September kicks off on the Friday with a session on peg 6. Setting up in the usual way I had 3 small rudd on the maggot and then swapped to corn for no interest at all! There was lots of pike activity along the arm, literally every 5 minutes there would be an eruption of small fish as a pike attacked. After two and a half hours without any sign of a bite on the corn I thought I would have a mess about fishing the same rig but on the top two with maggot, this resulted in 97 rudd and 3 roach in 35minutes to give me a total of 3-11. Not a fantastic start to the month!
Back on Monday I opted to try peg 10 and I had only corn or wheat as bait, no maggots! Fishing 8:45 to noon I plumped for keeping the same shotting pattern although the weed was starting to die back I still felt there was sufficient on the bottom to cause problems so the bulk 5-6 inches from the hook remained! It took about an hour before I began to catch small skimmers then a better one of just over a pound along with the odd rudd and roach, about 10:15 the float lifted and a strike latched into a better fish that came in quietly at first making me think it was a better bream before it realised it was hooked and all hell let loose before an angry tench of 3-06 was netted.
I had one further tench of 3-13 to go with the better skimmer. seven rudd, four roach and five small skimmers for a 10-10 total.
Wednesday I was back to peg 10, still just with wheat and corn although this time the action was more muted with no tench showing but I did have a bream of 3-10 to go with 16 rudd, 9 roach and a skimmer for a 7-07 total. I mused as I walked back about the symmetry of the last two session weight!
That was it for Bowood as the following week I was at the Glebe for a two day pairs competition that I was running for MFSReborn and wanted to sort out my natch kit in preparation for the time away. The pairs would be drawn on the first day and the 36 anglers were split into two groups – The Pros and the Noddies (I was a Noddy), each pair would include a member from each group and the Noddies would fish Lake 1 on day 1 while the Pros were on lakes 5, 6 and 7. Day 2 would see us swap lakes. There were three sections of 6 in each group.
The draw was done I was paired up with Simmo, who drew peg 94 on lake 6 while I drew peg 15 on lake 1. Peg 15 is not a great area as it is exactly half way on the horseshoe shaped lake and if the wind blows the ends tend to fish better! I set up a feeder, a rig for fishing at 11m, two rigs for the 5m line and two for the margins – one with 0.20mm to a 12 that I intended to use with paste or bunches of dead maggots and the other with 0.22mm to a 16 for corn/pellet.
I called the all in and went on the 5m line to see if I could snare an early fish -NO don’t be silly!- on to the feeder for an hour or so for one skimmer, so then on to the 11m line that had been prepped at the start with a ball of groundbait and loose fed pellet thereafter. A skimmer came after 5 minutes followed by another then I hooked a carp that threw the hook after a minute or so, at which point the heavens opened and it properly rained for the next three hours during which I managed to lose another two carp (one definitely foul hooked as a large scale came back on the hook) and had a couple more skimmers. With 2 hours of the six hour match left I came back on the 5m line that I had religiously been feeding with a few 6mm pellets, I had a carp of 4lb on banded 6mm pellet but lost another, possibly foul hooked. Six pots of groundbait were introduced on the left margin, the right margin had been fed with corn and hemp from the start every ten minutes or so. Bunches of maggots were attacked by hordes of small perch, paste produced a skimmer and then a carp. I was swapping back from left to right and in the end I managed to get a few late carp on JPZ red 8mm pellets. All in all it was not a brilliant day my silver net weighed 10-00 and the carp went 27-08 for a 37-08 total and fifth in section. My kit was soaked but had started to dry out and at least we were able to set up and pack up in the dry! I gathered all the result sheets and went to my hotel to sort the money and results. Simmo had a better day with 148-12 and a fourth in section.
Day 2 arrives with sunshine and I have the last peg in the bag – 106 on lake 7, Simmo was on peg 5 on lake 1. Getting to my peg I was met with the typical strip lake appearance, but I had room on my right as Herbie (our Leader) was next peg in the corner on peg 109. Herbie said I had drawn poorly yesterday and today the lake should get better further down to the left!
Following various discussions I overheard at the draw plus what Herbie had said I decided to dispense with the feeder and put a 10g lead on with a three foot 0.18mm hook-length to a 16, intending to fish a banded 8mm pellet. I also set up two margin rigs as previously, a 5m rig and two 11m rigs, one with a bulk and two droppers the other with the shot spread over the last three feet in the 6 feet of water.
Just as the day before I began at 5m but this time the float went and a carp of 4lb went into the net! No further bites so out on to the bomb, catapulting 6mm out to about 20m with an 8mm Red Robin on the band. No response so changed to a 6mm in the band and almost had the rod pulled from my hand with a savage take from another 4lber. The next hour and a bit I had one more but lost 3, two were my own fault as after I got snapped I tied another hook on and obviously didn’t tighten it down properly as the next fish was on then the hook unraveled. Lo and behold I made the same mistake again! Angry with myself I eventually netted the extra one and changed to the pole at 11m where the 6mm pellet and groundbait had got some fish interested in fact you had to keep feeding 3-4 pellets to keep them interested or the skimmers came back. I had a few more carp but lost a couple as they seem to fight harder than most carp I have encountered with even 3lb fish heading to the far bank at a rate of knots! Fortunately the larger fish tended to be slower but harder to move up in the water.
The match went on similar lines with me swapping between the 11m and 5m lines until with two hours to go I tried the margins, again finding most success with JPZ red 8mm. I lost only two more, one a ghostie of about 6lb when the net was half way over him and the hook pulled but I couldn’t scoop him up fast enough.
At the all out I had clicked my carp nets as 41lb and 46lb with my silvers as 1lb, the weigh in showed, 45lb, 47-04 and 1-04 for a 93-08 total, so close to the magical ton but those lost fish proved costly. That put me 4th in the section while Simmo finished with 152-04 for third. That put us 13th out of the 18 pairs. An interesting two days and one thing that I took away was the fact that my feeder rod that coped with double figure carp at Larford was undergunned for the Glebe, but for the odd times I fish there I will just cope with what I have!