Fishing Report – Grafham Saturday 25th November 2017

I fished in the Army/RAF v Grafham Locals bank fishing match at Grafham on Saturday, 25th November and decided to put to the test the advice Martin Webster gave us in his talk after the 2017 AGM.  I set up with a Buzzer (midge-tip) line, an 18ft leader with white Snakelet on the point, killer shrimp on the middle dropper and the red cheeked Diawl Bach pattern, that we tied at the Led Workshop on 23 November, on the top dropper.  The forecast said there would be a strong westerly with a bit of north in it and the general advice was that most of the fish were on the north shore and fairly close in.  So I started on the north shore in the G-buoy area but the conditions were horrible and far too many anglers in the area – and there was definitely more south than north in the strong westerly.  It didn’t take me long to decide to move to the south shore.  I started along Plummers but no action for me or the other bank anglers or the boat anglers in the area.  I intended going to The Seat but the small parking area there was full so I went back to the main car park and fished from the shore at the west end of the car park, just in front of the 4 wooden benches, starting there just after midday totally on my own and no big waves to contend with.  It was bliss compared with the north shore.

I waded out thigh deep and hooked up on my second cast, which turned out to be a double hook up and I ended up with the fish on the Snakelet breaking me off at the middle dropper knot.  But I landed the fish on the red cheeked Diawl Bach, a 3lb 9oz beauty with a perfect spade tail (pictured).  As the wind was picking up a bit I decided to simplify things and just tied another white Snakelet on where I had been broken off, leaving me with a 12ft leader and the one dropper.  I hooked and lost a few fish but had my 6 fish limit in the bag by 1.45pm.  Interestingly, the times I hooked up, using a very slow roly-poly retrieve, were when the wind dropped enough for me to get a long line straight out and the fish taking as soon as I started the retrieve.  So none of them were anywhere close in and, apart from my first fish, they all took the white Snakelet.  My total bag weight was 15lb 2 oz which put me in 3rd place overall.

It was my lucky day.  Choosing somewhere where it was comfortable to fish in the strong wind – and there being fish there as well.  Sometimes it does pay to follow your instincts and ignore the prevailing local advice.  And many thanks to Martin Webster for putting me on the right track!