Thursday, 23 February 2017

Lindholme Lakes Open Match

Before I start, I would like to apologise for not doing a blog post for a while, hopefully this will be the start of many to come.

Over the past few months I have been getting out fairly regularly, mainly fishing the open and winter league matches at Lindholme Lakes. I also managed to fish a few of the Silverfish, natural baits league matches. This was a great concept and some of the countries best anglers took part in it; hopefully next year I will be able to commit to the matches properly as this year I could'nt due to work shifts.
I have had some really good results in this time with a couple of wins and a few frames, hopefully this will continue into the coming year.

Today I ventured to Lindholme again for the Tuesday Open Match which was held on Bonsai. As normal I was at the venue bright and early (I do this to avoid the horrendous Hull traffic!); the lake looked great and the fish seemed to be moving about all over the lake. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would fish as good as it looked.
Draw time came and I drew out peg 72, which I certainly wasn't disappointed with. On arrival at the peg I found I had some good company on the pegs near me with Matty Pillay on peg 70 and Paul Wright on 68.

For those who are not familiar with Bonsai, peg 72 is on the end arm that runs down the middle of the lake. It has an island directly in front of the peg around 15 meters away with some reed beds and some cut outs along the length of it. To the right of the island is a gap then another island starts, this doesn't have reeds in the water but it does have sedges lining its edges. So the peg has plenty of options and with this in mind I come up with my plan.

The Plan
I came up with a 3 pronged attack; firstly the island directly in front of me, I planned to find a few areas the same depth along the face of it so that I could switch between them if bites became iffy.
The second area I planned to target was the island to my right, this was more of a back up plan if the island in front of me turned biteless.
The third line was down the edge to my right.

Bait
This was pretty simple, I had some bread and 4 mm expanders and fishery micros for the islands and some maggots for down the edge.

Rigs
Island rig 1
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Fluorocarbon 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Tez Naulls JH 04 0.4g 
  • Shotting - Strung bulk plus 2 droppers 
Island rig 2 Dobbing rig 
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.2g
  • Shotting - Shirt button pattern
Far Island Rig
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Fluorocarbon
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - Tez Naulls JH 4 0.4g
  • Shotting - A spread bulk plus 2 droppers
Edge Rig
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Fluorocarbon
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - Drennan AS3 0.3g
  • Shotting - Stung out pattern

The Session
I started the match on the Dobbing Rig with and 8mm punched disc of bread on the hook. The idea behind this was to test the swim and see if the fish wanted a single hookbait or if they wanted feeding. I searched the length of the island, dropping the rig close to the reedy cover but I never had a single sign; this told me that the fish wanted a bit of feed.
I switched to the pellet rig, baited up with a 4 mm expander and filled the pole mounted pot with around 20 micros. I shipped the pole into position, tapped the micros in and then lowered the pellet in nice and slowly. After a couple of lifts and drops the float dipped, a quick lift and I was into my first fish, which turned out to be a small Mirror carp around 2 lb. The first hour was quite productive and I was catching pretty steadily, but bites started to decline, so in a bid to keep the bites coming I tried another couple of areas down the island but to no avail. I went back on to the line which had been productive and the rest had done the swim good as I got another quick run of fish. Unfortunately this didn't last and bites dried up completely.


I decided to switch to the other island, which was a full 16 meter reach, but this was worthwhile as I was soon back catching again and the F1's were a slightly bigger stamp. I managed to keep fish coming on this line until around and hour and a half to go before the bites dried up on this line too.
I did try the edge which I had been continuously feeding most the day with maggots, but I only picked up 3 small Roach.


I needed to make something happen and fast as people around me had started catching pretty well so I put a full kinder pot of micros on each line. This worked a treat as I soon started catching again. The line directly in front of me was fantastic towards the end of the match and I was catching a small F1 every drop in. At the end of the match I was gutted it was over as I was having a lot of fun!
The scales arrived and I weighed in 63lb 2oz which was enough to give me the match win, happy days :-)









Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Aston Park Fisheries

As most of you are aware by my previous posts, I tend to venture mainly to Lindholme Lakes and Messingham Sands, but for a change I decided to go and fish the open at Aston Park fisheries near Sheffield. I had only been once before and that was to do a feature for Pole Fishing Magazine a month or so previous; I had such a fantastic day catching tons of Ide, Carp and F1s, I thought I needed to get back and fish a match.

