The last weeks of the year always throw up a few interesting sessions interspersed with family commitments, 2016 was no different!
My last match of the year was on Pewsey’s lake and despite a cold lead in to the match the lake was unfrozen and didn’t look too bad. I drew peg 5 which was one of the few pegs I had fished before so was looking forward to plenty of small fish action – wrong! I wasted an hour on the pellet feeder with no response at all then moved on to my silver lines- 10 and 2 o’clock at 11m. I was expecting a slow response but I was met with no response at all. Eventually I had a run of 3 fish then nothing, an hour later two more fish, then another three and that was it! Eight fish for 0-5-8 and last in the match!
It was not until the following Friday when I could get out again- Bowood-yes peg 12, I keep persisting as I know bait is going in and may hold fish!The water was beginning to lose its colour and and it was taking lateral movement of the bait to prompt bites on the pole. The session ended with 30 fish for 2-8 plus a welcome jack of 5-8 on the pike rod.
Back to Bowood on the Sunday and it was a tale of lost fish, a tench of 3-4lb when the hook pulled as it completed a swimmers roll at the net, something large on the pole (possibly a pike), a lost pike on the pike rod when the hooks pulled half way in. I began packing the pole up with 2lb of small fish in the net when there was a run on the pike rod, this time I managed to hit the fish okay and was met with a more solid resistance than a jack. Finally a 13lb fish came to the net to save the day!
Buoyed by this I returned on the Tuesday only to get 101 small fish for 6lb and miss two runs on the pike rod!!! Next day I went back to Blacklands to check out the depths in preparation for the MFS match in January. I fished on the opposite bank to previously near the small island and set up at 10m with a worm and caster approach and micro-pellet and caster next to the island. The island was one to be avoided in the silver only match as although I caught a few skimmers there I also had a carp of about 2.5lb and lost another. Indeed my main line away from the island suffered quiet spells when I think carp moved through. I ended up with about 12-15lb of silvers consisting of 54 perch, 9 roach and 16 skimmers.
Christmas then interrupted proceedings and it wasn’t until the last Saturday of the year that I ventured out- back to peg 12. The weather had been cold and the bird bath was frozen solid for the previous few days so this time I had my ice-breaker with me- needless to say I didn’t need it! The ice stopped at about peg 8. Setting up in the usual way I cut back on the feed as the water had lost it’s colour and I feared the worst. An hour later and no bites I decided a cup of coffee was in order, when that didn’t bring the expected bite I knew it was going to one of those days. Half hour later and a run on the mackerel resulted in a jack of 3-12. Half hour later another run resulted in hitting a bigger fish but the hooks pulled after a couple of minutes. Still no bites on the pole! Things went quiet when the float went under-and I missed it! Feeling more alert now I concentrated hard and twenty minutes later a slight lift resulted in a small roach! Ten minutes later the pike rod went again and this time I managed to hit what felt like a decent fish, after a few runs I had it in the net 13-12 and that was my last catch of 2016- not a bad one to end on though!