Gold Valley - Open Match, 29nd January 2012


Permanent Peg 24 - Home for the day...

After enjoying the previous weeks match at Gold Valley and having another weekend spare I decided to enter another one of their weekly open matches.

The match was a big one with 62 competitors taking part.  The lakes would be the Bungalow, Syndicate and Gold Lake.

I turned up at 8am, the temperature according to the car was a low 2 degrees C.  I grabbed some bait from the tackle shop, a pint of casters and some soft hookers.

Grabbing a cup of tea I bumped into Barry Parker and his mates, so sat with them to get some more information on the venue.  All tips and tricks help, thanks Barry!

The draw came around and I reached into the cup and pulled out permanent peg 24 on Gold Lake which was almost opposite where I fished last the previous weeks open match

The Setup
Bomb Rod with tea-bagged 6mm pellets & 8mm pellet or 10mm Boilie on the hook , cast 3 turns from the rope
Method Rod with groundbait for casting around the swim
Pole line at 7 metres, bottom of the slope for silvers

Bait for the day would be fishery pellet, sweetcorn, worm, krilled maggot, caster and red/white maggots.

The All-In
I was set up with 10 minutes to spare.  There was very little wind on the water.  I kicked off the pole line by potted in a small ball of groundbait, with some caster, krilled maggot, a few grains of corn and some some hookers.  I would top this line up every hour until needed.

First cast was the bomb rod baited with a boile and tea-bag of crushed.  Due to the cold weather I decided to leave this in for up to an hour for a bite, watching for any line bites and indications of fish in the area... after an hour, the tip had barely moved.

I recast to the rope with the method rod baited with 4 krilled red maggots.  After a further 30 minutes, a couple of taps but no real bites... looks like the day was going to be a tough one!

Recasting the method rod but this time 3/4 the way across, my first fish came, a healthy 2lb skimmer.  This was the first and last fish on the method.

Meantime, Barry Parker, a regular at Gold Valley had started to set up his pole, looks like Barry was having a tough day too.  My neighbours for the day both had a couple of skimmers and one lost carp at the net.

After 4 hours and one fish I went on the pole line which also remained biteless.  Soft hooker pellet, corn and krilled maggot were not working.  I baited up with double white maggot and after a couple of minutes the float buried and a 3lb skimmer was soon in the net.

The guy to my left was catching steadily on the pole line and he would eventually take the section win with 12lb 8oz.

The Result
Myself and Danny Smith (on my right) where the scales and board for our section.  A couple of guys in the section had packed up and gone home.  I weighed in 5lb, Danny weighed in 6lb and the rest of the section had between 1lb 8oz and 12lb 8oz.  I was middle of the section.

Conclusion
The silvers line had produced the section win and infact only silvers were caught by all anglers in the section.  The lake fished very tough, so lesson learnt was I should I fished for silvers for the majority of the time, feeding little and only after a fish.

The winner of the match came from the Syndicate lake, where that angler had caught 18 carp for just over 100lb.

Still it was another day on the bank, the weather for the next couple of weeks looks like it is going to be very cold, so with birthday celebrations and visitors to London, the next outing will be the Stafford Moor festival with the MatchFishing Scene crew at the end of February.

Gold Valley Open Matches - why are they successful?
A recent article in Match Fishing Magazine discusses how Open Matches at Gold Valley have great attendance during the winter period.  The article can be found here.

John Raison runs a tight ship on the Open Matches, the clubhouse has great facilities, organisation for the matches is spot on, John clearly explains the rules to all, all competitors take the responsibility for the weigh in and recording of the weights (aka the "Boards"). 

Another great reason to attend these matches are the following prizes.  As mentioned in the Match Fishing Magazine article, there is a prize for both total weight (normally dominated by the large carp at Gold Valley) and also a Silver fish weight prize.  There is also a mystery weight which helps to encourgage all anglers to weigh in, finally there is a biggest fish prize.

These "extra" chances at winning a brown envelope beyond a section win or placing first, second or third really get the post match banter going.  I encourage other fisheries to think about a similar open match structure.

At the end of the day, where else can you fish along side friendly, helpful local anglers and other more famous anglers like Will Raison, Steve Saunders and Paul Holland to mention a couple?

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