Yesterday, was our last round of the Surrey winter league at Gold Valley, what a weekend for weather, winter has really arrived now, on the saturday CIPS match at Barston the lake was frozen in places and some of the smaller lakes were solid, yesterday was a bit warmer but not much and those unfortunate enough to draw with the wind in their face didnt find it any warmer.

Gold Valley has been fishing like a lot of commercials recently, patchy. If you are lucky enough to draw the right area you can have a lot of fish in front of you, if your unlucky you might have to wait for the day to warm up before some fish visit you peg.

The draw bag was kind to me, again, and I drew old peg 100 on syndicate, this is always a good area to draw in the winter and I won a rushmoor league match back in January from a peg opposite.

To win at gold you have to catch carp, to win this section you have to catch carp, so my approach was very simple, one method rod and one big waggler rod. I used a 50/50 mix of 2mm pellets and thatchers groundbait wrapped around the method with a 8mm pellet on a banded hair rig, pretty standard gear.

Peg 100 is an end peg and the best place to cast, is to the rope and tight to the bank, a cast of about 55 turns, if you cast to this area of the peg you are casting into shallow water with a hard bottom, the method feeder I used was all scratched on the bottom by the end of the day, if I cast to my right into deeper water it took a lot longer to get a bite.

First cast of the match and I was off to a flyer, the line never had time to sink before a violent bite had me attached to my first carp of the day, the first hour I had 5 carp averaging 7lb, the second hour and 10 mins I had another 6 carp of a similar size before everything went quiet.

When I was catching the carp I was getting line bites inbetween normal bites but everything had now gone quiet, nobody else was catching either, the fish had really shut up for the day. 20 minutes before the end I had one more bite for my 12th fish. While I was sat there not able to get a bite I had to listen to the bankside rumours that Perry Stone was catching on middle lake, which can be very frustrating.

At the all out Perry had 15 fish to my 12, but I knew that the fish on syndicate are usually of a larger average size than on middle, and so it proved as my 12 went 88lb and Perry's went 65lb and we finished 1st and second. Perry is the MD of Yorkshire Bait Co who make an excellent range of baits for the match angler

Gold Valley has had a trim since I was last there, all the bushes have been trimmed back to allow the wind to get at the water and improve the oxygen content, something the fish will really approve of, if you fancy a day out at this top commercial venue check out their website John and Will Raison will always make you feel welcome.

 This picture of me was taken when it was a lot warmer, I did a feature for Angling Times, and fished the peg nearest the club house, it was solid.