Monday, 29 December 2008

Happy New Year

Just a line to wish everyone who has read my blog

I look forward to welcoming you
all back in 2009

Oast Farm Fishery, Buxted


I awoke this morning to a very heavy frost and wondered at my sanity as I packed the car for the drive to Buxted. The day didn't start well as I noticed a front wheel puncture which I duly sorted and after de-icing the car I was on my way.

Arriving at the fishery the usual suspects were there, Peter, Bill, Mick the Chippy, Ryan and Kevin to name a few and all were looking worried as the lake was half frozen and it looked like the fishing would be hard to say the least. The draw was made and Bill complained that he'd drawn the peg next to the flyer which was the worst place to be as there are never any fish in these pegs.

I'd drawn on the middle of dam wall with an outfall in front of me at about 4 metres which looked like it may hold a few fish. first job was to break the ice which proved harder than I first thought as it was quite thick Soon I'd got a good clear area in front of me and I set up 2 top kits for the pole, one to fish against the outfall and the other to fish in open water at 6 metres. Plumbing up I found the depth was pretty consistent with about 4 foot in front of me. bait today was to be maggots, worms and corn although I had a few soft hooker pellets if the carp showed.

I started at 6 metres an cupped in asome 4mm pellet and fished with double red maggot over top. After that I was pestered with tiny plucks which came to nothing. Straight away the float buried and a small roach came to hand. I decided to change to corn to see if things would improve as Bill hhad already landed a Carp on it. the outfall line had also failed to produce. peter over on the sunny bank was also struggling depsite sitting in what looked to be a cracking peg with a large reed bed to fish to. After an hour I was still waiting for action and popped round to Bill to have a chat. He'd had a couple of more carp by now and it transpired he was feeding micro pellets and kindly gave me a good couple of handfuls to use.

Back at my peg I fed a pinch of micro pellet and dropped thea corn baited rig back in. Unfortuantely nothing happened and I sat bitelees for another couple of hours. It was proving hard for most, Ryan to my left had snared a carp early on but was now targetting roach, Peter too was struggling although Mick seemed to be doing Ok catching plenty of raoch.

Despite changing to maggot hookbiat things didn't get much better although at least I was catching a few fish now even if they were tiny roach. By the time the all out was called I knew I hadn't got much and so it rpoved with just 1lb 10zs to show for my efforts. I'd hoped that maybe I'd finish 2008 taking a £1 off Peter but it didn't happen as he'd decided with 2 hours to go to target roach and had caught well putting 4lbs odd on the scales. Bill slaughtered us all taking 37lbs 8ozs of Carp from that unfacied peg, the rest of us (7 anglers) managed 38lb 4ozs between us !!

All in all it wasn't a bad day and I'll definately go back when the weather improves as Bill told me it fishes really well with loads of carp to go at and bags to 100lbs regularly taken.

So thats it 2008 has been an enjoyable year even though at times I didn't do too well. 2009 will hopefully be better and I've set myself 2 targets,

No. 1) Win a few £1 coins back from Peter and

No. 2) Catch 100lbs of fish from Rolfs Lake in a match.

Both are realistic targets so with any luck by mid year I'll be setting myself some new ones.

Southern Fur and Feather, Wylands Farm - House Lake

Dear Santa, I need New waterproofs !!

Today saw 14 nuttters assemble at Wylands farm for the annual Southern Fur and Feather. The weather was attrocious, pouring rain and very windy so a draw with the wind off your back was going to be the order of the day today. After an enjoyable bacon roll the draw was made and my home for the day was to be peg 9 next to Nick Gilbert.

I made my way to my peg and set up a waggler and a 4 metre whip with a view to targetting the silver fish stocks. After feeding both lines I started on the waggler and caught a roach first cast.

I started well with a few fish in the first few casts although I wasn't expecting a Gudgeon. Best fish for me was a Roach of somewhere between 1lb 4ozs and 1lb 8ozs along with a few skimmers around 3/4 lb. After about 2 1/2 hours it all got too much and I went and sat up by the cafe for an hour and a half before venturing back out for half an hour. Unfortunately due to being absent for a while the fish had dissapeared from my swim (you would have thought Nick would have carried on feeding it for me) so I packed up.

