|My idyllic peg in a picturesque location - Major's Lake|
One day I should go and visit a different fishery but today it is back to the old slippers, Beaver Fishery and just for a change I am not going to talk about the M25. I didn't use it today. I was packed and ready to roll early, Sitting in the van at 05:45, I decided to take a chance and try going straight through South London rather than going east to join the dreaded motorway.
|Hmmm... a queue - Behind me!|
I arrived with plenty of time to spare, first in the queue again, filling the
CCTV with blue. By the time the gate opened I had a couple of people behind me. And yes, The gate opened while I was taking the photograph. Nobody hooted me or maybe they had not realised. Either way an orderly procession of hardened anglers precoded to enter and pay our day-ticket money. I paid for a two rod ticket, I had a plan, not a hard and fast plan like I had for the first match, but a plan, nevertheless.
My target this time was to fish Major's lake from one of the newly refurbished pegs sitting under the bank that separates Major's Lake from Maze Lake. I had reason to walk this bank a few weeks ago when fishing on the back of Maze, as it is the route to trek when attempting to recover tackle from the opposite bank - Don't ask!
|The island opposite my peg. Red area is my feeder line target and the blue is where the sleeper should land|
I set up my chair with a feeder arm and a small groundbait bowl ring. With Preston and Korum being the same company, the fitting are interchangeable between boxes and accessory chairs. At least they would be if my old box had the same size legs as my brand new chair. This is not a problem as the inserts can be changed to suit. It would have been helpful if Preston had not changed the style of them (at some point in the past) without telling me! It is fine if you have all new fittings as either style of insert will fit. If, like me, you have some of each it can get a bit frustrating. My feeder arm came from eBay and is of the older type. These fittings have a much smaller locating rebate to correspond with a much finer retaining lip on the inset. The newer insets, when used in these fittings, will not open up far enough to accept the leg of either chair or seat box. Now I have discovered this, I need to go through all my inserts and make sure the new fittings have the larger inserts fitted, freeing up a few of the older inserts for my collection of older fittings... Well done Preston, nothing like making life difficult for the novice!
I picked a spot on the far bank and cast a few meters short, estimated the shortfall and let out more line before clipping up and casting again. I continued to do this until I was a foot or so back from the bank. I added a single halibut pellet and a PVA 'tube' of goodies threaded onto the hook length. I was hoping to tempt one of the bigger carp that seem to lurk over there. I cast it out and left it sitting on a couple of short bank sticks and a bite alarm.
|My new cupping kit is made from a cheap eBay telescopic pole|
|Close in over the lily pads|
most of the time only small volumes of feed would be required. Today I am on the liquid bread so a large cup is required as the bread is very fluffy and light compared with it's volume. I placed one of my small black bowls, tilted towards me by propping it up on a bait box, about three and a half meters to my left, along the bank. This enabled me to scoop the liquid bread without having to collapse the cupping kit.
I cupped in two lots of liquid bread and, after plumbing the depth, fished 12mm compressed bread punch just about an inch over dead depth using a short float with a bulk of weight about six inches below the stem and a shirt-button shotting pattern of four No.10 shot spread out below.
|Wow! first dip!|
I continued to land bream and skimmers on the hippo using bread and cupping in more liquid bread from time to time. I probably could have kept this up all day but just as I was thinking about giving it a rest and targeting some small perch, the alarm on the sleeper rod started to peep and then scream as the bait-runner style reel started to give line at a good rate. I pulled the hippo line in and grabbed the rod. As I started to wind the bait-runner mechanism clicked off and the rod took on a serious curve. I had hooked a reasonable fish, but what?
|Not so small golden coloured tench was a nice surprise|
I added another PVA bag of goodies and recast the sleeper rod expecting it to be there for a while. I had just got around to casting a feeder rod to the far bank when the alarm when off again. I flicked the bait runner on the feeder and left it in its rest. I grabbed the other rod to discover it was connected to another female tench slightly smaller in size and of similar colour to the first one.
|Like buses. You can wait for hours and two come along together - Chuffed!|
I continued with the sleeper rod and caught nothing for a few hours. In the meantime I had gone back to the hippo and changed tactics. I swapped the cup on the new cupping kit for a smaller one. I fed a few maggots and some of my own casters that I had turned from the maggots left over from my last trip out. One caster on the hook and presented it just over the back of the water lilies. I let the float settle and was about to feed a few offerings by hand when the float disappeared and I had a fish on. This time it was a perch - my target fish on casters. I can't believe such a small bait can be so deadly. I continued to fish for the little stripy fellows and caught several over the next hour or so, punctuated by the odd roach.
|Mmmm... got any more of those casters?|
|Now that looks familiar|