Another Chilly Day

Simon R

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May 19, 2002
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Penultimate match of the year saw us back at Dromonby Farm Fishery for the second time in a month. I was a little concerned that this match may not actually take place – Friday night saw temperatures down to -3C and Saturday wasn’t a great deal warmer either. Loading the car Sunday morning the car’s thermometer was reading -1C and warning of a ‘Risk of Ice’ and on the short drive to the venue the fields were glistening white as the sun rose over the hills.

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I’d called the fishery the day before and been assured the pond wasn’t frozen and surprisingly, despite all the muddy puddles being iced over the pond itself was ice-free. After pegging it in the normal fashion, I awaited everybody else’s arrival – I had twelve names pencilled in which is near enough a full-house on this pond, however Frankie was confined to barracks with a case of the lurgy so we were one short.

I drew the bottom end of the pond again, peg six one along from where I’d been drawn in our previous match. With the temperature hovering just above freezing I intended to fish for silvers and in my opinion there’s no finer bait for winter roach than liquidised bread – problem was that bread really only works in clear water and the pond was still well coloured following the rain last month. With that in mind I also knocked up some normal groundbait – Pro Natural Dark and Sensas Magic, which created a light, sweet-scented mix.

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At the start I potted a nugget of liquidised bread and a few pinkies out at 11m and a similar amount of groundbait and pinkies at 6m – I also tossed a few grains of corn into the margin but didn’t really expect to catch much from that area. I got a bite on the 11m line after 5 minutes or so – well I say a bite, it was more of a shudder (should I strike or not :p ) but there was a little roach hanging on the end. I got another 10 minutes later and thought I might get a few but subsequently I couldn’t buy a bite from anywhere. Everybody else was struggling to put together a run of fish too – Paul was to my right and he only had four or five.

You have to be so cautious when loose feeding this time of year – small roach only have small stomachs – quite probably two maggots and they’ll be full. If you’ve got a small shoal of 20 roach in front of you and you feed a couple of dozen maggots over the course of three or four casts, half the fish could be stuffed and will swim off, burping quietly, and have a snooze. Pinkies are invaluable for loose-feeding, more bits of individual food, more movement and bright colours – very useful in coloured water.

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I had a stroll around and nobody was pulling up any trees – Peter on peg 1 admitting to a dozen small roach and Chris with probably half that were leading their end of the lake and there was very little behind the island either.

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Where Paul and I were sat we were facing the sun and despite the problem of spotting your float due to the glare from time to time it was actually very pleasant. Down at the other end of the lake they were in the shade though and it was considerably colder – so much so that cat-ice was beginning to form between Chris and Tony – it certainly hadn’t been present when I was pegging out.

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I returned to my peg and after a fruitless 20 minutes on the tip, I had a look over the 6m line that I hadn’t really tried yet. To my surprise I picked up a couple of fish but still couldn’t keep them coming and had to switch around between 6 and 11m to pick up odd fish. My catch rate did improve towards the end of the match, which often happens with winter roach fishing as the light fades. It evidently encouraged at least one carp to feed ‘cos Paul snared one 30 minutes from the end on his roach rig. It wasn’t huge but was a whole load bigger than the roach that had been caught so far. Calling time at 3pm I was fairly sure that Paul would have top weight but beyond that I had no idea.

We started the weigh-in down at peg one and Peter tipped 1lb 12oz of silvers into the weigh net

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Darren on peg two recorded the dreaded DNW and Dave Atkinson on peg three only 5oz.

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Kev had 2oz on peg four and Steve blanked from peg five.

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I had a little more than I thought weighing 1lb 2oz

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Pauls small carp helped him along to 3lb 1oz which I couldn’t see getting beaten

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Tink also weighed 2oz and Rob on the next peg also blanked – and later revealed he’d had a net roach and a decent carp to the net when, in both cases, the hook pulled.:eek:

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Round to the chillier side of the pond and Tony only had 5oz from peg 11

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Finally Chris finished third with 1lb 9oz from peg 12.

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I think the first two hard frosts of the winter sent the fish into hibernation, hopefully by the time we return on December 15th for our Christmas match they may have grown a little more accustomed to the cold and feed like they normally do in the winter. Members only for this match and don’t forget there’s prizes for everyone, catch or not.

Simon
 

fadgewacker

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Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
40
As always, an enjoyable read :)

Tough conditions... I'd have had to a hung my hat on chucking a little pellet feeder or a bomb about to try and land on a hungry carp...

... and I'd have probably had an empty net!!!
 
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