I tipped back about 8lbs which in the conditions I was fairly happy with. I look forward to having a bash at the House Lake in the better weather. Just don't let Zak (I'm a BOK) Gibbins know when were going back. Thanks Trev for your organisation, and well done to Moleman (Mark Hathaway) on his win.

Despite getting literally soaked to the skin, I enjoyed the day in the company of my fellow Maggotdrowners. Roll on 2009 and some decent weather.

Mansfield Lake, Broad Oak, Canterbury

Mick the Chippys Knock Up

Saturday 22nd November

As I had no transport Bill agreed to give me a lift and arrived around 7.30am. The family had heard about his celebrity status and being Emmerdale fans were looking out the door to see if he really looked like the head of the Dingle clan. Bill duly donned his flat cap and posed to keep them happy.

The journey to the venue was uneventful due to me taking my Sat Nav along for the ride and we arrived in good time which was probably a good thing when confronted with the huge breakfast roll being dished out by the food wagon.

A quick look at the lake confirmed that a peg with the wind on your back would make for a reasonably comfortable day so I opted for peg 18. This looked good especially as no one was at to my left effectively making it an end peg. (Unfortunately Jeff decided the wind on the other bank was too much and took away my end peg status by sitting on what I think was peg 21)

My attack for the day was originally planned to be either waggler or feeder however I decided at the last minute to set up the pole to fish at 4 metres if all else failed. Maggots were to be the main bait with worms and corn as change baits. I'd also got various tubs of soft pellets to try if the carp showed.

First cast with the feeder to the far bank produced a wrap round bite but I struck into nothing. Unfortunately only tiny little plucks on the tip followed this and I and I went on to the waggler after about half an hour. First cast and roach no.1 was safely in the net (at least I wasn't going to blank today).

A few more tiny roach followed before a slightly better sample showed up, at around 6ozs it was most welcome. It was interesting that single maggot wasn't producing many bites but 2 or 3 maggots did so I stuck at it. More tiny roach continued to take the bait before another better fished came along in the form of a skimmer bream.

As bites were a little difficult to hit I decided to try the pole on the same line but for some reason it wasn't so productive. Looking to my right I could see Peter was catching a few roach but thought that maybe I was just in front of him for now. Mike provided the entertainment a while later when hooking one of the resident carp, I thought it must be pretty big judging by the amount of elastic stretching from his pole but it transpired he was only using a no.4 laccy. After playing the carp for what seemed like ages it was safely netted by match organiser Mick. (Mick, Please note, A trophy, medals, arranging a tea wagon and paying the peg fees is fine but landing others anglers fish is just taking things too far, unless of course you were trying to knock it off)

Mick soon hooked a carp of his own which lead him a merry dance. I fully expected Mike to repay the compliment and net the carp for him but he stayed firmly sat on his box. Either he was frozen stiff or he was hoping Mick would lose it. My match continued in similar fashion with small roach coming in small bursts but none of the better fish wanted to play. Soon it was time for the wiegh in and I was 2nd to weigh. My meager net full net 2lb 4ozs not a lot but I'd still quite enjoyed my days fishing. A couple of pegs later and we reached Peter. Looking at his catch I knew it would be close and so it proved with the scalesman calling 2lb 4ozs. Well at least I hadn't lost another £1. Peter however was obviously incredibly hard up and disputed the weight. A number of others looked at the scales and weights between 2lb 3ozs and 2lb 5ozs were offered as his weight. My personal opinion was that we got equal weight. Peter had obviously paid some one off as his weight finally got agreed at 2lb 5ozs and I'd lost by 1 ounce. The weigh in continued and it appeared that no one had caught that much with just 2 or 3 pounds being brought to the scales by most. Well done to Mike on his win and also Colin on catching a lovely roach. It looked quite an old fish and had probably been in the lake for many years. The journey home was not so good as the Sat Nav battery ran out and with the cigar lighter not working in Bills car we had to follow the road signs. Somehow we went wrong and had a scenic tour of Ashford before finally getting back on the right road.

Once again thanks to Bill for the lift and for helping me back to the house with my gear. An enjoyable day out once again in the company of the Southern Maggotdrowners. I look forward to fishing the lake again when the weather warms up. Some of the pegs had lily beds and reeds which looked very inviting.