We were away, although not that far for the Committee Cup. We fished on Hammer Pond (the match lake) at Mill Farm Bury. Although I have heard reports of the fishery this was the first time I had ever seen it let alone fished it. I think that was also the case for most of those that turned up. We understood that the water was primarily crucian carp, silver bream, tench, roach and perch with fish from an ounce or so up to perhaps 4lb for the bigger tench.
After the foul weather of Saturday which put a couple of the those that booked in off, Sunday dawned bright and sunny and not too cold. Absolutely perfect weather for a bit of early winter fishing although we wondered whether the cold water going into the lake from the rain over the previous 48 hours would put the fish off completely.
We were given pegs 1 – 16 to choose from and not knowing any better we just worked off from peg 1. Tim Nudds drew peg 8 and opposite him on the other bank was one of his regular customers fishing with his son. They fish the lake quite often and were fishing for the big perch which to our surprise they said went to somewhere around 4lb. They later demonstrated this by landing a fish of around 3lb. Keith Hughes who is a skilled perch loser demonstrated his skill again by losing a specimen of around 3lb at the net – hard lines Keith.
We were also visited by the EA checking licenses and it is a sad reflection of the times to see them wearing kevlar stab proof vests whilst on patrol.
Anyway down to the fishing.
Vince Herringshaw was drawn next to Tim and saw the big perch being landed opposite, together with some nice crucian carp and these somewhat deflected his plan. He was initially going to go for the small fish close in but ended up spending most of the match on larger baits on either the pole or the waggler looking for the bigger fish. He reverted to an inside line for the last 40 minutes or so and did pick up some bits as well as one of the resident silver bream and a good sized roach. These with a few crucians gave him a total of 6-2-0 for third place.
Tim fished similar pole tactics to Vince and did not bother with a waggler. They say it always pays to concentrate on one method and if you are catching to keep going. This proved the case for Tim who just out did Vince with a total of 6 – 9 – 0 for second place.
Steve Simmonds decided to concentrate on an inside line using his favourite method for this type of fishing – the whip. Fishing at 3.5 metres with a single pinkie over regularly loose fed ‘pinches’ of pinkie he managed to keep the small fish going pretty much all through the match and with a mixed net of small gudgeon, perch and roach with the odd better roach and a few skimmer sized silver bream put together a weight of 7 – 0 – 8 for first place.
We all agreed that this was a very pleasant venue to fish and feel that we would have had to have gone a long way to find somewhere that gave us as many bites at this time of year, particularly after the rain the day before and we will certainly look to see if we can fit a match in next season, sometime earlier in the year. Oh and I did take the camera with me which I entrusted to others while I weighed in, result one picture of Vince holding a roach which unfortunately does neither of them justice and a very fetching shot of my feet, thanks chaps!