Pretty Good at Grange Farm

Simon R

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Match five is our Trout Cup and should have been fished at Lockwood Beck Reservoir, which used to be a stocked fly-fishery, having said that there’s barely been a trout caught in the last three years and in the absence of any trout, we award the trophy to the angler catching the biggest fish.

Since getting the reservoir back Northumbrian Water have supplemented the native fish (roach & perch) with skimmers, and various other silvers. A few small skimmers were caught last year so evidently the stocking was reasonably effective. However this year, to date, barely anybody visiting the place has had a bite – the cormorants have devastated the fish stocks and therefore I needed to book a new venue. I don’t know if anybody has ever tried booking a dozen pegs in the height of summer with a months’ notice but it isn’t easy.o_O

After ringing around a large number of venues I settled on Grange Farm near Thirsk who were only too pleased to accommodate us and pegging fees for matches were a very reasonable £3(y). Grange Farm is one of only a very few ‘natural’ day-ticket venues remaining – an old Victorian clay-pit of a similar antiquity to our old club water up the road opposite the Tontine. It was leased by Yarm AC 30 years ago and other than the pike match we’d held there in February my last trip down there was shortly after it reverted to a day-ticket water. Everybody else of a certain age had dim recollections of the place but nobody I knew had fished it recently other than a couple of guys who have caravans on site. I did know that the target species are mainly bream from a couple of ounces to 4lb+ plus roach, perch, odd tench and chub and apparently uncatchable carp.


17223

We were a few short this week due to holidays and also lost Rob B due to severe hay fever – however including Tony, who was guesting for the first time, there were still seven of us present for the 9am draw. I’d put four pegs on the right bank and three on the left – the disadvantage of the left bank is the access to the caravan park runs alongside it and although there isn’t a load of traffic it still makes using a pole impractical. I pulled out peg 7 which was the penultimate peg on the road bank – Tony was to my left on the last peg and Tink three or four pegs to my right.

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I extracted a couple of waggler rods from my holdall (Acolyte 12’ Carp Waggler and Viva S6 Float Road 11' 10") and my 12’ Acolyte Feeder Rod. I had vague recollections that it was a deep old place and that was confirmed as I found around 9’ across most of the lake except for a shallow margin 3’ deep that extended out around 5m. I set one rod to fish full-depth, the other about 4’ – initially there were a lot of fish (bream and possibly chub) cruising about just under the surface but they slowly disappeared as the clouds rolled in. My plan was to fish at about 4 rod lengths with the full-depth rig, just loose feeding casters, switching to the shallow rig if I thought the fish had come off the bottom (when i fished here in the past it wasn’t unusual to catch skimmers in mid-water even in the depths of winter) The feeder rod I planned to fish another rod-length beyond the waggler line.

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I started with a couple of pouches of caster and dropped my waggler over the top (3AAA Drennan with an insert for the record) and half a dendrobena on the business end – second chuck and the float buried and a nice pound skimmer was safely in the net. I think it probably took it on the drop ‘cos nothing else followed. I kept drip feeding casters in and got another half dozen skimmers but they were all very much of the junior variety, nothing over 4oz or so A look on the feeder produced a few unhittable bites prior to getting another couple of small skimmers. I decided to stretch my legs and see what else had been caught – I’d already seen Steve land a decent skimmer and a few bits, and Barry also had a few small fish. Nobody else seemed to be pulling up any trees either – Tink had a couple of skimmers, Chris reckoned he had more but George didn’t have a lot. Tony had one ‘nearly’ bream but little else, so heartened by the fact that I wasn’t doing too badly I persevered.

I dropped the feeder onto the line I’d been fishing the waggler and picked up a couple of pound plus skimmers immediately – I sometimes find that even though you assume the float is stationary the tiny, imperceptible movements it makes can be transferred to the bait and cause the fish to shy away – nailing it down by using the feeder ensures the bait is truly still. Best bait seemed to be half a dendrobena or three red maggots but I couldn’t figure out how to keep the fish coming – I’d get a couple on the feeder then it would go dead so a switch to the waggler would see me get a couple more and so it went on but with longish dead spells where I was getting nothing at all. Late on Steve got a couple on a pineapple wafter and I saw Barry struggling to net a fish.

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Shouting time at 4pm, I had no who’d won, who’d snared the biggest fish or even what I had. I weighed Tony first – he’d switched to the method late on and that had produced a couple of proper bream – he had 11lb 3oz and would have won the biggest fish too had he been a club member.

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My net full indicated 8lb 14oz on the scales – I had no sizeable fish so didn’t bother weighing any individually.

17227

Further down the roadside bank Tink only had 2lb 9oz.

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Around the other side I thought Chris was bagging but he only weighed 6lb 13oz


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That was a good deal more than George who only amassed 1lb 11oz


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Steve did considerably better with 8lb 10oz – his largest fish was 2lb 1oz

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Late fish had helped Barry along to 7lb 15oz and with his biggest fish scaling 2lb 8oz he’ll have his name engraved on one of our trophies for the first time.
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Next match we’re at Dromonby on Friday for the last of the evening matches, and return to Grange Farm on July 14th for the Tontine Cup – as always this is a float only contest and is decided on a points basis – one point per fish, one point per ounce. I’m away on holiday for this match so Mr Bunning will be in charge.


Simon
 
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