Friday, 23 April 2010

First Match Common

Friday 23rd of April was my third visit to the Match Lake, a 2 night session and this time I fancied the larger end of the lake. During my other visits I had noticed a fair few fish cruising down that end, doubling up with the surface fishing possibilities during the lean period in the middle of the day. The swim I chose was the Gate swim in the far corner of the lake, a small secluded swim commanding a nice section of snaggy margin to its left. I barrowed my gear to the swim and ten went for a wander round to Gravely’s and NF. In front of these swims were a few fish swimming just under the surface, their big dark shapes giving them away. I trotted back to my swim, set up a floater rod and returned for a bash at the cruising fish. I cast a few times but nothing was interested and the wind was all wrong blowing a big bow in the line making contact difficult.

I returned to my swim and set up the marker rod. The water on front of the swim was a mixture of thick weed and not so thick weed with very few clear spots and finding any area to drop a bait into was very difficult. I checked out the right hand margin and just off the branches of a nearby tree I found a clean patch some 5 feet deep, that’s one rod sorted. Then I had a flick over to the left hand margin, I found a bar running parallel with the bank, this bar was around 3 feet wide and then dropped into silkweed. I found 2 trees to cast at, clipped up, marked the line and dropped 2 Tiger Nut criticals on the spots and fired a dozen freebies over each rod. Rods out, house up and it was 5pm so time for some dinner and a cuppa.

The lake was looking beautiful, it seemed that each time I visit the greenery gets more and more lush, the summer colours of the lake really starting to show.

At 7:30pm I received a liner on the middle rod, followed by a steady lift on the bobbin, it dropped back and then rose again, I hit it but didn’t connect with anything. A liner, but at least they were in the area. At 8 O’clock I sat by the rods and watched the sun disappear behind the trees, the sky once again had planes circling and as a Robin sang it was peaceful. The sky was a mix of burnt orange, grey and a million shades of blue.

Apart from the odd single beep nothing disturbed my sleep; I woke at 5:40am to find a cold misty morning. The sun rose behind me so the sunrise shots were over the Copse Lake.

The Copse…..

At around 7:00am I wound in and went to wake Stewi, fired up his kettle and proceeded to make tea. As we sat chatting he caught a nice dark Common. It was then I thought of moving round to his swim as he was pacing away at 10am. In the end I decided to stay put, have a go at tying a few chod rigs and sit it out in the margin swim. That morning I had a nice long chat with Spike about weed fishing and with Stewi about chods, something I wasn’t familiar with but by chatting to these guys it was something that definitely works well on here. With 70 Carp for last season I was asking Spike question after question to build up a picture of exactly how it’s done.

11:30am I was back in my swim, cooking sausages and playing with rigs. I cast one rod out to the margin and 2 chods into the weed in front at around 30 yards. At 4pm I sat by the rods and watched the water, it was slightly overcast with a cool breeze but still T Shirt weather. As the Geese fought for the territory of the islands I wondered if my new found method would serve me well, approaching bite time I was filled with a new confidence, although knocked up from whatever I could find I my tackle bag, I was happy that I was fishing effectively. The family of Coots was still diving on my margin spot so the plan was to top up the area with bait just on dusk.

8pm and not much was happening. I watched a Mouse searching around under my rods oblivious to the fact I was watching. The sun had set and dusk was looming. A few fish had crashed during the day between the islands way off to my right. I stayed optimistic that the chods would pay off, if not this weekend then maybe next. It’s a big earning curve, learning to cope with this new challenge, I had previously found productive spots during earlier sessions but I needed to explore the lake, find fish holding areas around the lake. Once I’d built up a mental picture of what’s where I could then decide upon favourite spots. I was exploring new methods, fishing over silt, weed or gravel, feature finding in open water, gaining information all the time and putting together the pieces of this puzzle. The successful anglers on this lake know the place like the back of their hands, knowing roughly where the fish will be and when, being able to drop into a swim and have success. That’s where I hope to be, it may take a season or two but eventually the secrets will be revealed. Until then I shall have to work at it and work hard, put in time and effort and remain steadfast in my pursuit.

News came through of an original being caught that afternoon from the swim I did my first night in, The Holiday fish at 32lb plus. My time will come!

I must have been tired that night as I was asleep before 10pm. I received a single beep on my margin rod a little after midnight and whilst watching the receiver I noticed a few raindrops landing on the bivvy. I was just dozing back off when the margin rod let out a few more beeps before ripping off. I bent into the fish and slowly pumped it back. Mostly it just felt heavy but under the rod tip the fun really started. She dived left and right wiping out the other 2 rods but was soon under control and on the unhooking matt. A lovely dark Common of 20lb 6oz, I bimbled along to Spike and asked if he wouldn’t mind taking a few snaps for me.

First Match Lake Common……

After the pics were done we sat and had a cuppa, Spike told me all about his capture of the famous Bazil from the North Lake among other epic adventures. Spike returned to his swim and I got the rods back out, very happy indeed and climbed back into the bag.

I stirred around 6am, dry at first but then a few raindrops started falling. Gradually it got heavier and I checked under the bedchair, the reason behind this being an incident I had in France a couple of years back when I was tucked up nice and warm in the bivvy and the heavens opened, we’re talking Monsoon!! One minute I’m nice and dry thinking how glad I was to be inside, the next I have a raging torrent running under the bedchair, No groundsheet and a sloping swim!! Once again here I was with heavy rain, No groundsheet and a sloping swim!! Luckily the ground must have been somewhat spongier as all under me remained dry.

I sat it out until around 9:30am and during a break in the weather I packed away and ran for it. An enjoyable couple of nights, lots of new things learnt and a nice fish to boot.

Beyond those trees lies paradise…………..

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