ANDY PELL'S BLOG
Round two of the Meadowlands teams-of-three winter league took place the Sunday before last and after a steady showing in round one, my Chiltern bait team were hoping for another decent result to keep us in contention.
The draw put me on end peg five on the deep bank of Lambsdown Lake, which was a good draw for silvers with Steve Hemingray winning the silvers fish league round off the peg the day before. I hoped that this wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on the fish but with a frost on Saturday night I didn’t know what to expect really.
I had heard that Steve had mainly roach and perch in his 20lb winning net on the Saturday and there were no skimmers caught really, but I would stick to my game plan and fish my own match. As in the first round, I opted for two lines, one at 14.5m and one at 16m. Plumbing up at ten o’clock and two o’clock, I found around two inches depth difference, so I opted to fish the same 0.8gm rig on both lines so I could fish an inch off bottom with caster for roach on the left-hand side of the swim and an inch on bottom for skimmers, perch and roach on worm on the right-hand side of the swim.
This left me with my 16m line straight out in front, where I hoped to catch skimmers on pellet or maggot. I also set up a feeder rod with a 1oz square lead on a Guru micro lead clip to fish popped-up bread for an early carp hopefully.
On the whistle, I fed two balls of Ringers carp mix with dead maggots and a few wetted micros on the 16m line and then fed two balls of roach ground bait on the left-hand side of the 14.5m line and a ball of chopped worm in soil on the right-hand side. I then cast out four 10mm punched bits of bread and hoped for a pull.
Looking down the lake, there were anglers into carp almost from the off, while the anglers in my mini-section in the deeper part of the lake sat looking at motionless tips.
After an hour not one of us up this end of the lake had managed a bite from a carp, so it was time for a look on the pole. I had been feeding casters with a catty over the 14.5m pole lines since the start of the match, so I shipped out with a caster on the hook for a look on my left-hand line. Five minutes later I hadn’t had a bite so I topped up with a small ball of worm and had a look on the right-hand line. I had the same response on that line so I topped up and decided to have another look on the tip, but this time with double hair-rigged corn and a Speedmesh PVA bag of pellets.
With the lads around me all sitting biteless on the pole, I stuck it out on the tip hoping for a carp, but with nearly two hours of the match gone and no fish in the net, I had to move onto the pole line and hope some fish had now turned up. I tried the left-hand side first, fishing pinkie just off bottom, hoping just to get a bite but the float sat motionless.
I changed to a small piece of worm and moved over to the right-hand side so I was now an inch on bottom and as the float settled, it buried.
I lifted in to a decent fish and soon netted a skimmer of around 10oz, which was a decent start on that line.
Next put in I netted a roach of 6oz and I felt that there were a few fish there now. The action lasted for around 10 minutes before things slowed up. I re-fed with a little worm and then noticed bubbles coming up on my 16m line. I knew there were now skimmers over the long line but thought I would give them a few more minutes to settle while I tried to catch a few more fish on my right-hand, shorter line. I managed a few more small roach on this line but after 15 minutes and with bites fading it was time to plunder the skimmers.
I shipped out the rig with a Ringer 4.5mm cool-water expander on a size 18 hook fished an inch overdepth. Within a couple of seconds the float dipped and went under and skimmer number one was heading for the net. The fish was around 6oz and was the first of many as I spent the next hour getting a skimmer a bung on pellet. Although they were only small I was now building a weight and moving ahead of the others in my mini-section. Shipping in and out was a nightmare sitting so low down with a high bank behind me, and this made catching quickly difficult but I got my head down and worked as quickly as possible while trying to keep everything smooth.
I had a really good hour on these fish before things began to slow up. There were still plenty of bubbles in the peg so I felt confident that there were still a few fish there but I decided to try single maggot instead of pellet.
This change resulted in a couple of bigger, 1lb fish, but I now had to wait for bites and I was contemplating topping up the peg.
Eventually, with the peg fading fast, I topped up with another ball of Ringers carp mix with a few dead reds in and some micro pellets. I gave the peg a few moments to settle as I looked in on the other lines that I had been feeding with casters.
I didn’t manage a bite on those lines, so I decided with half an hour to go that I would sit it out on the skimmer line with maggot and add whatever I could to my net. The lad to my left was now also catching skimmers fairly quickly so I was keen to stay ahead of him by adding what I could.
I don’t think the top up did me any favours as I only added three fish in the last 20 minutes but I hoped I had enough to at least beat the five or six anglers to my left. I was first to weigh in and my net of silvers pushed the scales round to 16lb 8oz, which I was fairly pleased with considering they were all small skimmers.
With the lad next door putting 9lb on the scales and everyone beyond him weighing less, I had won my mini section and secured another envelope for the team. I was now keen to see how I had fared in the big section where there had been a number of carp caught up the top end. On returning to my van, I was pleased to hear that I was 4th in my big section and also very pleased to hear that team member Mark Griffiths had won his lake and Mick Wheeler was 5th in his big section.
This put us top on the day and we are now leading the league by five points. The next round is on February 12th, when we will be hoping to stay consistent and add to our lead at the top of the leagues.