We’d had a chat prior to meeting up and decided to fish the lake totally differently. Westerly is a very well stocked lake so we were both confident that our chosen tactic would produce the goods and so it proved.
Bob’s approach was to target roach on the pole.
I kicked off the day feeding maggots at around 8 metres and fishing 3 inches over depth. After a good start the bites dried up and I was tearing my hair out until I realised the obvious had happened. The roach were up in the water intercepting the feed, something I wasn't really expecting on a cold day interrupted by hail stones. A switch to a tiny dibber taking just 3 Styls and set 2 feet deep transformed my session. From then on it was a bite every put-in, usually on the drop. Roach fishing doesn't get much better than this.
Brian knows Westerly reasonably well and opted to fish prawns in the margin.
Basically I was fishing a small 2BB waggler set slightly over depth with a small tell-tale shot about 6 inches from the hook. I deliberately set up well back from the water’s edge so I could underhand swing out the bait, then let it drift in to settle a metre or so off the rod end. Free bait was kept to a minimum, just a couple of chopped prawn with each cast. It didn’t take long for my first bite, a typical Westerly roach about ½ lb. Quality roach and the odd bream came regularly over the next two hours, then the float sailed away and something much larger set off across the lake, too big to be a perch I suspected a carp had taken a liking to my prawn and so it proved. A while later I managed to net a lovely linear, not massive by modern carp standards but great fun on the light gear. Time to rest the swim for a bit and put the kettle on. Back on the rod, the afternoon continued in the same vein, with more quality roach, but an absence of perch, until once again, as earlier in the day my strike was met by an obviously better fish. At first I thought it was a small carp or an F1 but as it surfaced in front of me I could see it was the species I was hoping for. It’s always nice when a plan comes together, I had been singing Westerly’s praises to Bob as we planned the trip and as usual Westerly had not disappointed.
So we could do a few pics, we were fishing adjacent pegs no more than 10 metres apart, but our approaches had been totally different, but that can be the magic of fishing, often there is no “right way”, it’s more a case of picking what you’re happy with. We’d both had a great day catching on our own terms, just a relaxing, successful days fishing, we’re already talking about our next trip.