The pre match ritual P*** Taking

I don't know what it is, but something seems to draw me back to this complex, The owner Colin is always welcoming, the on site cafe is good and its just a few minutes from my house, Its pretty close to ideal.

on arrival Im greated with the same old faces the banter is already running strong and you normally walk into a wise crack or two from someone in the cafe, the complaints of hangovers are running strong.

This is my second visit to this place what peg I draw hardly matters as I don't really understand the workings of the lake yet, but do like a challenge.

The Draw

I Draw peg 19 apparently im in a corner as the very corner peg 18 doesnt get put in so I have a little room to work today, I grab a little info from who I can and set off to my peg, the beauty of this place is no walks, I had a maximum of 20 yards,

The peg looks awesome Im told I have deep water on the inside and I need to feed a line at 14m to my left into the corner, the lake looks superb although a tad calm and really needs a little ripple to maximise potential, Im in good company here and will do well to beat either side of me to my right I have John Young a seasoned angler who spends a lot of time on this lake, to my left Martin Amos another lake john regular both extremly capable and very knowledgable on this lake.

I set up a couple of 4x10 Carpa 3's for over and down the margins and a 4x12 Chianti and a 4x14 Chianti for down the track which is around 4ft deep, the plan is micro down the track with a few samples of corn, and corn with hemp over and the two inside lines corn on one and meat on the other.

The problem with this peg is there are just too many options, its a wide peg due to the way its been pegged, I always find that an issue especially on a new venue, so I spend ages plumbing up trying to get a picture of the countours on the bottom, the shelves holes etc, I was pre warned this was an all or nothing peg and that if the fish are in it I will bag up, if not its going to be hard, with this in mind I take it a little more carefull than what I had planned for today with the feeding.

The whistle

Two pots of micro's down the track, and a few samples of corn and meat on the inside go in, then I cup a good sized pot of corn and hemp over and immediately follow up on this with my float,
I dont know why but I got distracted and when my attention turned to my float it was gone and as I looked the elastic just started pulling out of the pole, I lifted into what felt like a good sized carp only to have the hook pull after a few seconds.

Im not sure if thats a good or bad start but it would appear at least 1 fish is feeding

I re bait and re cast, instantly I get another bite I lift into it and off it goes I get the fish to the middle and the hook pulls,

I have probably just lost 7 or 8 pounds in two casts I keep plugging away at that line only to pick up a couple of skimmers some very small carp and roach, I keep cupping in free samples and switch to the inside line.

On goes a 6mm cube of meat, instant missed bite followed by a run of small perch, I don't get too excited about small perch It usually means there are no carp in my peg, the same thing happens on my corn only margin line, taking 4 or 5 perch on corn of all things.

I decide to up the feed on the margin lines feeding by hand on one line to create some noise, and cupping the long one only dropping it in from a height in an attempt to make a little noise and maybe pull a few fish in.

1.5 hrs has gone by I have maybe 3 pound,

My down the track peg is starting to fiz I have fed this constantly with small pots of micros and 4 of 5 bits of corn each time.

First cast down the track results in a missed bite the second cast bags me a 10oz skimmer
I percivere with this line for about an hour and a half adding maybe 5 lb to my weight, its not a very productive day, the fishing is a tad hard the carp seem to be hiding away and the fish that are feeding are quite small, despite masses of fizzing I can't know buy a bite down the track.

Its that time in the match were decisions need to be made and you really have to dig deep

I keep dropping in down the inside with hope the larger carp may have started to feed but just nick a few roach and the odd perch on meat, I put on a prawn on my heavy rig this often has magic effects and can turn a non feeding fish into one in the net, low and behold the float disapoears from site I strike and my excitement is dampened by a 4 oz perch, I put it out again and the same, although im adding weight its not what I needed then the float slid away again, this time I got a lump, well my innitial thoughts from the elastic and the power certainly make me think this way then it comes straight to the top. I have caught myself a fantail of about 2 and half pounds, strange looking fish looks like something you woulkd catch off Brighton pier.

I keep trying this but even the perch seem to have give up.

The only line I have not really give massive attention to is the far side, the fish are in the lake they cant go anywhere so I decide for the last hour to feed 4mm sinkers a dozen at a time and just keep them going in and just keep changing hook baits, it took 40 minutes before I see any movement, 'A swirl' I keep plugging away I know they are there then I hook a fish 3 minutes later a 3 pound common is in the office, I add 2 more to this and the whistle goes

I carry on after the whistle as I wont be winning anything today and low and behold I get 4 more in 15 minutes with a couple around 6lb and decide to call it a day.

I weighed in 18lb 12oz not enough to frame but well over halfway up the field, the other side of the lake produced 1st 2nd and third

Roy Makin took the honours with 34lb
There was a 31lb and 27lb was third

Now Im asking myself wrong method today or did they just switch on ? whatever its quite clear that another 30 minutes and I would have framed.

I guess thats fishing and why we keep plugging away