Kingsland Reservoir, Coates, 19th March 2013

My final day in Cambridge with Mark and the venue for today's competition was to be Decoy Lakes in Whittlesey but we changed our mind while grabbing sandwiches from the local supermarket, so drove to Kingsland Reservoir in Coates, just round the corner from Decoy Lake.  The last time we visited Kingsland was back in February 2012.

We had a wander round the small carp lake and decided to fish two middle swims giving us both an aerator as a fish holding area and as it was a Tuesday we had the entire lake to ourselves.

The Set-Up
We decided that today's match would be slightly different and that it would be a rod only affair, no poles.  so I set up the following rods:
  • 10' Bomb Rod with in-line Method Feeder
  • 10' Bomb Rod with a running bomb rig
  • 13' Waggler Rod
The All-In
The aerator was the obvious target for the first cast, Mark also had the same idea so out went a small method feeder to the right of the target.  My plan was to leave this out for an hour or until a bite, pinging two 8mm pellets over the line every 10 minutes looking for signs of fish.

It was pretty cold and the first hour passed without a bite, so I changed the 8mm pellet hookbait to a single dead read hoping to attract some attention from the skimmer population.  I also decided to cast away from the aerator this time.  Meantime Mark hadn't had a fish or a bite either!

Again, this method feeder would be left for an hour, luckily I didn't have to wait that long as after 15 minutes the tip ripped round resulting in a lovely Mirror Carp of around 5lb.  Next cast I changed the hookbait to 4 dead red maggots hoping for another carp, but the third hour passed without another bite.

I had been priming a waggler swim a couple of rod lengths out by spraying some maggots and 6mm pellets, so it was time to try and bag a fish from here.  Meantime another angler had relocated from the silvers lake to the corner of the lake we were fishing and he had started to catch carp very close in on the pole.  Seeing this I changed my tactics and baited the waggler with a single grain of corn and fished this out for around 30 minutes.  As per usual as most anglers can attest to I took my eye off the float for a split second and then my rod tip started to nod... striking I missed the fish and a big bow wave took off from my swim!

Going into our last hour, Mark still hadn't had a bite and I had decided to put the method feeder out into my close margin swim to try and tempt another fish.  The guy in the corner had taken about 5 carp so they were obviously close in.  A trick that was mentioned in Match Fishing Magazine about fishing a margin swim was to actually start to pack up, making the noise of an angler leaving which hopefully brings the carp in closer feeling confident about not getting hooked and looking for those left overs that invariably get thrown in at the end of a match.

5 minutes later the tip rips round and a lovely ghost carp gave me a few moments of worry before it was safely netted.

The Result
My two fish for 9lb took the win and I've now managed to level the championship, 2 all with Mark.


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