27th Dec Colemans cottage

Saturday Morning Im due to go to Colemans cottage

I say due as its a funny set up down there you call to book leave a message and if there is a problem they call you back, Im always a little unsure with this method as in the past I have called and not been included in the entrants, although Gerry has always included me when I point this out.

Anyway I get up in the morning and the whole world is white, the frost is awesome it actually looks like it had snowed, my pond was frozen and it really looks like its going to be a real gruellerm, I make a flask sort my bait and load up, its that cold it took 10 minutes with a heated screen to defrost, (I dont fancy this)

All the way down to Witham Essex its getting whiter I finally arrive and there are no cars in the car park, have I got the wrong day ?

I go into the cafe and Gerry assures me I have the right day I order up and get me brekkie, gradually a few start to arrive monies are paid and we draw, as the turn out was poor Gerry put in all the form pegs the only one I didnt fancy was peg 18 and guess what I got, yep peg 18 and to boot I have a guy dead opposite on 26

from the pic above peg 18 is right at the top of the picture middle of the top bank the point opposite are 26 through to 28 ( the flyers)

The prob with this peg is its 17 metres all day long, on a rock hard day that feel like minus 20 with the wind in my mooey I really dont fancy it.

I set up 2 rigs 1 for half way up the shelf at 17m and one down the shelf at 15.5 to 16m

and with all the room to the left I sneak up a ready made bomb rod knowing full well all the guys that go to this place have poleitus and I will have this to myself.

on the off I put in a very small cup of pellet with a dozen maggots down the shelf and feed nothing up

Out we go, Maggot on the hook looking for a mug fish, I look around and people are feeding for 200lb they obviously didnt see the white stuff everywhere, the float nervously slips away and I get a roach, now I dont care for its size or what it is I just want a fish in the office and thats where it went. nearly 2 hours goes by and I have missed 1 other bite on maggot and 1 bite on pellet and really dont want to feed again, the guy on 28 has had 4 carp the guy on 16, 2 carp and the guy on 26 opposite 1 carp these all seem to be in the 2lb bracket.

At this point Im freezing despite all the clothes I have on Iam so cold I cant hold the pole any longer, the wind is so full on in my face I felt I was close to hyperthermia I was the only angler with the wind in my face like this I couldnt present properly as I was constantly fighting the float being blown back towards me, so I opt for a coffee and the bomb.

I drop the tiny bomb on the pole line and get an almost instant drop back, I lift in and get a small roach, 20 minutes later and I hook a good fish this time its a perch about a pound and a half, I can see the whole lake and the guy on 28 is winning by a mile getting regular small carp but im still in with a shout, I feel the fish are not in my peg so I decide to use some of the room to my left

I cast right down to peg 20 middle of the lake between the central islands half heartedly to be honest as Im just too cold to care, I grab my flask and as im pouring the rod was wrenched off the keepnet, 10 minutes later I have one about 8lb in the office, this was shortly followed by 2 more around 4lb and off course all the guys around me setting up bomb rods .

At this point im now in contention and its amazing how all of a sudden im warmed up and thinking to myself what cold weather,

The guy on 26 opposite me has now packed up his pole and is concentrating on the bomb and to be honest getting right up my nose he keeps casting past the island,the central point and into the area Im catching he thinks I havnt noticed this, so the next cast I go over him with intentions of hooking him and catching him out, I play by the rules and dont like it when people take the , Im rewarded with another carp .

His bomb I felt was too big and finally spooked any fish I had down there so I dropped back a bit and sat and waited. half an hour to go and the cold has really set in the guy to my right has now gone and im shaking so much from the cold I cant keep the tip still, for a fraction of a second I let my concentration slip, the tip had gone so far round the fish ripped off my .13 hooklength Im seriously gutted, I put on a new length and go out again, 1 more bite 1 small carp then the whistle goes.

Iam so glad this is over, I went on to weigh in 22lb 8oz the guy opposite on 26 had 13lb as I get to peg 28 which really is a flyer and he caught from the off puts 24lb on the scales for the lead, walking up the home straight I was lying second with one more on form peg to weigh, peg 38, he pulled his net and it looked close, and indeed it was he had 22lb I managed to squeeze a second.

To summarize on the day

I feel I should have won it, I dont think the guy on 26 done me any favours to be honest but all said and done I think the cold beat me, I would like to say it was enjoyable but it wasnt, I have never been so cold on a days fishing before, but if one thing was learnt yet again today people suffer from poleitus more so than ever, they dont keep there options open.