Today's match was to be on Butts Lake (the same lake as I did the feature on) this is a canal style lake with a comfortable 13 meters to the far side with 50 well spaced pegs down a central arm.
After a chat to the owner Alex it was draw time. I pulled out peg 32, which I was immediately told is a decent area. 
On arrival at my peg it looked spot on with a sedge covered far bank and plenty of open water. With this in mind I decided on my plan. 

The Plan 
I opted for 4 pronged approach, very similar to how I had approached the feature. Firstly the far bank line; I spent a fair amount of time plumbing up as the lake bed was quite uneven. I did manage to find a couple of different spots that were identical in depth. These were in front of the sedges and not in the little cut outs between them, as I felt the 18 inches in front of them would be better than the 10 inches in the cut out as it was quite sunny. The second line I opted for was a shallow line at a top 2 plus 2 distance. On the day I did the feature this line was my main line and produced a lot of fish. My third line was a deck rig for the shallow rig line, just in case the fish dropped down. The 4th and final line was to the left hand platform, as I had a good view of it down the sedge lined near bank. 

Bait 
For the far bank line I had decided on a meat approach, with mushy meat for feed and 6 mm cubes for the hook. The mushy meat was made by passing the meat through a 6 mm cutter 3 times and then adding a small amount of water and a handful of hemp. I planned to feed this via a pole mounted kinder pot. For the shallow line I had 4 pints of casters which I planned to feed continuously by hand throughout the day. For the margins I mixed some groundbait and planned to switch between meat and corn on the hook. 

Rigs 

Far Bank Rig 
Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
Float - Scotthorne AS3 0.2g 
Shotting - Spread bulk set just above the hook length  

Shallow Rig 
Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hooklengths - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed tied with a Knotless knot with a hairigged mini band 
Float - 0.2g Drennan Crystal Dibber
Shotting - Bulk set just above the hooklength 

Deck Rig 
Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7
Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911
Float - F1 Slim wire 0.3g 
Shotting - A spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Edge Rig 
Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7
Mainline - 0.16 straight through 
Hook - size 14 Kamasan B911 
Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.2g 
Shotting - Bulk Set 6" from the hook 

The Session
I started the session on the long pole to the far bank, as I hoped this would give me the best chance of starting quickly and also allowing me time to build my other swims. I filled the pole mounted pot with some of the mushy meat, baited the hook with a single cube and shipped the pole into position. I tapped the mush fro the pot, then lowered the rig slowly over the top. A bite came after a few seconds and with a steady stream of elastic hugging its way down the far bank I was in to a decent Carp. After a few seconds the fish was under control and soon netted, a carp of around 11/2 pound was a good start. 

The next 30 minutes or so saw a steady stream of small Ide grace the net. It was after around 35 minutes I started seeing signs on the short line, so I switched to the shallow rig and I started catching good size Ide at a much faster rate. The Ide on the short line were much bigger than on the far bank line, happy days! 
To be fair, I spent the majority of the match on this line; it was only when I had a lul in action, then I would rest it for a while and go on the far bank rig. As soon as signs on the short line reappeared then I was back on the short line like a shot. 
I had a few looks on the margin lines but to no avail. 
At the end of the match I was really pleased with how things had gone as I managed to keep fish going in the net all day. At the weigh in i totalled 76lb 8oz which was enough to give me the match win. I will definitely be paying another visit to Aston Park soon 😄





Friday, 16 September 2016

Messingham Sands - Hollywood Lake

The Hollywood Lake at Messingham Sands is one of my favourite lakes and one I have had some great results on in the past. For those who have never been to Messingham Sands, the Hollywood lake is a canal style lake approximately 450 meters long and 30 meters wide with 30 pegs, pegged on a single bank. The Lake is stocked to the rafters with Carp, F1's, Crucians, Skimmers and Tench.

Draw time arrived and as I ended up holding the bag I was one of the last to draw. I wasn't disappointed when peg 10 graced my hand when I did manage to draw though; it's not a peg I have drawn before, but I know it can be a decent area. The middle of the lake is pretty consistent and produces decent results regularly. On arrival at my peg, I discovered a strong wind blowing from right to left straight down the lake. With this in mind I came up with a plan

The Plan
As the wind was quite strong, it was going to dictate how far I could fish on the pole. After some experimenting holding the pole in the wind, I discovered that 11 meters was the distance I could hold comfortably and would be able to present a rig properly. I plumbed my first rig up at at 11 meters and  had a depth of around 7 ft. I expected this line to be my main line of attack. My second line was to be at a top 2 plus 2 distance, on this line I had around 5 ft of water. I was hoping this line would be a good back up for the 11 meter line, especially later in the match.
I also set up a bomb rod for the far bank and a margin line for for my left hand margin.

