Today saw me take a trip to Gold Valley to have a shot at getting into the Fishomania Final, I had put in for 5 tickets but this was the first of only the two that I received, such is life. I did the normal trip but left home with too much time to spare, fortunately I am skint so couldn’t spend any money in the tackle shop but I did get to catch up with a few faces that I haven’t seen for a while. We got to discuss how bad we were expecting the fishing to be especially since a lot of cold water had been dumped into the venue from the sky overnight. We also put the world to rights generally and soon the draw was upon us, the normal rush to the front took place and I managed to pull peg 9 out of the pot, which I was reliably informed was not too shabby.
As I had the island the plan was going to be a simple one, method and wag to the island, then a skimmer line at about 13m, well I had taken a lot of worm with me, and finally a margin line as I had the biggest swim IN THE WORLD!! So there was an outside chance of a fish down the edge close to the end.
Tackle and bait sorted, I even had enough time to walk back to the van for my second pole roller that I had forgotten, net went in, worm got chopped and the all in was called.
I fed three balls of chop and groundbait mix at 13m before sending the feeder between the island and the reflection of the big tree, it felt about 2 feet deep maximum so the plan was to build the swim slowly through the day and hope for a few fish in the last hour. I was leaving the feeder in for 15 minutes at a time and after the third cast I put another ball of worm mix in on the pole line, then the feeder went back out. It was very slow around and Si to my left had managed a small carp on the feeder to the island by this point but it was one of only a couple I had seen come in on our bank, before I knew it I had a almighty drop back bite and a few minutes later my honour was satisfied and a small carp was in the net. The feeder went straight back out but all I got to show for it this time was liners, so a change of hookbait and carp number 2, 3 and 4 were all in the net aver the next 30 minutes.
I thought that I was well on the way for a good weight but up until now the weather had been alright and there had been a bit of sun on the water. The next thing to happen was a big cloud sat overhead and deposited loads of hail onto the lake, the liners stopped. I came in on the pole line that I had been feeding for the last couple of hours but all I managed was bumping one small fish and paning a small hybrid.
I tried the big wag and started to feed the edge a bit more aggressively but over the last two hours all that happened was that the lake started to empty of people, Si had two carp in the final hour and we both also lost one in the final thirty minutes. I saw two fish down my edge but had no liners or other indications.
The all out was called and to be honest I was glad, the guy to my right had packed up with an hour to go only having had one skimmer and he was not the only one. Si had been getting reports of a weight coming from middle lake and a couple of guys on the other bank had managed 6 or so carp as we had been watching them.
The scales were on us quick and Si’s 4 carp went 28lb, mine 33lb 15oz, ok almost half of that weight was 1 fish but I am not complaining, as ther scales followed around the whiole of the next section did not weigh! And there were a lot of 20lb weights winning sections. At the results I had managed to win my section but had missed out on 4th by only 5lb…. that lost fish cost me dear, 3rd had 50lb, 2nd 70lb and the guy on peg 99 won it with 105lb so well done to you. Farewells done it was the windy drive home along the M3.
What would I do differently?
I should have set up a bomb to try fishing a longer hooklength and possibly some meat on the hair.
I should have spent the last 30 seconds down the edge… not picked up my method rod and cast pointlessly to the island.
Other than that the weather gods were against me.
Rod: Drennan Acolyte Carp Waggler 12 ft
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 0.20mm Colmic feeder 0.18mm hooklength
Hook: 18 Guru Pellet wag
Float: 14g Drennan XL pellet wag
Rod: Drennan medium feeder at 11.5ft
Reel: Daiwa TDM 4012
Line: 8lb Sensor and 0.19mm hooklength
Hook: 14 or 12 QM1
Weight: Various Hybrid feeders
Pole Long Double Bulk:
Elastic: Yellow Hydro
Line: 0.15mm to 0.12mm
Hook: 16 B911 F1
Float: 0.8g Drennan Carp 2
Elastic: Red Colmic Hollow
Line: 0.19mm to 0.18mm
Hook: 3 T175
Float: 0.3g Drennan Carp 4