Charity Day - Barston Lakes, Solihull, 2nd April 2017
Barston Lakes is one place I had on the list to visit due to the great skimmer and bream fishing available so I was quick to put my name down.
Shedders had kindly offered to drive me to Barston and it was a very early start for the both of us, Dave picking me up from London at 5:45am planning to arrive at the fishery (Golf Course) for our breakfast around 8am.
Enroute I mentioned the new rod license much to Dave's horror! He'd forgotten to get one which was soon sorted on the gov.uk website. So if you've forgotten to get yours, follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/when-you-need-a-licence
Nigel called for the draw which was well organised including getting our ticket for dinner after the match. Peg 49 would be my spot for the day which was in the area that most people fancied! Neighbour for the day was Darren Millis.
It was a bit of a trek to Peg 49 from the car park. The day was overcast which looked like it would be perfect weather for the skimmers and bream. My match plan was to feed 3 pole lines and fish the feeder. The set-up was as follows.
- 13 metres and 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock
- 7 metre line straight ahead
- Open ended feeder rod clipped up at 35 metres
- Method feeder rod also clipped up at 35 metres
Bait was simple dead maggots, casters, some live maggots and worm. Groundbait was a mix between sweet F1 and crushed expander.
Back to the match plan, feeding the two long pole lines, one negative and one positive. So 4 balls of groundbait went in on the right hand line and 1 ball on the left line. 2 balls of groundbait were fed on the short pole line. I'd leave these lines for at least 2 hours and fish the feeder until then.
I started on the open ended feeder, a large one to get some bait out, so rather than sitting waiting for a bite I was recasting every 5 minutes. 40 minutes past before either myself or Darren got any signs. Finally the tip nudged round and the first skimmer was in the net.
Darren was fishing the method feeder and he was getting good wrap rounds, I was only getting small pulls.
Another hour goes by with a few more fish. It was the same for every one in our section. We did hear rumours that those in the lower numbered pegs were getting carp. The sun came out and while it was a beautiful day it didn't help the fishing.
I switched to the method feeder but couldn't connect with any fish, time to try the pole lines.
First put in on the right hand line and a skimmer straight away... things where looking up I thought which would be misplaced trust! 30 minutes later, I'd tried all the pole lines with nothing else.
Back on the feeder and a few more fish. I even dropped the feeder shorter to try and find fish but this didn't work either.
The final 30 minutes it was sh*t or bust time. Un-clipping the method feeder rod and casting it to the middle of the lake while I packed up the rest of the gear. Darren was also doing the same. The all-out was called and no more fish. It certainly proved to be a hard day.
8 fish for 5lb 8oz for 4th in section with two DNW's. Darren next door did have better quality fish and double my weight but it was a tough day all round.
I lost a pound to Shedders who had a couple of pound more than me too...
On the way back from Barston both Dave and I were disappointed with the match. We simply expected too much and therefore both felt we'd overfed our initial lines. The sunny weather probably hampered a good days fishing for skimmers.
The early numbered pegs that weren't fancied at the draw were the ones that produced the most carp with 40lb winning the event.
Be aware if you fish at Barston, you are on a public foot path, so shipping the pole back and forth you have to be aware of runners, cyclists and walkers.
Thanks to Dave for all the driving!
Still, we were fishing and raising money for charity at the same time! Thanks for organising Terry and good luck to Kevin!