On Thursday, Gary Pook and I went to Molands Pool for a practice, we went with the idea of trying out a few different ground bait mixes and fishing the waggler. When I woke up in the morning the thermometer on the van said minus 4 and it wasn't until I was half way up the M5, I thought its going to be frozen and I haven't put my icebreaker in!!!
Sure enough, after doing battle with the M42 rush hour, when we arrived at Packington Somers, all the lakes were frozen, a quick phone call to Nigel at Barston and that was frozen as well. We thought about going home but then realised that we were in time to fish the open on Molands, so we both chucked our £20 in the hat and had a draw.
I drew peg 54, one of the deeper pegs on the lake, so I was happy, Pooky drew 48, another decent peg. The fishery lent me an icebreaker each and I set about clearing my peg.
By the time I had cleared my peg, the sun was out and the air temperature had risen to 8 degrees above, thats a 12 degree rise in a matter of a few hours, I have never seen such a big increase in such a short space of time.
I potted 6 balls of groundbait and lean with 250ml of joker in it at 13m and fed some neat joker at top 6 and then went for a walk, this is a habit I have got into from fishing through the ice at Gold Valley, let the peg settle and wait until some one catches a fish before I start fishing.
After an hour I started fishing, only a couple of tiny fish had been caught in the match at that point, and I couldn't get a bite. After 2 hours I got my first bite a tiny roach, followed by a tiny perch, but I was going nowhere. Gary Pook, to my right, had started to get a few decent fish, and the match organiser on 45 was starting to catch small F1s on pellet.
Very slowly, my peg was starting to get better as I got the odd bite from small roach and perch. After 3 hours Alan Scothorne and Lee Kerry came walking around the lake, they had been practicing on another lake and couldn't get a bite, whilst they were watching me I caught my first decent skimmer.
For the last 2 hours, I caught the odd 1lb skimmer and a few decent roach, by now the lake was thawing fast and the fish were starting to feed and most people were catching a few. By regularly topping up, I was able to keep the odd fish coming until the end and last drop in I caught a bonus tench of about a pound, I weighed in 19lb 14oz which was enough to win. It was only a small match but turned out to be great fun and saved what was potentially a disastrous days practice.
Lets hope I can catch the same at the weekend.