This is always a popular day out for everyone working in the trade, kindly put on and sponsored by Daiwa, it was well attended by over 50 tackle dealers from the southern half of the country, the farthest traveller that I knew about was Scott Smith from Brum.

Gold Valley has been fishing its head off lately, Will Raison has caught between 140lb and 196lb in his last 6 matches with countless 100lb+ weights as back ups, it was a day I was really looking forward too.

On the day of the match the weather wasn't too kind, we woke to a light frost on the morning and with a cold north westerly blowing, I didnt expect to see Gold Valley at its best.

At the draw I found myself on new peg 22, about old peg 17, an area of the lake I was happy with and has good recent form. The winning approach to Gold is very simple at this time of the year, 2 rods, a pellet waggler fished as far as you can fire 8mm pellets and a method feeder cast to the rope, so that is all I set up, nice and easy.

I started my match fishing the method to the rope with 2mm pellets wrapped around it and waited, usually you get an instant response if there are some fish in front of you, but not today. After 2 hours I had only got 2 carp and the anglers around me were not doing any better, whilst I could see my Dorking team captain Steve Sanders and the bloke opposite him baggin up, perhaps the cold wind had stopped the carp from venturing up my end of the lake.

As the day went on I could feel the air temperature getting warmer and my hopes of catching was getting better, with 2 hours to go I saw a carp top where I had been feeding my 8mm pellets, so I immediately swapped to the pellet waggler, and on my third cast I had a fish, that was my match sorted, and before the end of the match I had caught 9 more fish for a total weight of 89lb 14oz.

Steve Sanders finished with 86lb and young Matt from Bordon Angling Center finished second with 87lb, all very close, but I had just caught enough.

There was a very good spread of prizes put up by Daiwa and I walked off with a Daiwa Connoisseur G20 and a couple of hundred quid, beats going to work.

It was a great day out for everybody, and a big thanks to John, Will and Ang at Gold for the catering etc and to Robin Morley and his crew, from Daiwa, who kept things running smoothly.

Gold Lake from the clubhouse

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