Image result for browning method competition groundbaitBait
This was as simple as it comes, I had some fishery 6 and 8 mm pellets for both the pole and bomb and some corn and groundbait for the margin.

Rigs:
11 Meter Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed, tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.5g Scotthorne AS1 
  • Shotting - Strung bulk set just above the hooklength 
Top 2 Plus 2 Line 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed, tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Float - 0.3g Scotthorne AS1 
  • Shotting - A strung bulk plus 2 droppers 
Margin Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Margin Mauler
  • Elastic - Orange 20 plus Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.20 straight through 
  • Hook - Kamasan B911 XS size 14 
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.2g 
  • Shotting - Bulk set 6" above the hook 
Bomb Rod 
  • Rod - 10ft Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Sphere 930 
  • Mainline - 0.20 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Kamasan B911 XS eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged mini band
  • Bomb - 1/3 oz square 
The Session 
I started the session by feeding a quarter pot of 6 mm pellets on the 11 meter line, but, instead of going straight over the top, I decided to start on the bomb to give  the fish time to move in on the pole line.

To keep bait going in over the top I fed 5 or 6, 6 mm  pellets every minute or so; I hoped this would get the fish feeding confidently before I went on it. 10 minutes on the bomb with an 8 mm pellet in the band proved fruitless and 1 tiny Tench was all I could muster. 
A change to the 11 meter line proved a good move as first drop in I hooked and landed a decent Carp. The next put in resembled the first and another decent Carp was soon netted.
The first hour was pretty productive and going into the second hour I had 10 fish in the net. For some reason though the bites started to become iffy, so I switched form a 6 mm pellet in the band to an 8 mm. The impact was immediate as I was soon getting proper bites again and back catching steadily. One thing I did do is change the hook to a 14 as I felt the 16 was getting masked by the bigger pellet resulting in missed bites. The 14 hook soon rectified this and I started hitting most bites.





I decided to give the long line a bit of a rest and give the short line a try. I had been constantly feeding this by hand with 6 mm pellets. I started with an 8 mm in the band staright away on this line due to how positive it was on the long line. Within 30 seconds I was in on this line too, a good lump around 8 lb was soon netted safely. The remainder of the match followed the same script, swapping between lines and constantly putting fish in the net.
By the end of the match I had caught near on 50 Carp and at the weigh in I totaled 178lb 8 oz which gave me a comfortable match win
Happy days



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Friday, 8 July 2016

Browning Humberside Fire Team Update

The last few weeks have been pretty full on fulfilling team commitments. Our Browning Humberside Fire Team has been involved in 2 interservice teams of 4 matches at both The Oaks Lakes in Sessay and Tunnel Barn Farm. On top of these I was also selected to represent the British Fire Service team in a teams of 12 event at Tunnel Barn Farm too.

The Oaks Lakes 
The First match at The Oaks went pretty well on a personal note; I drew out peg 26 on Beech Lake which is one of the prolific new lakes at the venue. It proved to be a difficult day with the fish not really been in feeding mood. Fortunately I had a fair few fish in my corner and I managed to finish 2nd overall in the match with 103lb. Fishing maggots shallow and switching between lines did the business for me.
On the team front we only managed 8th, which was a bit of a disappointment but the conditions and  our draw (apart from mine) didn't help us.

Tunnel barn Farm
Tunnel Barn Farm was the destination for our next team match and after the disappointment of the Oaks, we were hoping for a much better result. We arrived the night before the match, enabling us to have a wander around the fishery to familiarise ourselves and save a long drive in the morning ;-)

When morning came and we arrived at the fishery for the registration; 21 teams were due to take part, so we needed to be on good form to compete. We decided the previous evening that when we had drawn the envelope with the 4 pegs in it, we would just draw the pegs blind instead of placing the anglers as none of us are particularly familiar with what pegs are good and which are not.
I drew out peg 41 on the New Pool and on arrival at the peg I was pretty pleased with how it looked. Firstly the island I had in front of me was pretty close at around 13 meters to the clear bank. Slightly to the right of this was a large reed bed which could be reached with as little as 11 meters of pole. This would hopefully give me the best of both worlds, shallow to the bare bank and deep water near the reeds. Both margins also looked really inviting as they had plenty of reed cover, hopefully this would be enough cover to get the fish to feed confidently.


