Cat Rough, Cheshire, 02.02.17. New Venue Challenge
Weather conditions: On the day the temperature was +6, overcast with a strong wind up to 25 mph gusts.
My thoughts for fishing this new venue was to target the Silver Fish as I had a chat to Billy the bailiff who told me about the Skimmer, Bream and Roach present in the lake, so a pole attack would be on the cards, 2 top kits, 11 meters and 8 meters with Chopped worm, Caster and Maggots my natural baits for the day and feeding Hemp and Bait-Tech Pro Natural Ground bait over the top, I also had a backup plan for the Carp of a Maver UFO Method feeder loaded with Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse Pellet and fished with a 6mm Bait-Tech Carp and coarse Pellet on the hook.
Fishing a new venue might be a bit daunting for some but if you do some research and get some info from maybe the owner, bailiff, or social media you are in with a good chance of having a better day instead of just going blind to the venue of choice, contacting Billy he was awash with information from peg selection to what baits I should bring along for the day. Walking over to the lake from the carpark, I could see from my last walk around visit there had been a great deal of work carried out on the bank and the introduction of wooden pegs made the lake look superb. Deciding to fish the right side of the lake from the bottom carpark I was surprised to see how flat calm the lake was as the forecast had given strong winds. I headed to my peg picking open water in front of me and with an island to my right side.
Setting up the pole I decided on two top kits for the day, an 8 meter line and an 11 meter line, the closer line on maggots and the longer line on a mix of chopped worm and also caster. Plumbing up on the short line I found 8 foot of water with a slight slope going out and on the long line I found 10 foot. Rigging up I chose for the day on the 8m line a 0.8 Dino Chi Chi with it having a nice round body and a wire stem if the wind did get up I was confident of it holding in the conditions, and on the 11m line I opted for a Dino Long bream 1.0g Float perfect for fishing over depth and holding bottom, again if the conditions got worse in the day.
Starting off on the long line of 11m out, I had already cupped 3 small balls of Bait-Tech Pro Natural in and giving it 30 minutes to rest. I was shipping long with worm on the hook hoping the worm would get an instant reaction, not a bite, lifted the rig 6 inches dropped and nothing, 45 minutes later and still nothing. I had been feeding my closer line with Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp from the start hoping to draw the fish in and hold them, so I changed to closer line with single maggot and again not a bite, nothing, a further 30 minutes had passed and still not any kind of indication and by this time the wind had kicked in too with me struggling to hold the pole at any kind of length (Bad peg selection). I decided to come off the pole with the wind blowing and try the feeder to see if I could get off the mark by hitting one of the carp instead. First cast I had out for 10 minute, no indication recast to the same area and the tip was round as soon as the feeder hit the bottom, into the net was a lovely looking Common, next cast out and again the feeder hit the bottom and was around, this time a small Mirror Carp had taken the 6mm Pellet, after landing the fish I had to make the choice of staying on the feeder or move a couple of pegs down as the wind was bad by now and I really wanted to try for the silvers too.
Okay new peg, flat calm and to my surprise the same depths on both pole lines, so same attack plan with the ground bait, loose feed and round two was on. Restarting on the chopped worm line my first ship out resulted in my first bite on the pole and a nice Skimmer of around 2lb came to the net, shipped out again on the worm and the same again another decent skimmer of similar size, fired some more hemp with a few caster in, and next put in a nice hand size roach was in the net, with a few more falling to the worm over the next 2o minutes, things looked like they were going to plan after a poor start, then the float went and my elastic was out for all the world to see, Carp on…..it took me a little while to land but never the less another nice common of around 4lb was in my net. Resting the longer line now I was 8m out on the maggot and I was hitting roach one a put in, some nice sized ones too, smaller Roach and Perch followed with a couple of smaller skimmers, feeding little and often on this line I was taking quite a few silvers. Looking around the lake at the far end to my right it was reed fringed and every 10 minutes or so you could see some big carp jumping clear of the water, sitting there for a while it was nice just to take in the venue and the nature that I was surrounded by, Kingfishers buzzing about, Woodpeckers Pecking away, fantastic.
The fishing had slowed down on the pole line after midday but I had managed to land some decent Skimmers along with some decent Roach too, with seeing so many Carp crashing about I was tempted to cast the feeder out to see if I could hit into anymore just so I could gauge the size for a next visit and ready up for them too. Pouring a nice big glug of Bait-Tech The Juice onto my already prepared 2mm pellets, I wanted them to bind together a tad more with casting into deeper water and hold the shape until the feeder was on the bottom. I set myself an hour on the tip as I wanted to carry on with the pole but wanted to rest the two swims also after rebaiting with more ground bait, first cast out nothing so recast and a further 10 minutes passed before the tip was round and another of the bronze colour Common was resting in my net, a further 5 casts resulted in a Carp each cast all on 6mm pellet hook bait.
Billy the bailiff had popped down to see me and it was nice of him to let me use a net for a few hours just to give me and you an idea of the stamp you will expect to catch at cat Rough, we managed to take a few pictures and then billy went but I carried on fishing with the two pole lines for another couple of hours from 14.00 until 16.00 and managed to catch a load more silvers mainly roach on the maggot with a few perch and a couple of small skimmers and on both lines the Carp had moved in also freely taking the worm long or the maggot short, all of a similar size of around 3lb. I worked it out that the silvers would feed not long after introducing a couple of small balls of ground bait and I kept both lines topped up during the second half of the day after the move of pegs every half hour or so, keeping fish coming from both lines.
Its nice fishing a new venue and learning about it, the Silver fish where in perfect condition and the Carp where also of the same stamp. Big thank you to the owner and Billy for the hospitality and letting me use a net for my Blog, I will be back on again very soon and will be looking at doing a Ground bait feeder day for more silvers.