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mickthechippy

space cadet
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the problem with recounting a tale is often found to be "where do I start"

Well this is such a Tale,

you could say it came of being thrown off the winters silver league that I had previously been a regular on, Early last december, I got a internet message from one of the members of the aforesaid league, under his guise of the secretary of his local angling club, Carshalton AC

did I fancy guesting on a gig they had booked at Chequertree, a most excellent fishery not far from yours trulys abode, the truth be told, there is very little excuse that I would have for not fishing there, it being much to my liking and suits my preferred style of angling,

duly acknowledging the e-mail, I gratefully booked on, marked it on the calendar and awaited the day

time went bye, the working was taking up far more time than it was being beneficial to my mind, times out were few and far between, a grabbed day here and there when I had the chance, iffin the weather gods smiled, they were rare this winter, just being outside doing building works was enough to make the old bones curse thier age and the abuse they were recieving

digressing, last week was a weird week, things beyond the control of mortal men were afoot, mothers day was approaching and the texts came, two gigs, yes two invites to matches on that day, texts back cannot make it, booked a day with mum, I forget sometimes how lucky Ive been parent wise, Mums 84 or 85, dad only died a couple year back and Ive got to 60 years old in thier company, The wench lost hers both before she turned 45, my best mate Nobby wasnt even 30, yes Ive been a lucky man

another text and a letter reminded me of another unavoidable item, the trusty T4 was up for its certificate of roadworthyness before the 30th of this month, spent a day going over the deisel powered brick shaped beast, fiddling with unfiddlerable bits to ensure a smooth passage through the halls of MOT'dom

if its MOT, its Insurance as well, off to recieve the new customer discount from yet another firm, its a pain every year, but loyallty means nowt to them, so the feelings are returned

eyes on the calender, mmmh, better dig out what gear I want, out came the float trays, used rigs were discarded or retied, rummage through the box, clean and wipe of the various paraphinalia deemed essential, poles rubbed down and cleaned with the most excellent power wipes, tad of polish and buff where needed, new rod/whips in the holdall,

baits sorted, fresh gentles aquired, few deads were removed from the freezer and dusted with all spice before they defrosted, loaf of tesco cheapo toastie purchased and I was ready

saturday dawned, up early, too early, spent the whole day not really doing what I thought I might do, another text, My cousin had died, bloody hell, thoughtfull day, decided in the end beer was needed, bought a 4 pack, and retired to the back room with himself

never went to bed, found myself in the armchair early doors, though there was a blanket draped over me, wenches doing I suppose, she does care occasionally, up far too early again, black dog never moved from his comfy while I blundered around banging on walls and doors etc whilst loading the van,

the dawn was nice though, blood red sun over the east cliff, in its full glory by the time the engine burst into life, off round the byepass to the sign of the golden arches, conversed with the disembodied voice, flashed a card, and back out with sustenance,

played count the magpies on the way over to the pond, one place there must of been a stoat or weasel hunting the verges, a whole cackle of the black and white birds were in attendance upon him, a dozen or more there present

M20 was open at ashford, no overunning closure, maybe the Brexit practice went well, they are repeating it every night this week just to make sure though, off the 6 laner and back onto a more comfortable road, being in the van gives you far more to view than a car does, made a great change from driving the works vauxhall zafira short bus

twenty minutes calming drive saw me pulling into the car park, first there I was, ate the second maccy d breakfast roll, and poured sweet dark java from the flask, shut my eyes and faded back into the sounds on the CD player

Johnno was the first to interupt the floyd, banging on the window with the indomitable greeting of "Chippo you old b'stard, how are yer" insults exchanged and clasping of paws , the postman was welcomed with a grin, the car park was filling up

Other faces there present were recognised, including a motley bunch of hardened matchmen that were fishing a winter league gig on lake two, out and getting dressed, bib and brace and the windproof on, as their was remnants of a light frost on the grass, the sun was beginning to burn off the mist that held stubbornly over our designated lake as well,

meet and greet, some I knew, other I didnt, introductions made, a promissory note was hande over in exchange for a draw token

pulling permanent peg 29 from the assorted disks, I was on the point, good peg with plenty of options, thats were it began to fall down though

the whole lake had not been booked for the sole use of the gig, and the overnight carpers and a few early birds had already set up in a few of the pegs, including peg 29, forcing martin the organisor into a quick change, the point being abandoned as a whole, the ones that drew there heading off onto what was left

which found me on permanent peg 10, fortuitous that peg is, good peg, known for its potential, not only that apart from the two herberts in bivvies a couple of pegs down was the end peg , that'll do

next peg up, peg 9 was trevors old dad, Norman, well over 90, and rumoured to be a dark horse schooled in river and canal craft, trev himself was on peg 8, and johnno on 7, (my side bet man, hopefully at the end a source of a golden coin

mist was gone by now, though at the off I was still clad in the drennan windcheater, bright but no warmth, a breeze played over the surface, pushing all manner of flotsam towards the margins of the peg