The Plan
As the peg offered plenty of options, I tried to keep mine to a minimum as to not over complicate things. The main line of attack would be the shallow water tight up to the bare bank area of the island as this offered a really nice depth of around 18 inches. This sort of depth is usually perfect as its shallow, but deep enough to let the fish feed confidently. The second line was to be in front of the reeds on the island, this was quite deep at around 4 1/2 feet and because of the depth here I also set up a shallow rig for the same line.
The third line was a short line at top 2 plus 1 section, I was hoping this line would come into effect as the session went on. I also set up a margin line which covered both sides.

Bait
For the bare bank line I had some worms and casters plus some worm soil mixed up sloppy so it made a lovely little black cloud as it dropped down in the water.
For the reed line I decided to feed loose casters via catapult and initially start shallow and try the deck rig every so often.
For the short line I had some fishery 4 mm pellets for both feeding and the hook. For the margins I had some 6 mm cubes of meat.

Rigs
Bare Bank Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16  Kamasan B911
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.2 gram
  • Shotting - A spread bulk set just above the hooklength. 
Island Reed Deck Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - SM F1 wire 0.3 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
Shallow Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed tied with a knotlees knot with a hairrigged Drennan mini band 
  • Float - Drennan Crystal Dibber 0.2g 
  • Shotting - 3 No10s 
Short Line
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged Drennan micro band. 
  • Float - SM F1 Wire 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
Edge Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread Bulk 

The Session
I started the session on the bare bank line, I baited up with a worm head and filled the pole mounted pot with a small amount of the worm and caster soil slop. I shipped the rig into the desired spot and tipped the slop out and followed this in with the rig. A minute or so went by and after a few lifts and drops the float buried, a quick lift was followed by a steady stream of elastic emitting from pole tip. A decent battle commenced and fortunately I came out the victor by landing a decent sized Common Carp around 3 lb. The next drop in followed the same pattern up until the point of landing the fish, the hook unfortunately pulled out, I was gutted as it was another decent Common Carp.
The next 20 minutes was spent trying to get this swim going, but it never really materialised, I only managed a single F1 in this time.
Time for a change, I switched rigs and tried in front of the island reeds but all I could catch was small silver fish. A try shallow on the same line did produce a couple of F1s, but I was going nowhere fast; I gave this 30 minutes but it just didn't seem right.
In an all out change I decided to try the short line, which I had been steadily feeding with 4 mm pellets right from the off.  I baited up the band with a 4 mm pellet and lowered the rig into position, the float barely had time to settle and I was into a fish, a small F1 soon graced the net. I spent the rest of the match on this line as it produced fish for the rest of the match. I did have a quick look in the margins but they didn't produce either.
At the weigh in I totaled 61 pound which was enough to give me the lake and section win. As a team we manged 5th overall out of 21 teams so we were pretty pleased as it was a huge improvement on the last match.



The British Fire Service Inter-Service National

A week later myself and Ian Ralph (a member of the Browning Humberside Fire Team ) were on our way back to Tunnel Barn Farm to represent the British Fire Service in a teams of 12 match in the Inter-Service National. All of our team arrived a day or two in advance for some practice to get a proper feel for the place. Unfortunately for me the lake I was due to fish was matched up on the practice day so I ended up fishing Canal Lake peg 2, as I was told this was similar to Club Lake with regards the fish you catch. I ended up catching shallow with casters to some flattened reeds on the island.

Match Day
Match day arrived and I drew peg 13 on Club, which is a corner peg and looks extremely 'fishy'; however, I will admit now I had one of them days to forget!
I managed to winkle out 28 pound for 5th in section, which in all honesty I was devastated with, as I thought I'd let the team down.

Redemption
Fortunately a lot of the other anglers had fared better and we managed to win the match as a team quite comfortably. One of our team Andy Hampson won the match individually form guess where?  You guessed it peg 2 on Canal, the peg I practiced on, so the practice session and my tips came in more than useful after all :-)



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Newbridge Lakes

I recently payed a visit to Newbridge Lakes in the village of Burstwick East Yorkshire. For once I was visiting a lake for a pleasure session and not a match "yes you did just read that right" ;-)
For those who have never been to Newbridge before, the venue offers a wide range of fishing opportunities with 3 very different lakes on offer.





















