One of the main reasons and pleasures with the Marsh Angling Club is that they enjoy fishing new lakes (to us). Although we have been to Monks Lakes many times we have never fished Lake 1. We have been on Lake 4 and 2 many times.It was my time to drive the 220 mile round trip to the other side of Maidstone, so an early pick up was required for Mick. We also had my new barrow in attendance so packing the car with two lots of kit would require a change to the norm. Still it all went in and we made good time to Monks lakes arriving nice and early for breakfasts and teas.
We really did not have a clue on lake and how to approach it. I had a message from Mike M who pointed out that 6mm feeding 6mm would get a few fish. I also took some 4mm for feeding on a different line and some 8mms that have worked well on the complex in the past. I also had some expanders and cubed a couple of tins of meat. The dead reds were forgotten and were still sat in the freezer.
We had 3 banks on the lake, both sides of the spit that runs through the lake and pegs 1 -10 on the near bank. At the draw I checked to make sure Mick had drawn and in goes my hand, peg 12. OK so where is the map. It seems I was bottom peg on the spit, the wrong end looking where the wind was blowing. Still it was an end peg and had features down both edges. Mick had drawn peg 14 and with no one on 13 I would be able to see his every move. The barrow was loaded up and made light work of the relatively short trip to the far corner of the lake.
I had been told the lake was around 4ft deep so decided on fishing 5 lines and a shallow rig. I pulled out a 4ft rig and promptly chopped 2ft from it. Oh dear. Changing my plans I settled on a rig to my right at top 6 in the deepest part of the peg. Two rigs for fishing the left hand edge at 9m and 12m. A shallow rig set at a foot and a deep 2ft rig for 14m straight out in front of me. Mick had another foot on all of his deeper rigs.
I started the match fishing and feeding 6mm hard pellet via a toss-pot at 14m, nothing. A look down the edge with a piece of meat hoping to mug a fish before I started feeding produced nothing. Mick had secured a carp on the tip and also saw mud churning up on his inside line and had 2 fish in the first half hour. Clive was setting the pace though on peg 31 fishing down to the platform.It took nearly 2 hours for my first bite from the 9m right hand line on 6mm pellet. A good fish though at around 10lb. Nothing else followed for the next hour, despite changing baits regularly. I felt as if I had lost the plot. Trying to make things happen and forcing the peg when the fish were not there. I was now feeding meat on lines I had been fishing 6mms, fishing 6mms on my meat line and expanders all over the place.
I decided to concentrate on the two left hand margins going in to the last couple of hours. I would feed only via a small toss pot and see what happened. Lo and behold the float dipped and carp number 2 and 3 were in the net from the 12m line. Resting it, I re-fed and went to the 9m line and tried the same thing. Carp 4 and 5 graced the landing net. Back out to 12m and a small skimmer. Mick was now catching well at around 8m fishing meat on the deck. Clive had slowed down but Tony on the next peg was getting a few lumps down the edge late on.
I managed another 4 fish from the left hand side and in hindsight spent too long chasing another double from the right hand swim.
At the all out I felt that I did not do the peg justice, despite the depth. There were just too many options for the angler and unfortunately I tried most of them to no avail. What I should have done was to concentrate on three lines all down the edges and feed it negatively to start with feeling my way. But that's why we go fishing.
1st Mick Wright 84-04
2nd Clive Pritchard 79-00
3rd Tony Roberts 69-00
4th Troy Hillyer 60-08
5th Keith Ashby 51-00
6th Gino Exell 41-04