although I had a 2lb skimmer pop off the hook as I grabbed the landing net and a gust of wind caught the topkit, I did curse!! I managed maybe another 1lb of fish during this spell, maybe only John Fuidge doing okay. But Mark Watkins over on peg 24 was getting a few bites.
The 5th hour went similar although a frisky 10oz eel was netted, only lightly lip hooked, proving to me they have not yet awoken. I guessed my weight to be 5lb or so at this point.
The last hour was soon underway and the bank walkers had commented how slow people were finding it and 7 or 8lb would be very good, I reckoned John had that to be fair, so maybe he was the person to beat. Pete Manning said he reckoned I had 7lb, I thought less.
With just under 3/4 an hour to go I hooked a fish that pulled plenty of elastic out, nice bonus I thought, a proper bream of perhaps 3 or 4lb then PING....hook pulled.....I cursed, not too loudly, but I did. The wind was buffeting the piece of carbon around, plus the double shipping, barbless hooks etc didn't help!!
A couple of smaller fish were soon netted though and the tow was blasting through, luckily my peg was somewhat sheltered compared to most, some couldn't hold their poles further than a few sections and have waves resembling the beach that's only a mile away!!
With 30 minutes left I hooked another bream, slightly smaller, but was netted and a bonus 3lb fish entered the keepnet. I smiled.
The remainder of the match was fished out, a couple roach and small silver bream were added to the collection, I reckoned on just over 8lb.
I packed up, loaded the car and caught up with the scales that were weighing my side of the lake. Peg 1 had 5lb+ then peg 2, Jason King, had 11lb 3oz that included a late 6lb bream I was told, I didn't think I had that but thought John Fuidge may have done.
A few dnw's and a couple 4 to 6lb nets before my usual under estimated net weighed 14lb 1oz. The usual names and how I cant lie straight in bed etc came my way.
I drove the car back round to the car park and re-caught up with the scales. My 14lb was still leading as Mr Fuidge had 9lb+, and with the last few guys saying they only had a few pounds each it looked like I had won. The last few were telling the truth. So I had won, more importantly I had qualified for the Silvers Final and All-Winners Final in 2017 I one foul swoop. Bargain.
Back at the car park I chatted with a few guys before the results were done: I think these are correct.......lol:
1st, Lee Williams, 14lb 1oz. Peg 11
2nd, Jason King, 11lb 3oz, Peg 2
3rd, John Fuidge, 9lb 15oz, Peg 26 (default silvers win)
4th, Jamie Cook, 7lb 9oz, Peg 28 (default 3rd)
5th, Mark Watkins, 6lb 13oz, Peg 24 (section win)
6th, Mike Davis, 6lb 10oz, Peg 8 (section win)
So a tough day, but despite my not-so-happy feeling when I drew the peg, the little bit of shelter afforded me a few extra fish I think. But it was nice to win and I really enjoyed the day, these less-carpy venues are what I like about my fishing at the moment.
Oh well done Mark Watkins on the section win, defaulted, but all is good. Keep learning mate,
Next up is Makins on Wednesday for a Fisho qualifier, the wife is coming so it wont be a quiet day, haha.
Then I hope to get a couple matches in over the following few days, next Sunday I am on Campbell with the PSV bunch.
Until then, take care.