Newbridge Lake
This is the main lake which is 7 acres in size and offers a large Carp fishing as well as some of the best silver fish fishing available.

Harrif Pond
Just over an acre in size and has 2 islands. This is a match style lake with a good stocking of F1s, Carp, Tench and Skimmers.

Skeckling Pond
This has 1 central island and is less stocked compared to the Harrif Pond, which allows the fish to grow to specimen sizes.

I opted to fish the Harrif pond as it looked extremely inviting. After a walk around the lake I opted for a peg that had a few different options. The peg I decided on offered an array of areas to target. Firstly there was the island which was within comfortable casting range for fishing the Hybrid feeder. The peg also offered plenty of open water to target with pole tactics.




The Plan
I opted for 2 pronged approach, firstly targeting the end of the left hand island with a hybrid feeder as this looked to be a great fish holding feature.
The other area I planned to target was a pole line at 13 meters, I had plenty of open water to target so this would be a great back up line for when bites eased on feeder line.

Bait
As this was a pleasure session I kept the bait options down to a minimum. I opted for dampened micro pellets and 4 mm hard pellets for both the feeder and the pole lines, "simples"

Rigs:

Feeder Rod
  • Rod - Browning 10ft Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Sphere 930 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged micro band 
  • Feeder - Guru Hybrid 24 gram

Pole Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.3 gram Drennan AS1 
  • Shotting - Spread Bulk plus 2 droppers 

The Session 
I started the session on the feeder, with a 4 mm hard pellet in the band and micro pellets in the feeder for feed. I  cast the feeder and as I was clipped up it landed perfectly within a foot of the island. Within a minute of the feeder hitting the bottom, the tip pulled round and I was in, this resulted in a Skimmer around a pound in weight soon been netted. The next chuck was a mirror image of the first, but this time it resulted in a lovely F1.


The first hour was pretty relentless as the bites just kept on coming, Carp and F1's were the main species plus I did have a rouge Tench. Just as the second hour commenced a fish took me into a snag, resulting in a big commotion and me getting snapped off. This left me having to re-set up and bites grinding to a halt on the feeder line; I was pretty much forced into swapping over to the pole line, which I had been regularly feeding via a pole mounted kinder pot with micro pellets.
To make sure I kept the feed really accurate I picked a far bank marker to line up with. Another thing I did was whilst the micros were in the pot I gave them a little squeeze so that they came out the pot in a clump. This also helps keep thing nice and accurate, it also get the bait down to the bottom much quicker then feeding them loose. I baited the band with a 4 mm pellet and shipped the pole out into position. I then tapped the clump of micros in the desired spot and then lowered the rig into position. Within seconds of the float settling, I had a bite, a quick lift of the pole resulted in a steady stream of yellow elastic omit from the pole. This resulted in a proper chunk F1 followed quickly by another before the Skimmers moved in. I spent the remainder of the session swapping between the pole and feeder to keep fish gracing the net. I had a fantastic few hours fishing at a lovely venue ending up with around 40 - 50 lb :-)  






Friday, 25 March 2016

Lindholme Lakes Winter League Final Round

To say this weekend has been tiring is an understatement! It all started on Thursday evening when I traveled down to Farnborough for the Big One Show; after a 4 hour drive I arrived at fellow Browning angler, Mick Fordham's house. Mick kindly put me up for the night so we could get an early start setting up the show stand ready for the Saturday morning. After an early start, we finally got the stand and the pole alley finished around 5 o'clock before making our way to the hotel for a well deserved beer and some grub. Saturday was extremely busy at the show; the response to the poles was fantastic and the new 'under development' pole was a major crowd-pleaser.




After the show it was time for me to head home to get ready for the Lindholme Lakes winter league final round, in which I was lying joint second. The morning of the match arrived and even after a tiring weekend I was still up bright eyed and bushy tailed :-) I arrived at the venue and to say it was packed would be an understatement. There must have been a club match on every other lake on the venue apart form the 3 lakes we were due to be on. For this final round, the match was to be spread over Bonsai, Benny's and Oasis and with a great turn out of 78 we would need them all.
One highlight of the morning was chatting to Steve Dyson, I asked him which peg he fancied and he said 29 Bonsai, as he fancied a day fishing the waggler. Draw time arrived and I drew out peg 30 on Bonsai and seen as 29 wasn't in, it was close enough. Steve immediately joked about swapping pegs as he drew Bennys Lake.

