Sunday 1 December 2013
Took a trip to Plantation Lakes this Sunday for a much needed fish. We knew this was gonna be a tough one, a last gasp at the lakes before winter really takes hold (there was a plan to go river fishing but 'the one that got away' convinced us to have another go).
So we arrived with high hopes! Nice and early, managed to get into the car park at 7am on the nose, it was still dark but light was coming into the sky. There were a couple of other cars, good to know we weren't the only fishermen to brave the cold ;)
We headed for the same swims again as they produced results on the previous trip and they look so good: marginal cover either side, a good open water stretch and two islands with a channel. I went with a couple of hair rigged pieces of plastic corn on a bolt rig fished over groundbait with chill hemp and corn mixed in front of the island and a feeder with maggots and liquidized bread on the right of the swim in the margins. Dad, in the swim to my left, went with float fishing bread and maggots and a light ledger in the margins.
Five hours of fishing and nothing... Not a bobbin raised, a float dipped or a rod tip twitched. The whole lake was dead! No one was getting anything. To make matters worse, at around 12pm three blokes moved in the swims to my right. What commenced could only be classed as a casting competition! They all had two rods each, one on float and the other on bolt rigs. Each rod was cast on average every 5 minutes?! If there were ANY fish in the vicinity, they we're swiftly making their way to the other side of the lake...
I put up with it for around an hour and something had to give - either they got a shouting or I was moving. Working on the basis that there were no fish in my swim and if there were, they would've swam off after the constant rain of weights splashing down on their heads, a move was the go so I relocated to a nice calm bay on the far side of the lake.
It looked perfect: a bay on my left and right, good margins and open water in front of me. However...
There were two pole anglers on the far right of the swim who JUST WOULDN'T SHUT UP! Unsurprisingly, the main topic of conversation was the lack of fish they were catching... Noise travels very well over water, I can only imagine the fish got as bored of the sound of their voices as I did.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want a chat, go to the pub. I don't come fishing to listen to what was on TV last night, or what the misses is bitching about, or how 'there are no bloody fish in here' - I come to catch fish and have a peaceful time on the bank side. And your constant shouting between swims is really bloody annoying!
We started to pack up around 4ish as the light was fading fast with out so much as a bite. And then one the three casting champs hooked a fish! There just ain't no justice in the world...
One reason for the dry day could've been that the match that was sposed to take place on the horse shoe lake the previous day was held on the coarse lake. Apparently it fished very well, which would explain the lack of fish gracing our nets!
A beautiful day out though and we'll be heading back. I've a feeling that the lake will really come into it's own in the summer and'll provide a good days sport.
We've a spot of river piking planned for just after Christmas, fingers crossed we'll hook into some fish then.
We took advantage of the clocks going back and got on the road just after 6 and arriving at the fishery around 7...
...only to be really disappointed. The 'lakes' were more, well... small thin canals?! We were going to fish on the North Pool but after a quick scout round, we decided it wouldn't be up to much especially if any other anglers turned up. It's very small, very weedy and the bank sides were a bit of a quagmire. The other alternative was Rushcombe Lake but again, you could virtually reach the other side with an under arm cast. It just didn't look good...
Luckily for us, there are 2 other lakes very close by - the Acorn Fishery and Plantations Lakes. Seeing Plantation was closest, we thought we'd keep as much of the early start as possible and head on there.
We didn't realise when we arrived that there are 3 lakes (course, carp and match). As the course lake was the first we found, we had a good look round and set up in pegs 27 and 28. With two islands, a channel, good bank marginal cover and plenty of water in front of us, we thought the action would be thick and fast.
But no dice. We tried baits close to the islands, in the margins, in open water. We tried method feeders, open ended feeders, floats, ledgers. We tried luncheon meat, sweetcorn, chickpeas, maggots, pellets.... nothing.
The bailiff came round at 10ish to collect tickets and his advice was maggots or corn close to but not bang on the island or in the channel!
We stuck at it though and I finally got my first run around 11ish - which is true style I promptly lost! Story of my weekend I'm afraid.
The good news was it really picked up from then on. Dad stuck with the float fishing and picked up a good size tench and loads of bream. His ledger rod also started to pick up with some nice carp. I stuck with the feeder with liquidized bread and started to build up a swim of bream and got some more runs on the method feeder close to the island using plastic sweetcorn.
Having discovered dad had a couple of pints of maggots, some of which had changed into casters, I decided to really feed up the margin to my right and see if I could get a bit of a feeding frenzy going. Five feeder loads and lots of catapults of maggots in, I started to get run after run of small bream and carp but then it went dead...
I kept the feed going in and then got a massive knock on the rod... Then quiet again. After a minute or so I turned round to grab something from my bag when the rod literally exploded from the rests and shot towards the water! Luckily for me, the reel caught on the railway sleeper at the front of the swim causing the rod to jump in the air giving me a split seconds to reach out and grab it. The whole thing took about 5 seconds - a close run thing.
Needless to say, the fish had gone... The light tackle and 5lb line was no match for it and I guess the hand break effect of the rod hitting the swim must've caused a crack off. I can only imagine it was a really angry carp?!
So, a slow start leading to a busy afternoon, a nearly lost rod and a good days fishing. Think we'll be heading back at some point, maybe once the weather warms up.
Next stop? River fishing. Itching to get a winter chub or a barbel. And then it's piking time. Can't wait.