Colin Mitchell, our Sunday blogger.

IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog on this new-look Angler’s Mail website. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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AFTER weeks of suffering with trapped nerves in my back that had curtailed my fishing I decided to stuff more than the turkey over the festive period.

I decided that whatever pain I suffered was better endured on the bank than stuck indoors watching incessant re-runs of films I hate and have been forced to watch countless times.

So first I found myself at Marsh Farm for the Godalming Christmas match and fancied a draw on Richardson’s. Needless to say I drew Harris Lake…

With an hour gone I hadn’t had such much as a delicate enquiry so chucked out the feeder with a worm and after a few minutes had to rub my eyes as it appeared the tip was dancing.

It was only a bite – and the most delicately played tench of the year was in the net. A prize in the bag – fish gets you something off the table in this match!

A roach followed on worm about an hour later, fished at 11.5m metres, the maximum I dared reach with my back (thankfully that’s where I wanted to fish anyway!).

Then I had a bit of a brainwave, doctored my rig, changed the size of worm and nabbed three more tench and another roach for just under 13lb. If the match had gone on another 30 minutes I’d have had a lot more as was just starting to get a few signs.

Needless to say the match was won on Richardson’s, by Phil Morris with 16lb. But my bag was second, so I returned home with a supermarket voucher, a nice big bag of goodies, some drink and (don’t tell the missus) my winnings.

I have to confess that despite my match leanings in the past, that was my one and only competition of 2012. Maybe I should think about getting up very early again at weekend…or maybe not!

My first fish of 2013!!

Anyway, spurred on by that I decided it was time my mate Mike and I paid a return visit to Finch Farm lakes near Maidenhead. It’s a funny looking venue but there are plenty of fish and Lech the bailiff is always welcoming.

Lech will tell you that if you land a goldfish you get three wishes. Well that’s me set up for the year – first drop in I had one and added five more during the day.

Strange? Yes…but it gets even stranger! Second put in I had a dace. I thought it was a washed out roach at first but after close examination I had caught what I first thought.

We both got a mix of gudgeon, roach, perch and a few carp as the day went on, enough bites to make it pleasurable but we could have done with a few more fish.

A nice chub – yes, Finch isn’t your average stillwater.

Then, mid-afternoon, Mike decided to go walkabout and I eventually kicked my festive season-addled brain into gear.

Mike was lumping out nice carp by dropping his bait near the rush close to the bridge that links the main path to the island.

And I decided to pot in around 12 maggots every drop in, lifted my bait around four inches off bottom and started to catch. First fish was a nice mirror, followed by other varieties of carp and then a chub. Yes, a chub! Told you it was a funny fishery!

I know there are good barbel in the water and I have had a catfish there too. Definitely worth a tenner if you are passing.

I’m just off to work out how to “spend” my 18 goldfish wishes. Have a great 2013.


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All Colin Mitchell’s blogs

Check out this week’s Angler’s Mail – a lively start to 2013!