I made my way to the peg and on arrival at it I could tell why Steve fancied it now. It had an island around 25 meters away with a tree over hanging into the water. To the right of the tree was a grassy flat bank, with another tree a bit further to the right of that. The peg also offered plenty of open water and a nice looking margin to the right. With this in mind I formulated my plan.



The Plan
My initial thought was to start on the bomb tight to the island and trickle feed it via catapult. I could then switch over to the waggler once the fish had settled. I also planned to set up a couple of pole lines, starting at around 13 meters, this would then give me the option of pushing out further during the day.
The final line was to the margin to my right which looked pretty inviting.

Bait
The bait tray was a relatively simple one revolving mainly around pellets. I had some 4 mm pellets for feeding and fishing on the pole line. I had some 6 mm pellets for the waggler and bomb, I also had a tin of corn, as it has been "the bait" for the majority of the winter months. I also dampened some micro pellets for feeding down the margins with a plan to fish corn over the top.

Rigs:
Bomb Rod
  • Rod - Browning 10 ft Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Sphere 930 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged bait stop 
  • Bomb - 5 gram olivette style bomb 

Waggler Rod 
  • Rod - Browning Force Pellet Waggler  11ft 
  • Reel - Browning Xitan
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Waggler - Drennan Insert Loaded Crystal

Pole Set-Up
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft 
  • Hook - Size 16 kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.3g AS1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Margin Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10 - 12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float - 0.3g AS3 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

The Session 
I started the match on Bomb and corn tight up to the island, my initial plan was to utilise the visual bait and hope for a quick response before starting to feed anything. After a couple of recasts with not a single movement on the tip, I started to introduce 2 x 6 mm pellets every couple of minutes with a hope this would trigger the fish into feeding. 10 minutes went by and I had to change something, so I  switched over to the waggler. 25 minutes had now gone by and I still remained biteless, therefore I decided on a complete change of approach.

The plan was to go on the pole and trickle feed the island with a hope that it would fire up later in the match. I shipped the pole out to 13 meters and 'tip tapped' a few 4 mm pellets over the top then lowered the rig in nice and slowly, trying to mimic the falling pellets. I few minutes later the float dipped, a quick strike and I was in. For some reason though half way back the fish came off. This happened again the next bite, fortunately it was 3rd time lucky as I managed to land a nice chunky F1.


I probably spent a good couple of hours on the pole picking up mainly proper Carp every 10-15 minutes or so. It was a real waiting game and I had to keep the float active, lifting and dropping regularly. Most bites came just after the float resettled. For some reason bites on the pole ground to a halt, so trying to waste no time I switched to the waggler and fortunately never looked back as I started catching on this straight away and at a decent rate. 

One mistake I did make, but managed to get away with it was starting to up the feed. As soon as I realised the bites had deteriorated I cut the feed back to an absolute minimum and this soon had them lining up again. Towards the end of the match I had them coming almost every cast, The only thing that was slowing me down was getting the odd cast in the over hanging tree on the island and sometimes having to re-rig up; it was like a waggler graveyard near the island at the end of the match, but I had to be in it to win it! :-) 

At the end of the match I wondered if I had done enough to win the section, Ryan Bennet in the peg to my left had caught steadily all day so it was going to be tight. The weigh sling arrived at his peg first and he weighed in 82lb 4oz. 
It definitely was going to be tight,  but fortunately I managed to weigh in 94lb 3 oz, which gave me the section win I really needed. This gave me 6 section wins and a second that would give me 8 points to be counted for the final result.
I managed to finish second overall in the league behind a deserved winner Ryan Lidguard, who finish with 7 section wins and 7 points, well done Ryan :-) 

Top 8

1
Ryan Lidguard 
7 points
2
Me
8 points
3
Les Marshall    
9 points dropping 2
4
Ben Fisk          
9 points dropping 3
5
Chris Reilly     
9 points dropping 4
6
Andy Bailey   
11 points dropping 2
7
Nick Speed     
11 points dropping 3
8
Paul Wright    
11 points dropping 4

I would like to thank Lindholme Lakes for running a fantastic winter league and I for one am looking forward to the next one :-) 


Friday, 12 February 2016

Lindholme Winter League Round 8, Laurels Lake

Today saw me at Lindholme lakes for round 8 of the Lindholme Lakes winter league. To keep you up to date, so far I have had 4 section wins, a second, a forth and a missed round. The league is run over 11 matches with the best 7 results counting and the 4 worst been dropped.
Today's match was split over 2 lakes, Bonsai and Laurels. In truth I wasn't really that bothered which lake I drew as the main aim in these winter league matches is to win your section and gain the 1 point; if you come in the main frame (top 3 or 4), it's a "brucey bonus!".

