Rookery Waters, Pidley, Cambridgeshire, 3rd December 2011

Mark at Peg 8 on Magpie
Up to Cambridge for the weekend to resume the mini competition between Mark and myself.  Venue choice today was Rookery Waters in Pidley and Magpie lake, Mark's home waters.

The temperature reading was 12 degrees C, winter conditions calling for winter tactics, so we would have to be patient for bites.

Mark selected peg 8 which had a short cast to the island and reeds in front of him.

I chose Peg 9 to his left and had the left edge of the island and an over hanging tree and plenty of open deeper water, also the sun was on this side, so a little warming from the sun couldn't harm.  I felt that the fish would be in the deeper water given the temperature.

It was also slightly tactical as the peg to the right of Mark, peg 7, didn't have much of a feature to cast to.  My peg would eliminate Mark having a larger area to cast too... it is a competition after all ;-)

The Set-up
My home for the day, Peg 9
Both of us were set up in no time at all.  The rods already prepared.  I took my bomb rod out and also a rod set up with the method.  I positioned my box at an angle so the rod would be straight in front of me.  I clipped up for a cast short of the over hanging tree and towards the island.

Bait for the day consisted of sweetcorn, hookable paste, 10mm pellets, worms and dead red maggots.  It turned out I would only use the sweetcorn and hookable paste.

I had made up around twenty PVA tea-bags containing pellets.  This would last me for the day.

The All-In
We had both decided to fish for 5 hours, a typical match scenario, so being ready at 9:15am we would fish until 2:15pm.

My first cast was to the over hanging tree.  I had hair rigged two pieces of corn and attached a PVA tea bag of pellets.  Settling the rod, I pinged out about five 8mm pellets across my line every 5 minutes looking for line bites.

Mark's first cast didn't go as well, straight into the reeds and a lost method feeder... it wouldn't be the first one he lost either ;-(

After about 45 minutes my tip flew round and the first carp was in the net.  Re-baiting again double corn and a tea-bag I cast a little further from the island checking the deeper water, still pinging out pellets across the line.

The next bite was a lot quick, 15 minutes and another carp in the net.  Mark was still to catch, his home water, favourite peg and he was a couple of fish down already.  Next cast went into the deeper water again and the result half an hour later was a lovely common carp, around 4lb.

Mark finally had his first fish and I think had already lost another method feeder...

After 3 hours I had a fish a chuck, the bites were coming between 15-45 minutes.  I was determined to wait for my bites.  I lost 3 fish, one to the hook length breaking and then spent an hour without a bite, meantime Mark was landing fish, was this to be his comeback?

The Results
We called time and weighed our nets.  Mark put 17lb of Carp and Barbel on the scale, I had 27lb of Carp and one Barbel.  I was over the moon with the win especially as last time Mark had fished Peg 8 he had over 140lb of fish.  Mark shook my hand congratulating me on the win and the point went to me, putting me 5 points in the lead.

Mark ended up loosing a couple of fish in the reeds and also 6 method feeders.  We had a good laugh about it.

Conclusion
Winter fishing, patience is a virtue, waiting for the bites proved the right tactic on the day. While not action packed, the fish in Magpie at Rookery Waters certainly put up a good fight.

27lb and the win
17lb for Mark

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