|A nice ghostie to end the day...|
Saturday was not too bad, as it turned out. A fair few people about but not so busy that I could not find a quiet place to set up. I bought a two-rod day ticket so I could have a go with my never-used carp rod and reel. I had made a good supply of boilies and a suitable glug with a pineapple theme. I also had some PVA tube and bags I wanted to try. To top it off I had some pineapple pop-ups boilies that I had bought - Yes I do buy some things!
Before I did anything I needed to familiarise myself with my new rod. I threaded a quick-change running bead onto the main line and tied a quick-change bead to the end of the line. Using this hook-less set up I made a practice cast. My! This is a bit different. As I dragged the little weight off the opposite bank and back into the water I was pleased I had not attached a hook! I need some time to get used to this and some open water to give it a try, but for now I just plonked it out there and waited to see what would happen... Nothing!
I had decided to fish the other side of Maze Lake, a lake I have fished several time before, but not from this side. I now know why - no fish! Andy, the bailiff, confirmed my suspicions and pointed out a better spot, just around the corner, a hundred yards away or so. After giving a couple of hours I collected my gear together and moved pegs. I must get some kind of trolley. All this walking to and from the van is a waste of time. It is all right if I can get the van close to the peg but if not it is a repetitive slog to and from the van, or in this case the pegs.
The second spot was a bit better. I set up my sleeper rod and left it sitting there. I had used a 'snowman' hook bait consisting of one of my 'glugged' pineapple boilies, topped off with a pineapple pop-up. Small running bomb weight and a suitable PVA 'sausage' was fed onto the line. My poor technique was evident as I tried to get the assembled bait and hook somewhere near where I wanted to fish. I left that line in for a couple of hours or more until I made the decision to haul it in and see if my bait was still intact, it was. I had another go, this time using PVA bag full of offerings, the hook bait and the bomb. The whole lot landed about 6ft from where I had expected it to, but it was in a reasonable looking spot and I left it there. Meanwhile I was feeder fishing on The Method. I managed to bag a few bream, just to make the net slimy. I was using my new larger net I had bought to accommodate the bigger fish I was planning to catch on my sleeper rod.
I was beset with problems all day. First I had picked the wrong swim and the new one was not giving me any amount of fish. By 3:30 PM I was cheesed off having broken a quiver tip, sacrificed yet another feeder the the 'Tree Gods' and lost my scissors by accidentally kicking them into the lake - Plop! To rub salt into the wound, I was getting nowhere with the sleeper rod. Deep breath, time to move again. All the gear was loaded into the van and I set off for the back of Jeff's lake where I had been fishing a couple of weeks earlier in my second match. I decided to fish light with the minimum of gear so I set up using a bigger feeder rod that I had tackled up ready to go in the van, a box of hook baits (bacon Grill) and of course my Two Dog Groundbait used on the Method.
Just as I was about to set up I realised I had left my feeder rest and bankstick on the last peg. Bother! I decided to go on a route-march back to the old peg and retrieve it. I could not be bothered to get the van out of its space and drive around there. I could feel all the eyes on me as I abandoned my peg and marched off. I returned carrying my bankstick to a gentle cackle of understanding approval. Now I had unwillingly attracted everybody's attention I could feel their eyes watching me. I cast out three or four feeders straight out in front of me aiming for that red life-belt that I had used as a marker before. On the fifth or sixth cast I added a hook bait and caught a fish. An F1 of about a pound and a half. I unhooked it, sent it back home (after apologising and asking where his mum was) via the net.
For the next few casts I was landing fish two out of three. It was not long before I could see others around the lake pointing at me. I discreetly checked my attire which seemed to be in order... I continued to fish. More fish being landed and released, one after the other. Again I was on a roll. I was also aware of the lack of activity around me. Eventually the guy on the peg nearest me came over and said. "Do you mind me asking what bait you are using? " I told him that I was using my own concoction that I call Two dog Groundbait mix and 9mm punched bacon grill. He said what ever it is it seems to work you are catching lots of fish. We have been here for hours and you have caught far more in the last hour or so than we have caught all day!
As I was talking to him there was another bite and this time it was a nice looking ghost carp. I have a picture of it in the net but you have been sparred the one of me holding it as it did not record to the camera card for some reason.
What started off as a really bad day, had a happy ending thanks to my Two Dog Groundbait.