Gold Valley, Aldershot, 8th October 2011

Gold Lake
Resuming the mini competition between my mate Mark and myself we decided to have a weekend in London and Gold Valley Lakes, home of Will Raison was our first venue for the weekend.  We decided to fish Gold Lake which is the first lake on the right as you enter the fishery.

The lure of large Carp was an exciting prospect and one which wouldn't disappoint either of us.

After a quick walk we decided on pegs next to each other that had a chuck to the main island.  Pegs highlighted on the main picture.
Mark and I had decided that it would be an all out rod and reel attack for the day, so the pole stayed in the holdall.

Mark's Swim, to the point of the island
The Setup
Waggler rod fishing a 6mm banded pellet with a loaded Drennan crystal waggler.  I also set up a method feeder and bomb rod.

Bait for the day consisted of Gold Valley 6mm expander, 6mm and 8mm hard pellet, Meat cut in 8mm cubes, a small amount of Corn and dead red maggots.

Mark and I had decided to fish a 6 hours style of match.  We weighed our landing nets to zero our scales and would quickly unhook the fish caught, weigh them and return them using a clicker to keep a running total.

The Session
A lovely 9lb Common
I started by casting the method feeder with groundbait and 4 dead red maggots short of the island and pinging out four to five 6mm pellets mid way every 2 minutes.

I was first to catch, a lovely 5lb mirror carp soon came to the net.  The bites were tip right round, no messing around today.  Re-casting the method feeder I soon had the second carp in the net.

A couple of guys on the two pegs down from Mark where fishing waggler and were hooking up on a very regular intervals.  Interestingly they were feeding pellets at a semi-regular interval, but were not constantly re-casting, rather leaving the waggler out until a bite occurred, they also appeared to be fishing at full depth.  I made a mental note of this and would use it later.

Mark hooked up with an angry carp, the day was looking good!  We were both catching on a regular basis, but my fish were of a bigger stamp than Mark's

My method feeder line died, so I decided to cast closer to the island.  This produced skimmers, decent quality skimmers mind you.  It was clear that the carp were in the deeper water.

I switched to the Bomb Rod fished mid distance over the pellet feed with a banded an 8mm pellet, together with a PVA bag of eight to ten 6mm pellets.  I kept on pinging out pellets over this line.  The first bite took 30 minutes, but the rod was ripped around and another nice carp came to the net.  This line also produced a beautiful cruician carp which was around 1lb 7oz, picture at the end of the blog.

I fished the bomb and pellet for the next couple of hours until I ran out of PVA, bites were taking around 15-20 minutes, but it was worth the wait.  I continued on this line until our 6 hours were up.

Large fish came after the 6 hours...
The Result
After 6 hours I had 53lb on my clicker and also the largest fish at 9lb.  Mark had just over 30lb on his clicker.  So I managed to take the point for the win.

Fished on
It was still early and we had decided to fish on after the mini match and continue to keep a count of the weight.  This appeared to be the turning point for Mark, all of a sudden he started to get a better stamp of fish, weighing 10lb, 11lb, then 13lb... he had soon caught up on the weight.

I decided to give the waggler a go after the pressure of the win was taken off.  It was great to fish the waggler.  The bites definitely didn't occur the moment the float hit the water, with one exception, but they developed after 5 or so minutes.  I connected with a number of carp.  After landing one and unhooking it, the band came off the hook, so I put on a soft hooker, this resulted in a number of bream.

At the end of the day I had 73lb on the clicker and Mark had 72lb on his... I was well behind until...

Personal Best broken again...
I had fed a margin line as the afternoon wore on.  I decided to drop in the method feeder with 4 dead red's.  It was clear that there were fish in the margins as the tip danced around for a few minutes and then wrapped around.  I connected with a lump.  After quite a subdued battle I slipped the net under a 17lb 9oz common carp, well it's tail was hanging over the edge of the 20" landing net.  My best fish of 2012.

Gold Valley, a great fishery and only an hour away, so this could become a regular visit, even in the coming winter!
17lb 9oz Common
Here are some more catch pictures.

Skimmers on soft hooker

1lb 7oz Crucian Carp

Another nice fish for Mark

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