Sensas Challenge at Gold Valley Lakes

I was really looking forward to this round, Gold Valley at this time of the year can be brilliant bloodworm fishing, and as nobody had used bloodworm and joker on the venue since last winter I decided to go and have a practice with Des on the wednesday before.

We fish on the far bank of Syndicate lake, where you can fish out the back of the van, not that we are lazy or anything, and tried a number of different baits and techniques in an effort to help us for the coming Saturday. To cut a long story short we both had a great day and caught over 40lb each of roach and skimmers and the odd perch, bloodworm was the best hookbait and joker in groundbait was the best feed.

The weather stayed mild right up until friday and we were both expecting the venue to fish really well, then the air temperature dropped rapidly on friday and all that practice was wasted, the sudden short, sharp drop in temperature had to put the fish off and the easterly winds was a real 'killer'.

On the Saturday morning, I feared the worst and remembered the last time I fished a sensas challenge match at Gold Valley, the weather that day was bitterly cold, and most people struggled to get a bite. When I drew I found myself only a few pegs away from where I had practiced, but knew it would be a lot different. Instead of setting up loads of pole rigs, I only set up 2 and then set up 2 waggler rods, if I was going to catch on the pole it would be very late in the day. When the match started I fed a short pole line, in the hope of a perch and a 13m pole line for roach and skimmers, but guessed that I would be spending most of my match on the waggler, so I fed a dozen small balls of fishmeal with joker and dead reds in them, at 30m and spent the early part of the match watching my waggler and keeping an eye on those around me who chose to fish the pole. Will Raison, 10 pegs to my left, started on the pole and had a good run of roach, he caught 12 in the first hour then never had another bite, but everyone else who used the pole sat there motionless.

After an hour I had my first bite on the waggler and put a nice skimmer in the net, while most people on the lake were still dry, as the day went on I kept getting the odd bite on the waggler and around the lake more people were trying it and some were catching the odd skimmers. Twice I picked up the pole and had a quick look, but never had a bite. I spent nearly the whole match on the waggler and caught a total of 7 skimmers and lost 2, probably foul hooked, the undertow meant it was hard to keep a perfectly still bait and the hookbait would gently trip from right to left and occasionally drag across the back of a feeding skimmer. The 7 skimmers I caught weighed 8lb 6oz and I won my section. Des was not so lucky, he drew the far end of gold lake, canal side, and never had a bite, only one person caught a fish in his section, he was not happy.

Gold Valley on a cold day

The Dorking team finished second on the day, half a point behind Delcac, which means we are still leading the league, 1 point ahead of Starlets Green. Gold Valley must be a jinx venue for this league, the couple of times we have had a round here the weather has really spoilt things.

Sunday, I was back at Gold Valley again, for the next round of the Rushmoor League, there was a £1100 up for grabs for one lucky angler, this year they have started a silver fish pool so if you are not one of the fortunate few to draw on a load of carp, there is something to fish for. I drew on Middle lake, in the middle of the far bank, not far from where the Sensas match was won the day before. I started the match hoping I would catch a load of carp, but this lake you need to be one end or the other to catch them, I couldnt be farther from either end, anyway after 3 hours with only 2 carp to show for my efforts and one end peg having 15 carp and the other on 8, I decided to fish for silvers with bloodworm and joker, in those 2 hours I caught 20lb 4oz of skimmers, to win the Silver fish pool. Miles Levy won the big pay day with 101lb and Jon Parkes was second with 68lb, it was another bitterly cold day but most people had a few fish to show for their efforts.