Buttonhole Lake - A nostalgic session.

RedRidingHood

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Buttonhole Lake, This is a place I used to fish regularly during my youth, if I recall I'd had my biggest carp from this place many, many years ago. I had to visit the place a few weeks back after purchasing a new side tray from the owner. Since I'd last visited, The place had long gone under new ownership and after a chat with the new owner, And a quick nostalgic walk around I desperately felt the need to return with my gear.

Fast forward a few weeks, And there I was. I'd pulled up at the pond at about 8 AM Wednesday after a long night of night feeds to find the place absolutely jam packed, So much so I had to stupidly ask another Angler if a match was on or the lake was booked for an event. The answer was no, of course and it was open for pleasure fishing. I guess people were just cashing in on the nice spurt of weather we're having. I was lucky enough to find myself a small string of pegs down the far end of the pond, 3 vacant In total which were all water logged with a good 3 or 4 inches of water on the actual platform, I'd assumed this is why they were left vacant. I decided to pick the middle of the 3 as again, There was a lot of people fishing and on each side of me I had other Anglers. This would also leave me more space to mess around in if I wanted to, Providing nobody pulled up in the vacant pegs later in the day.

As I'm unpacking my gear, First thing I notice is I've left my side tray at home, As well as a few other much needed attachments, So all day I'll be fishing from a bucket full of bait on a bowl hoop.. I could've also done with bringing my footplate as I'll be fishing in 3-4 inches of water. 🤷‍♀️

Alas, This doesn't deter me and the first thing I set up is my feeder rod, 30g Preston Hybrid in a Medium? size. I realistically wanted to use a 20g but I only had the 20's in the smaller size and I wanted to feed more micro's than a small could offer on this particular day. As I had a free peg left of me, And one to the right I'd decided I'd utilise this by primarily feeder fishing in these vacant pegs while primarily using the pole on my peg. I made a few casts in to the peg left of me, And found a tree stump right on the edge of the island which I fancied as both a marker, And area to fish while hoping nobody turns up later in the day. I could've also feeder fished the peg right of me, But being a little peg I didn't want to disturb the fella on the next peg down so I abandoned that peg completely but decided I'd dump a ton of bait down by the platform in the last hour or two to see if I could snag any margin carp.

I hadn't prepped for the day, Actually, I haven't actually gotten out in a while so setting up my pole was slow progress but I did manage to get a couple of rigs thrown together while priming my feeder. I made 3 rigs in total, 2x F1 Maggots for fishing long and short, and 1x Drennan Margin for later in the day below the next pegs platform. While I was setting these rigs up, I'd had a few blatant liners on the feeder, And eventually a rod pull that resulted in my first fish, a nice 6-7lb common as I finalised my rigs. I then had a quick plumb of my peg and just decided to fish straight out in front of me with both lines, On short, One long. Nothing special, No faffing around. During all this, The older fella had a couple of fish on the feeder, One right at the bank of the Island, Another just a few ft off so. I kicked off my long line with a quarter cup of scolded pellets, And the short line with a sparing amount of micro's. I wanted to start on the short line, Because I don't want to be holding a long pole all day if I didn't need to, so that's what I did. I started on Ringers Expander and was getting a bite a chuck, But I was missing just about every bite. Now, Buttonhole isn't renowned for it's small fish. If you fished the place in the past, You'd either catch big, or nothing at all. It didn't take me long to figure out this was no longer the case however, as I downscaled my hook, And fished maggot and was catching 4-6 inch carp on the regular. I stuck to it, Hoping eventually bigger fish would move in, But they just kept coming and coming and I eventually got bored of it. In between this, I'd been keeping my long line topped up and I decided I'd given it enough time to rest. I'd been feeding this line with larger baits too, so I was kinda hoping this'd bring in the bigger fish but to cut a long story short, it didn't and I was just being pestered by smaller fish.

At this point, The fella to my right had had another decent carp, and the fella in the peg next to him had also had a nice flurry of decent fish. I just looked ridiculous catching these little carp and decided I'd let the pole lines rest for a bit while keeping them topped up regularly meanwhile hitting the feeder once again. In all honesty, This seemed like the way forward. I was catching steadily and had amassed a good 4-5 decent sized fish in a small amount of time.

As time passed, The sun came out and I noticed a lot of fishing rolling on the top. Now, Floating baits and fishing on the top in general is banned so I'd decided to work with what I had, shallow up my margin rig and fish shallow. At first, I wasn't having a lot of luck but I persisted playing around with the depths and this turn't out to be a game changer. I opted to fish expander, While pinging the odd expander over my line as they sink a little slower than hard pellets and for the next few hours following I was pulling out carp after carp. Good fish too, all over the 5-6lb mark with some proper chunks mixed in. Before I stopped counting I was at 11 carp, But had many, many more than that. Eventually, All good things must come to an end and this line completely died down and I wasn't catching well enough to continue fishing shallow and I certainly wasn't keen on continuing to ping loads of bait over my peg without producing good results.

I decided I'd go back either on the feeder or pole from there on, But ultimately opted to leave my pole lines stewing for a bit longer. The feeder continued to produce fish steadily, Not massive fish but good 3-4lb fish, Funnily enough, all mostly Ghosties. While the Feeder continued to produce, It also dropped off after a bit so I opted to go back onto the original pole lines for the last few hours. Now, I did have the odd dabble in between feeder casts but nothing had really changed, But at this point I had smashed it already and was quite happy to finish off with a few smaller carp, And the odd roach. The smaller fish were ultimately still there, But I was snagging the odd decent carp too which made up for it. I primarily fished the longer line, completely abandoning the short line.

Now, The day really started to draw and it was soon time to pack up and this is when I dumped a whole lot of bait down by the next pegs platform, I left it an hour while catching a mixed bag of roach, small mirrors and commons with the odd carp in between before I had a go. The platform didn't produce much, 1 Tench, 2 Carp and a whole lot more of those smaller fish. Ultimately, I switched back onto my long line which continued to produce fish, Basically one a chuck before I packed up.

If I had to guesstimate, Without the smaller carp I'd say I had between 20-25 'Decent' carp which were all over 4lb. Looking back on the day, I was pretty happy considering I wasn't prepared at all. I'd had an hour the night previous to sort out bait, And get everything else sorted out for the evening. Even then, I was sorting out everything out on the bank. In retrospect, I could've probably done a lot better on my pole lines had I taken bigger baits, But again I just wasn't prepared for it. The shallow line massively made up for that, However. I also used QM1 Hooks on the Feeder that day, And didn't lose a single fish which is worth mentioning. All in all, a great day and Id highly, Highly recommend the place if you're ever in the area. Not only for the fishing, But for the hospitality.

Some pictures of the day below, Including the actual pond too.
 

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