I had set elasticated top kits up, sitting on peg 10 meant I was in skimmer country, the snotties here range from palm sized to dark dustbins, 2lbers are common, and if you are of a wont and feed to get them going, a decent net full is far from an impossability,

two similar pairs were set up, the difference being in the elastic ratings, the end tackle being the same, blue NG 4-6 hollo in two for the silvers and white 6-10 for the bream, F1's tench and carp

two rigs composed of 0.6 NG XT finesse fibreglass stemmed shotted with stottz set as a spread bulk and a no10 dropper 4 inches from a 18 drennan silverfish maggot hook

and the other two with a NG slim gimp 1 gramme set with a 0.8 olivette and stotz droppers, 16 drennan silverfish pellet hook

the final set up was the new rod-whip, set for up in the water silvers with a NG XT mini gimp 0.4 wire stem, bulk shotted 6 inch from the 18 silverfish maggot hook


whistle went at 9.30 and a good pinch of live maggot was thrown out on each of 3 close in lines, 10, 12 and 2, followed closely by the on the deck finesse rig straight out, watching the fall saw the float settle and dip, I was as rusty as an old austin allegro, my reactions were far to slow, painfully slow, the lift revealed a sucked maggot, rebaiting, out it went again, repeat performance, slow slow, slow slow slow, if it hadnt been for the small one ounce roach hooking itself, It would of been another miss

still, unhooking the obliging beast, it was slipped into the waiting weave of the keepnet, rebait, refeed and out, didnt settle, the float shooting under sideways long before the shot had straightened the line, roachie again,

feed, dont forget keep it going in,

half hour passed, I had missed as many as I hit, summat wasnt right, getting up. I went for a pee, poured a coffee and lit a smoke, I felt constricted, realising that I had far too many clothes on to even move smoothly, t shirt with the polo and a hoodie over, plus the outerwear, the windcheater was removed, now that was better, unemcumbered, I slipt quietly back into the fray

routine was soon established, more were hooked and landed, some decent, lots small, slipping the float shallower down the line, depth was reduced by about 4 inches, things improved, a slightly better stamp of redfins and the first small snottie were fed into the bag

I hadnt realised just how much not fishing for a while impacts on your ability to judge the moments for when change is needed, though I was catching, I felt summat was short in my approach, things wasnt quite right, playing around for a while, changing depths, baits, feed rates, lines, it didnt quite come flooding back, but there was improvement in performance, no where near enough, but a steady gain was made during the day,

plenty of next peg banter with norman and trev, the younger of the two even getting me to stop and go to show norman what lines and where the drop offs were, it being norms first visit to the pond,

midway comes and goes, probably around 10lb of multi sized roach had been accounted for, sun had come out and the breeze had swung around a point or two, occasionally dying altogether, glancing to my left, saw the old ringer with a mile of elastic streaming from the tip of his pole, fair cutting through the water with what looked to be a torpedo on the end, proper old struggle it was too, he looked like he was about to go water ski'ing a couple of times, lots of banter and encouragement resounded along the bank, dont think one of us didnt have a big grin on our faces, the son gets up to help with a tad of gillying as a munter is coaxed into the waiting landing net (should of brought bigger) impressive beast, well over 10lb, well over !

time to get my head down now, thats a proper game changer, not only me but half the banks catch wiped out with a single fish !!!

soon, too soon, the whistle came, the last half of the match came good, memories came flooding back, technique improved, the better fish were found, ended the gig with the bait right up in the water, fishing a foot deep, still not sure if I had done enough, but chuffed with what I had done

ended with a decent weight that swung the dial scales needle round to settle on 34lb 9oz, near all roach, (and a decent 2lb plus hybrid which gave me a tremble as I netted it)

everybody caught and all into double figures, with the winning weight being 71lb plus, yes thats right 71lb PLUS of silvers taking the accolades, back up 40lb plus wieghts of roach. skimmers and tench took the other top spots

a very nice day, thanks Carshalton for the invite, my mojo is definately back
 
Last edited:

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
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Oct 3, 2004
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15,608
Nice one mate, sounds like a decent bag of fish. Here's to the next time. :beer-toast1:
 

Total

Regular member
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Feb 25, 2016
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Thank you Mick. Written by a true wordsmith in such a way that I felt I was in the next peg to you experiencing a similar day. :upthumb:...Definitely worth the wait.:)
 

violator

Regular member
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
933
Good read Mick, last time I fished there I couldn't get past F1's, I didnt even know they had stocked them.

Tony
 
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