FAS - Stockbridge Pond, 14th October 2018

It's been sometime since I've managed to get out on the bank and today was the next match in my diary. Fishing with Farnham Angling Society (FAS) at Stockbridge Pond.

The weather had been pretty bad after Storm Calum did it's thing on the country and of course it had rained overnight introducing cold water to the stream fed pond. So on arrival the water was pretty gin clear.

Fourteen of us fishing today and the draw was quickly underway after the usual discussion about which pegs to use.

The Draw 
Peg 29 would be my spot for the day over the far bank and also happened to be the end peg!

Set-Up
Feeder to target the centre of the lake and two pole lines at 13 metres. I did contemplate setting up the waggler and in hindsight maybe I should have. Bait consisted of maggots, caster, small tub of worms, sweetcorn, special 'G' Dark groundbait.

All-In
I decided on a double negative approach today given the rain last night and the water clarity, so I cupped in a single ball of groundbait laced with some casters on my right hand pole line. The other pole line was fed with some caster, maggot and 6mm pellets.

The feeder would be cast short of the central plant cages, using a small 3 hole feeder with single maggot on the hook. No loose offerings going through the feeder and pinging a couple of 6mm pellets over the line for attraction. Quick casts for the first hour, every 2-3 minutes. I was expecting to get some indications and I did, however it was a couple of large line bites. What was lurking out in the middle?

After 90 minutes of trying to find out nothing at all to show for the time. The rest of the lake was also fishing tough as I'd not seen any other anglers catch either. So a quick look on the pole lines to see if any fish had settled. The right hand line after lifting and dropping registered nothing at all with the same on the left hand line. I pinged some casters on the left line at regular intervals to try and get some action but nothing at all.

The time slipped by with very little being caught however the gentleman opposite me had hooked something better as elastic was streaming out of his pole. He finally netted a large crucian carp.

The weather turned on us all and the heavens opened and down came the rain soaking everything around us however, as the rain subsided it was clear that there were so small fish topping. I decided to change my rig to a more spread out shotting pattern rather than the bulk with two droppers I'd set up. Of course this is where I thought about getting the waggler out and fishing a light float in a couple of feet of water, hindsight is such a wonderful thing!

I also decided to put a bit of chopped worm in on the right hand line and fish a worm head on the hook. This was the turning point of the match for me. First put in and the float sailed away and on the strike elastic started to pour out.... that'll be on I thought! After about 5 minutes I eventually netted a lovely dark backed crucian carp. A great fish to start the match off even if I only had an hour left of it!

Working the float and nothing... was this just a lucky fish? A few of the other lads had decided on the "force the swim" route and were balling in groundbait to try and get some fish. I was tempted to do this on my other swim but felt that there were more fish to be had from the chopped worm line, so pinged over some casters and repositioned the rig. It settled and then buried with a roach next in the net. This was the pattern I fished in the final hour and managed to put another 15 roach in the keepnet before the all out was called.

Result 
5lb 13oz to take the match win! I was over the moon to be honest.

Conclusion
With the next weight being 3lb 2oz from the other side of the lake and plenty of DNW's on the sheet it was clear that the venue was fishing hard. The negative approach was a difficult one to follow and not be tempted into balling the swim to provoke a response, but it was the one to follow. Next match with FAS is this weekend at Lodge Pond, a new venue to me.

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