A Break in the Gloom


23/04/2008 - 25/12/2021
Site Supporter
In Memoriam
Apr 23, 2008
Wednesday morning dawned,

the weather forecast all week had been swapping between light rain, heavy rain, gale force winds,

I had gone to bed late tuesday night to the sound of big fat heavy raindrops driven by a stiff wind hammering against the windows, laid there a while, thinking yet again of an excuse not to go

monday had seen me book on this weeks layabouts gig on Heron lake at the cottington fishery complex at sholden in kent


I had been seduced by those two ne'er do wells, my sponsor Nick Gilbert and the francophile DFL Steve Allen to join them in a bit of proper roach bashing on this new to me pond, various tales of decent nets of the king of winter fishing had drawn my attention and desire for a days competative dangling

As the high pitched beeping of the alarm clock faded into memory, I rolled out of the warm bed, shrugging the duvet to the side and fumbling for my clothes, none to warm it was, positively chilly in fact, brass monkeys would of revelled in it, but this old boy is beginning to question his sanity of the 5 am start to the piscatorial day

gathering the essentials, brewing the warming mug and filling the flask with dark sweet java, riddling off the 4 pints of red and white maggots, checking the pole holdall, carry all, box and bits took up half hour before the black dog put in an appearance

he had been snuggled under a fleece when I popped my head around the door, just the grey shot paw of the once wholley black terrier was protuding from his big comfy bed, smiling as he performed his callasthenics, the stretchy long dog and snakey upside down wriggle around bit, I got up to let him out and prepare his morning munch

loading the van showed that the precipitation had ceased, puddles everywhere proved that the overnight downpour had been a fair old deluge,

back in for a strokey tickle and a bit of a chat with the furry friend, the explanation to his hurt face about fishery bans even for well behaved pooches didnt go down to well again, I saw him watching me out the window as I flicked the ignition on the trusty T4 and began the journey towards todays destination,

a quick stop at the sign of the golden arches, saw sustenance provided, then on up and over the big hill towards dodgy dover, the drive along the cliff top road showed plenty of traffic using the worlds busiest shipping lane, the twinkling lights of a multitude of vessels carrying every type of produce proved that commerce is alive and well

through the valley of the port town and up again to join the old road towards deal, slow for the speed camera, not much, as the limit is sensible and van comfortable for the narrow twisty road, the fishing village is soon reached, turn left and in just a few miles the sign for the fishery hoves into view,

Im early, its 7.30, claiming my disc that allows entry to the automatic gates from the lad in the on site tackle shop, I nip round the the ponds car park, every lake on the complex has plenty of close hardstanding parking, the whole site is well run, tidy, good facilities and well stocked with our quarry,

looking around saw that the nearer ponds had a few bivvies up, they must be proper hard core fellas this time of year, no envy was given

back in the transporter, rolling a smoke and sipping the last of the travel mugs content of coffee, it started, small at first, then got bigger and fatter, it rained,

my heart fell, noooooo !, not again, no way, ******, but rained it did, dark thoughts raised in my grey matter, go home mick, leave now, no one else is here, I couldnt face another day of damp deluge,

just as my courage failed and about to start the diesel again, another van appeared, and Arthurs smiling face glowed towards me, casting greetings at the reticent angler, morning mate

then another and another, too late now, bottling it in front of all these old boys would bring eternal shame

out and on with the wetproofs it was then

loading the trolley, saw the ever smiling laid back appearance of NG, the posh disco pulling into the next parking spot, morning mate,

christ, they were happy,

over to bob, paying the fees, and waiting on the draw, my turn, and the hand delved deep into the bag of delights

peg 8, far bank, the tree lined bank, at least cover was provided againt the wind,

the sodden grass around the lake was soon grooved with the evidence of passing wheel tracks as the participents spread themselves around, to thier appointed places

4 kits today, 2 for my fave "to hand" fishing, 2 for a bit of distance work,

both the to hand kits, one at top 3 plus a short 4, one set at a full four sections were assembled, NG white hollo in one, dark blue hollo in the other, both rigged with NG finesse glass stemmed floats,

a large heavy one rigged with a 0.8, loaded with an olivette and droppers for on the deck and the other with a 0.6, strung out for through the water

the same elastics were on the long pole kits, though both rigs were mirror images, 0.8 slim gimps with just bulk and a single dropper

plumbing up, showed a near side shelf going out around a metre then a big drop off to around 6 foot in depth after that,

maggot, corn, and worm sat on the bait tray, pint red, pint white, 2 pints of spiced all golden yellow and wriggling

ready and waiting, sat on the box with the light rain drumming on the goretex, the whistle went,

