I was fully expecting to be one of many suffering from a bad head but after picking up a stinking cold (Probably due to being frozen on Monday") so was in no mood to celebrate and was in bed before midnight getting woke by the fireworks at 12' . After a bad nights sleep I didn't really think I should be fishing but don't like to let people down so wrapped up to the hilt and made my way to the fishery. The match was all on Hawthorns Lake today and with 15 of us there wouldn't be many pegs you would have enough room to catch down the edge so either end peg today could be useful?
Into the draw and I find myself on peg 3 were Des Shipp happened to draw in the Xmas match catching a few across at the bottom of the shelf and some fish down the edge but nobody was on peg 2 that day so that could be iffy to try and catch there. I set up a 4x12 Maver Invincible on 0.11-0.10 and a size 20 808 to fish the bottom of the first far shelf were I had about 4ft of water, A lighter 4x10 on the same line/hook to fish tight to the far bank in just over 2ft of water finally a 4x12 Chanti to fish down the edge towards peg 4 on my top kit plus 1 section as that's as far as I could go.
At the all-in I cupped a small ball of fishmeal Ground-bait in at the bottom of the shelf with a few maggots in it and fed some casters onto my short line, Starting the match right over I fed just a pinch of dead red maggot and micros via the cad pot starting with double maggot on the hook. It didn't take long to get indications but the problem was it was from half ounce roach and daddy ruff" and after 20mins of this I soon switched to the deeper rig at the bottom of the shelf. I was a bit surprised when I didn't have any signs no matter what I tried on the hook so was soon starting a new line elsewhere across.
This time I just fed small amounts of ground-bait but again it didn't take long for the small fish to find my bait and the area seemed devoid of any carp" I did try looking around on a piece of corn for a while without success. Looking around the few pegs that I could see nobody had caught a carp and Ron Stark On peg 4 seemed happy to plunder the small fish across but this wasn't for me so put my faith in my deeper swims. Back on the bottom of the shelf I did manage a couple of skimmers to 8oz and an 6lb carp before the wind picked up as forecast and holding the rig still enough to induce bites impossible. This was turning out to be a frustrating day as I had to get another rig out to fish down the track in the deeper water but again all I could catch was small fish, The close in caster swim produced one roach all day and in the last hour when the wind dropped I had a 12oz skimmer over some loose fed micros further along the shelf on maggot but no more carp.
It didn't take long for the weigh-in with the chap on peg 2 weighing 3lb of silvers before I had 5lb 8oz not bothering to weigh my single carp, It proved worth while on the day for Ron to Stick to the blips' as his weight of 7lb was enough to take the silvers pool but it reminded me of fishing on the Kennet & Avon canal! I didn't hang around after weighing as I was keen just to get in the warm but It turned out Resident Steve Howell took the win from peg 6 in the middle of the lake finding a few carp on the maggot to finish with 32lb odd, followed by the swims I thought would produce pegs 15 & 1 taking the next two places with 23lb & 22lb. Not the best start match wise for me but that's fishing at this time of the year, I think I could have winkled a few more skimmers from the longer line by switching to a heavier rig ect but its hard to get motivated when your not up to your best so hoping to shrug it off before my next trip".