When we left Bristol the temperature on the van was saying minus 7, all the way to Gold we were wondering if it was going to be frozen, I was glad I brought some bloodworm and joker, but I never had my ice breaker. As we got nearer to Gold the temperature gradually got warmer, by the time we arrived it was only minus 3, normally when we travel to Gold the temperature gets colder, but not today.

£30 pools, at least there will be a decent payout, I drew peg 43 on 'Gold' lake, the same peg I drew on wednesday, on wednesday I had William for company on the next peg 41, today he was on next peg 45, now whats the chances of that, If there is anyone you don't want on the the next peg at Gold its William, twice in 4 days, I must have upset someone.

When the whistle went, I cupped in 3 balls of groundbait with micros in them, the cost cutter match the day before was won in this area skimmers, so this had to be a good option, I then cast to the rope with a double 8mm pellet on a band and a pellet cone. While I was waiting for a bite I kept pinging 8mm pellets as far as I could, the local black headed gull population was doing their best to get a free meal, every time they heard the noise of the catapult they were looking and waiting for the splash of the pellets, what I had to do was wait until they had gone and then feed 3 or 4 times as quickly as possible, before they came back again.

The first 45 minutes I spent fishing to the rope and never had a sign of a bite but as soon as I dropped onto my loose fed line I started to catch straight away, so did Will, the action was good with Will and myself going fish for fish, after 2 hours I had 8 carp and Will had 7. I tried a couple of quick chucks on the waggler and a couple of quick looks on the pole when I had a quiet spell, but without a sign of a fish, the rest seemed to help as when I returned to the straight lead I caught a fish straight away. After 3 hours I had 10 carp, all on the bomb and double 8mm pellet, and William  had 9, I was feeding 6 8mm pellets every 10 minutes, until everything went quiet.

My travelling partner for the day was Lewis Walker, he's an up and coming 18 year old who comes in the shop. he had drawn peg 117 on Syndicate, one of the most fancied pegs on the venue, and he had had 7 carp casting a pellet cone to the rope with 8mm punched meat for bait. I ad drawn the best area on Gold and Lewis had drawn the best area of Syndicate, its better to be lucky than good!!

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My next 2 hours went by very slowly, I never had another bite on the tip, so I tried the pole again, still no bites, William kept having a look on the pole and in the last half hour he started to get a couple of bites, he caught 2 carp and 3 skimmers, while I sat there wondering had I fed the pole line 'wrong'. I had a chat with Will at the end, he had fed the pole line similar to me, except the peg to his right has a sunken island within long pole range, thats peg 46, and he caught his fish towards this feature.

At the weigh in I had 10 carp for 73lb and William had 11 carp and 3 skimmers for 91lb. William won the match and I was third. Lewis won his section with 56lb, a great effort for his first visit to the venue.

In the past I have had problems getting micros to stick in a pellet cone, due to the fact that some batches of micros are less sticky than others, this depends on the type of white fish meal used by the manufacturers. White fish meal is the cheapest form of fish meal available and which fish is used depends on the time of year, but one of the things I have noticed is that the 'whiter' the pellet, the less sticky they are, and more likely to float. If you find a good sticky batch, buy them all, you won't regret it. If you have a batch that is hard to stick together, try adding a small amount of fish meal, that can often work or try moulding the pellets in your hand, as if you were making paste, before you push them into the cone, there is nothing more embarrassing than casting out a cone that disintegrates in mid air, that usually gets a few 'laughs' around the lake.

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Gold Valley run a lot of matches throughout the week and have a very active Facebook page, so its very easy to keep up to date with the match results.