Decoy Lakes, Whittlesey, 17th February 2013

As the 2012 Mark vs Mark Championship had been decided we both fancied a session to kick off the 2013 Championship at a venue we had not fished for some time, Decoy Lakes, one which we kept promising ourselves to re-visit but never got around to fishing there.  Our last session was with Bob Nudd MBE back in 2011.

Overnight had seen a snap frost which may affect the fishing.  Decoy Lakes opens at 9am, so at least I wasn't up at 5am or 6am as per the previous days...  Decoy is a busy place, even on a Sunday with quite a few matches takiing place.  Arriving at the fishing we spoke to the owner and we selected to re-fish the Elm strip lake.  As we drove down to Elm, there were to other guys fishing it, so we decided to re-fish the same pegs that we fished with Bob Nudd, so I had Peg 6 and Mark, Peg 7.

The Set-up
Elm's depth is pretty uniform at around 5 foot 6 inches and it does have a healthy stock of F1's, Carp, Barbel and skimmers.  So I set-up the pole and small method feeder rod.

The Pole lines would be aligned to the pegs on the far bank in front of me, so the normal 10 o'clock, 2o'clock swim positions at around 12 metres.  The same rig, once plumbed up serviced both positions due to the very even lake bed.  Finally, the rig also doubled up as my near shelf rig on top two and two sections.

The small method rod was clipped up for the far bank, but I intended to cast around with this if the pole lines weren't producing.

Bait, Dead red maggots, maggots, sweetcorn, expander pellets and a small mix of micro pellets with a little groundbait for the method feeder.

The All-in
Winter weather and a cautious approach was adopted and I split my options by feeding the righthand swim with a little more bait and the lefthand swim via the frenzee soft pot.

I would top up the righthand swim with around 20 dead red's, couple of grains of sweetcorn and around 15 pellets every hour.

Starting on my cautious swim with double dead red, the float buried after the third put in and a nice F1 came to the net.  This would be the first and last fish caught on the pole!

Mark had netted a small roach and a skimmer from his pole line.  The wind started to get up and due to the open nature of Elm it was proving difficult to hold the pole, so I opted to switch to the method feeder which I dropped beyond the pole line.  After 20 minutes the tip flew round very aggressively and another F1 was netted.

Bait for the method was a hair rigged piece of sweetcorn to act as a target bait for the fish.  My micro pellets were dyed red and their was a small amount of groundbait in with the micro's as a further tempter.

Around 1pm I had netted 3 carp and 1 skimmer, one carp came off at the net and Mark was also on the method feeder matching my total.  I wasn't to get another fish for the rest of the match, despite keeping my pole lines fed and trying them occasionally.

Mark's match just got better and his next fish was a lovely common carp weighing 6lb.  I went to grab a picture of it for the blog after we had weighed it, but the fish flipped and Mark accidentally dropped the landing net and the fish's bid for freedom had worked...

The Result
I took a battering, Mark had around 15lb of fish on his clicker and I had 6lb.  So the first point of the Mark vs Mark championship went to Mr Keightley!

It was a cold day and the wind was making it feel colder.  We had heard that the match results for the day hadn't been the best.  The guys opposite us only had a few carp between them so I think overall we didn't do too badly.  Mark made the most of the open water to his left and managed to find a small group of fish.  We enjoyed the day none-the-less.

Next major event for me is the week long SconeZone Stafford Moor Silvers with the Match Fishing Scene lads... bring it on! 


Jamie said…
nice blog mate, will be following from now on
Mark Lewis said…
Thanks Jamie, following your blog too, love the Thailand trip fish and the yearly round up.

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