Thursday, 2 February 2012

Stretton Lakes, Round 4 Deeping Individual League

Due to the fact that most of our local river venues are very poor at the moment the decision was made to switch round 4 of the individual league to a commercial fishery. I for one was not looking forward to this at all as I don't really fish this type of venue very often and had never even seen the chosen venue before. Anyway Stretton Lakes it was then and after a quick look on the internet and asking a few local anglers I was still none the wiser and so I resigned myself to going in blind.

In the week before the match I made myself up a few rigs to cover both Carp and Silver fish, I also sorted out a couple of power kits with suitable elastic in the shape of a No9 hollow and a No12 solid for Carp and for the silver fish I would use a match kit and a No 6 elastic. Bait wise I planned to use Maggot, Casters, Pellets and a little groundbait with a few Pinkies in it but as for a plan I thought I would make it up when I arrived at my peg.

Match day arrived and after the 35 minute drive from my home in Peterborough  I arrived at the venue to find quite a few anglers had braved the cold, 16 in all so not a bad show at all. The weather was overcast and 3 degrees centigrade with hardly any breeze on the water but there were small fish topping all over the lake which by the way was a long strip with islands all down the middle at around 13m. The club had done the sensible thing and missed out every other peg so everybody had a full island feature to fish to. After the normal pre match banter that we all know and love it was time for the draw although at this point I couldn't really see any advantage in any peg as they were all very similar. I drew peg 11 which was mid point along the bank and suited me fine as it was right behind the parking area.

Peg 11 showing the 4 lines I fished

I assembled my tackle and then went about having a plumb around the peg to see what depth of water I had and  starting from the inside, at 3m at the bottom of the near shelf it was about 4ft deep. As I worked out towards the island I found the bottom to be very even in depth all the way out to 11m where I found a steep slope rising up to the island  and so I initially set up to fish at 7m in the open water and 11m at the bottom of the island slope. I also set up a second rig to fish closer to either end of the island at 13m half way up the slope at about 2ft deep.
At the whistle I cupped in a ball of groundbait containing a few Pinkies at 7m and a few micro pellets at the bottom of the far slope. I baited with a single maggot and lowered the rig over the near line  half expecting to catch Roach from the off only to spend the first10 minutes watching the 2 anglers opposite me catch a couple of 2lb Carp first put in.
Although I couldn't tell where I knew they were fishing across to the island and so I added sections and went over at 11m and for 20 minutes all I could do was watch the anglers across from me continue to catch. I was a good half an hour in and had not had a bite and although I was not alone I needed to make something happen and fast so I cupped a ball of groundbait and a few pellets in at 11m and went back over again on the same rig with a single Red maggot on the hook.
The float had only just settled and as if by magic it slipped under the surface and on lifting the pole the re assuring sight of a few feet of my No 6 elastic coming out of the pole tip was the signal that a Carp had taken my bait. After a couple of minutes I slid the net under a small carp of a couple of pounds and although I was a good 5 fish adrift of the opposition at least my match had started. I re baited the hook and loaded the toss-pot with a few micro's and 5 Red maggots an then carefully shipped the pole back out toward the island, after tipping the contents down the same hole as the float I only waited a couple of minutes before my second bite. This fish turned out to be a similar sized fish to the first one although I seemed to have played it to the net a lot quicker than the previous one. The next couple of fish turned out to be a small Roach and a Skimmer for about 6oz but the next drop in the float dipped and the elastic streaming out of the pole signaled a better fish. This one gave my No6 elastic a good test and after what seemed like an age a Carp of about 5lb gave itself up to my landing net and gave me a bit of a leg up even though I was still trailing the anglers across from me. 
The next couple of hours was really tough though with just an odd silver fish taking my single maggot but most of the other anglers I could see were only catching odd fish as well. It was now time to have a look at the left hand far line and so I changed to my shallower rig and slipped on a 4mm hook pellet and and fed a pinch of micro pellets and within a couple of minutes I got an indication that fish were in the swim and very soon afterwards I was into another Carp.
The fish was landed quickly and I was soon back in as I really needed a few fish to get into the frame and I was not long before the next fish was in the net.
I re baited with another pellet and popped a few feed pellets in the pot and this time I decided to just have a look to the right hand side of the island and again I didn't have to wait to long before gettin a surprise in the shape of an 8oz Goldfish which made for an interesting addition to my net. I caught a couple more Skimmers before switching back to the left hand line and managing one more carp before the whistle went.
As I was packing away I was trying to work out in my head where I thought I had come in the match and I had awarded myself about 5th place as a conservative guess. Anyway at the weigh in I acted as scales man and it became apparent very quickly that I may have done a little better than I had first though. Stu Redman pegged opposite to me had walked it with a creditable 31lb 12oz and the only other notable weight being 16lb 12oz so I thought I might even manage 3rd or 4th.

Stu Redman with his winning catch
 When it came to my weigh in I had underestimated my catch by a couple of pound and was more than happy to see my catch record 17lb 4oz and secure second place and more importantly 9 league points. 
This result has put me up into 4th place in the league and so its all still left to fish for with a number of anglers still in with a chance of taking the league and 2 rounds left to fish.

My catch including a welcome splash of Colour
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