At the draw I pulled out peg 50 on Laurels, which I wasn't disappointed with. The peg is situated on the right hand side of  the last arm on the left hand side of the lake (looking at the lake from the main car park). 
On arrival at my peg I discovered that I had the wind off my back, and as the wind was quite bad this was just what I needed. Another thing that went in my favour was having the bay to myself as the pegs opposite had been left out. With this in mind I came up with a plan. 

The Plan 
My initial thoughts were to target a couple of lines in the open water, one at a 10 o'clock angle and the other directly in front of me. I planned to start at 13 meters and push out to 14.5 meters and 16 if required. 
My third line was to be tight to the flat bank to the right hand side, my plan was to target different areas with dobbing tactics.



My final pole line was to be at 15 meters if front of the over hanging tree from the flat bank to my right. I planned to fish a meter or so away from the bank in the deep water. 
I also planned to fish the bomb 3/4 of the way across the bay. 

Bait 
For all but one of the pole lines I planned to fish 4 mm expander pellet on the hook and tip tap dampened micros over the top via a pole mounted kinder pot.
For the pole line that I planned to fish along tight to the flat bank, bread was to be my bait of choice.
On the bomb, I planned to fish and feed corn.

Rigs
Pole Rigs 

  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 hollow
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - 0.3g Steve Musitano F1 Slim 
  • Shotting - A spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
I used the same rig on the 2 open water lines as these where the same depth and a separate version of the same rig on the tree rig as this depth was quite a bit different from the other lines.

The Bomb Rod 

  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged bait stop.
  • Bomb - Inline 6 gram olivette style Bomb 

The Session 
I started the session on the pole at 13 meters directly in front of me, I tip tapped a few micros from the pole mounted pot and then lowered the rig slowly into place. With no indications after a few minutes I moved the rig to the to the 10 o'clock line and repeated the initial process; again the float remained motionless.


After a bit of looking around it was pretty apparent it was the same for everyone, so I persevered switching between these 2 lines. During this time I had been firing a couple of grains of corn every 2 minutes via catapult onto the bomb line. As the pole lines hadn't produced a single movement I decided to give the bomb a few chucks. After a couple of minutes the tip flew round and I was into my first fish, which resulted in a good sized F1 soon been netted. The second cast resulted in a proper Carp around 5lb, again I had to wait for the bite for approximately 5 minutes. Had I sussed it? The simple answer was no, as these were the only 2 bites I could muster. 

















The Fish That Got Away!
In a bid to make something happen I reached for the dobbing rig, I baited up with  2 8mm bread discs squeezed slightly together. (I find this fluffs up lovely after a 30 seconds in the water.) Within seconds of lowering the rig in close to the flat bank the float disappeared and I was into my 3rd fish which was a decent F1, but unfortunately the hook pulled out right in front the net. 

With 2 hours gone I was really struggling, so in a bid to make something happen I decided to up the feed on the bomb line to 4 grains of corn every minute, I also opted to try my back-up tree line. I wasn't optimistic but what choice did I have! 
I shipped the rig into position and tip tapped a few pellets in and lowered the rig slowly over the top. 30 seconds later the float dipped I lifted and it was fish on. A lovely chunky F1 was the result. The next 5 drops in all resulted in F1s been netted. Bites then dried up so I decided to feed the peg with around 50 micros and have a go on the bomb whilst the bait settled. This had the desired affect as a minute after casting the bomb out the tip pulled round, resulting in another F1; I had 5 more casts and these also resulted in more f1s. 

Final Results
The rest of the match was spent alternating between the 2 swims which kept odd fish coming the the net. 
At the end of the match I was really pleased with how things had gone and was hoping for another section win. At the scales I weighed in 43lb 14oz which was enough for the section (which i was over the moon about!!!)
I now have 5 section wins, a second and a 4th which puts me joint top of the league with Ryan Lidgard, who also has 5 section wins. 
With 3 rounds left its all to fish for :-)