out with a decent handfull of maggot to the short line, and a pinch or two each side to the edge of the drop off, the rig was flicked out, full depth took a while to reach, watching the float as the double gentle hookbait drifted down to the depths, a hold up was noticed, quick lift set the hook in the upper lip of the first redfin of the day, the dark blue elastic streamed out as the beast made his run for freedom, pulling a decent amount of the soft set latex, in with you beast as the net went under,

very nice, the silver flanks and dark red fins of a 6 ouncer sat in the anglers hands, slipping him into the waiting keepnet, the angler noticed that the rain had stopped

big smiles, as he swung the kit again, the shirt button set shot again didnt reach full depth as the red sighting tip went off on a journey, another redfin, slightly smaller but still as magnificent soon joined the first inside the woven sack

the first hour was good, fishing through had caught and netted four pound or more of roach, switching to the the heavier kit, the first drop onto the deck saw the float bury, a real proper bite, savage in its execution, strike and hooked, off it went, big fish, carp I thought as it ran away, what seemed an age saw the silver flank of a mighty beast break the surface, not a carp, a mahoosive roach, oh my !

netting him, what a fish, well over the pound, closer to a pound and a half, glorious beast, gorgeous, lovely, superlatives cannot describe such a denizen of the deep,

a calm descended on the angler, god does love me after all, Im not forsaken in the widerness

fishing hard on, produced good sized silvers, no eyes and arses, all two ounce or above, not fast, but regular, plenty to keep you occupied

looking around, showed that it seemed everyone in sight was catching, next pegs either side were picking up fish as fast and as decent sized as this fella

switching to the long lines, out went more sections of carbon, small pole pot on the end feeding a mix of gentles and a bit of chopped worm, laid on with half a small dendra on the sharp bit, pulled more roach and a couple of rudd, just when as I was pouring a drop of coffee, the gimp slid under, a right sail away bite, lifting in, felt resistance, a nod nod nod resistance, not a roach resistance, summat far bigger, slowly the white hollo crept out, heading towards the island at 20 metres or so to my front, the elastic done its job and the fish turned, getting closer the lake surface swirled revealing a black-grey flank, decent snottie

careful michael, as the bream got closer, in netting range and a deft dip saw the landing net pole bend, in and unhooked, maybe 2 plus pound, bit more even, very nice fish, clean as a whistle, nothing on it or its mouth to even show it had been hooked before

was so happy, had to get up for a pee, had a bit of a break as I mixed a tad of groundbait up, stirring in a bit of choppy and then pole potting it out to where I had hooked the slab, the reasoning being, that I think bream are like cows, they feed, move, feed a bit more, then move again, hooking that one as a one off, so putting a couple of cups in would maybe get them to stay for a while in the swim,

switching to the side, the 10 oclock line saw more roach and a couple palm sized skimmers in the next half hour ish, before the dendra laden hook was deposited over the feed, anticipation built, closely monitoring the bright red bristle saw it sit still, an hour over it saw nothing more appear, small indications of something trying to swallow a worm as big as itself but none of the expected furious action,

leaving it, the too hand kits were again employed over the shorter lines, again catching what had been hooked before, it slowed as the day went on, decent fish, but not as many, tried a couple more times over the longer lines to no avail,

there goes the whistle, shipping in, the break down commences, tackle tidily put away, baits tucked back in the cooler bag, trolley loaded, and heres Bob with the scales

20lb - 8oz is winning it at the moment with half the participents score recorded, out with the net and tipping in the bucket saw it hung on the ruebens and the dial swing around to flutter on the marks that denoted my days labour to not exceed the tally of 19lb-5oz

2nd so far, chuffed, maybe a virgin pick up on offer, sadly it was not to be, finishing 5th, one out of the money, 30lb won it with 3 low 20's filling the envelope spots

though in passing, I must mention the gilbert pound found its way into my pocket again !

conclusion, I wonder what would of happened if I hadnt fed groundbait ?, just carried on with the mini pot with the loose'ish feed,

I will find out, as this pond is definately on the to visiT again list, thouroghly enjoyable day again, in good company, and the weak winter sun shone for an hour or so

back to pittlands sunday for round three of the winter league, will I be smiling then ?
Last edited:


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Nice one Mick[:T] and a "Golden Nugget" from Mr Gilbert as a bonus.[:D]


Regular member
Apr 4, 2008
Well done Chippo and another great read

Told you it was a Roachie Paradise

Gutted that i had to miss it


NG Floats, Elastic
Site Supporter
Dec 16, 2003
Got the result here, some good weight for a silvers only match [:T]



Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
he had been snuggled under a fleece when I popped my head around the door, just the grey shot paw of the once wholley black terrier was protuding from his big comfy bed, smiling as he performed his callasthenics, the stretchy long dog and snakey upside down wriggle around bit, I got up to let him out and prepare his morning munch