Fishing in a Winter Wonderland

Simon R

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The weather forecast did predict some light sleet or snow showers overnight, but I didn’t expect the Winter Wonderland that greeted me as I peered out of the curtains just before 7am. In truth it was only an inch or so of the white stuff, but the skies had cleared and it was beginning to freeze as the temperature dropped.

The roads were, fortunately, pretty clear, although the sharp left turn into the lane leading to the fishery needed a little assistance from the traction control system to negotiate. I’d expected something close to a full-house since, this being our Christmas match, everyone talking part was guaranteed a prize, however a couple had prior commitments and up in East Cleveland the snow was considerably deeper so Kev, Frankie and Tink couldn’t make it either. So it was a rather sparse five strong field gathered by the entrance to the smallest pond at Dromonby Farm Fishery.


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The draw didn’t take long and I found myself on peg 12 adjacent to the fishery entrance. I was sharing the corner with Chris on peg 1, Rob was on peg 3, George on peg5 and over on the far-side of the pond Steve was on peg nine. There was a fairly substantial sheet of ice in front of peg 10 and stretching across towards nine, but fortunately it was relatively thin and broke up as the day progressed.

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It didn’t take long to get set-up – a couple of top kits with light (0.08mm) hook-lengths and size 20/22 hooks plus a tip rod armed with a very small but quite heavy cage feeder stuffed with a sweet-smelling but relatively low feed groundbait (VDE Supercup) and single maggot on the hook. At the start I dropped a few pinkies in on my 8m pole line before flinging the feeder out towards the island.


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After a couple of hours of resembling a gnome and having gone from Plan A to Plan Z and back again without so much as a nipped pinkie I was starting to feel the cold – peg 12 never gets the sun in winter and the wind was freezing – so I decided to stretch my legs. I knew Chris, Rob & George were blanking but rumour had it Steve had snared a couple of roach – and sure enough he had, fishing the pole tight under the bush to the left of his peg.


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After a lap of the pond, the blood had started circulating again so I returned to my peg – a little more confident that I might catch something – and, an hour or so later, I did. It was small, very small but still undeniably a fish, I dropped in the net, hoping it wouldn’t swim through the mesh.

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We finished the match 30 minutes early – sport wasn’t improving, it was bloody freezing and we still had all the prizes to sort out. We didn’t bother trying to weigh my fish, but it got me third place, behind Steve with 9oz of bits and George whose brace of fish went two ounces. – Chris and Rob remained fishless.

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Everyone took home armfuls of goodies though



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Next match isn’t until January when we’ll be doing battle with the Tees once again, February is our annual grayling match which will be somewhere on the upper Swale and March see’s us back at Dromonby for the final match of the season.

Membership will be up for renewal at the Presentation Night in April and any prospective new members are advised to attend if they want to join.


Simon
 

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Proper 'scratching' match...;)...Well done all.....Lovely looking lake.(y)
 
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