After a heavy frost the night before we arrived to find that Cart Pond had a layer of ice on it. It was quite thick in places and it did not look very feasible to break it sufficiently to get half the anglers on. We had another look at the end of the match and it was still iced all the way round. Therefore we decided that we would put the whole match on Stemps and with 13 anglers (7 of us and 6 from Portsmouth) every usable peg was taken.
Ray Huskisson drew peg 1 which is favoured by most but Ray reckons he never does very well from it particularly in the winter and he predicted that he might well be smelling the barmaids apron in The Holly Tree before the match finished. John Williams was on peg 3 and felt that he might just be doing the same thing. True to their word they departed at around quarter past one, Ray having had three bites, missed two and pulled out of the only fish he hooked, John had caught a few bits and pieces but not enough to keep him interested.
Tim Coombs waited until the very end of the draw and still managed to get peg 15 which he seems to manage to draw every time he visits. This is normally regarded as the best peg on the lake; winter or summer and for whatever style you prefer fishing. Tim had one carp and bits and pieces for a total weight of 7 – 4 – 8 which was enough for first on the day.
Rab Butler drew the deeper end of the lake with peg 10 and put together an all bits catch of 6 – 1 – 0 for second place, Rab did manage to find some of the better roach in his catch.
In third place again in the deeper water on peg 11 Vince Herringshaw had 4 – 6 – 8 including some skimmers, although he started well Vince found that the swim slowed right down after the first couple of hours.
We were assisted when it came to the weigh in by Messer’s Nudds and Tubb who had visited The Lamb at Bilsham for what they said was an excellent roast lunch (must try it sometime) but then felt the need to walk it off, so they came over to Stemps to conduct the weigh in. I’m not sure but I have a sneaky feeling they might have been back for seconds as I’m sure I saw them back in there when I drove past to go home.!
Given the weather conditions the fishing was pretty reasonable with no dry nets – apart from Ray’s but he didn’t fish on to the end.