Saturday, 10 August 2013

Messingham Sands Fire Service Match - Island Pond


Overview
Island pond is to me the jewel in the crown at Messingham Sands. It is renowned for its large and hard fighting Carp, but it is also stuffed to the rafters with a massive variety of silver fish. 
Shaun, the bailiff has given us a good selection of pegs for the match today, with any of them capable of winning the match. As I am doing the draw, I have to do with what’s last in the bag. I am certainly not disappointed when I am left peg 17, as this is an area I have had some good success and big weights in the past.

On arrival at the peg I have a pretty much flat calm peg, as the wind is right off my back. There are plenty of fish cruising about on the top; I am just praying they feed! This peg has plenty of features and open water. I have an island to my left which starts around 15 meters from the bank and is roughly 40 meters long. There is a bed of lilly pads about 15 meters down the island. In front of me I have a good area of open water, and to my right I have another island, which is a 40 meter cast. Down the sides I have over hanging trees and some reeds, which will hopefully hold plenty of silver fish and later some Carp. 

The Plan 
My main approach is going to involve the bomb and the pellet waggler. My plan is to fish the pellet waggler into the open water slightly beyond the lilly pads and fish the bomb to the end of the island to my right. I am going to set up a pole line, for targeting the silver fish down the side and a separate rig for the Carp later in the session.  

Bait 
This is about as simple as it comes, fishery 11mm pellets for both the bomb and the pellet waggler, and Fishery 4mm expanders for down the edge. I have also mixed up some ground bait for feeding late on. I am going to do this just down one side loose through a pole pot as I do not want to scare off the silver fish; which can help you build a good weight when the carp are not feeding.  I also have a couple of tins of sweet corn for an alternative feed and hookbait 

Rigs 
The Bomb
  • Rod – 10 ft Browning Force Bomb
  • Reel – Browning Backfire
  • Mainline – 0.18 Browning Cenex Feeder line
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook – Guru QM1 size 14 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band
  • Bomb – 14 gram square lead which is free running
 
The Pellet Waggler #1
  • Rod – 11ft Browning Commercial King Power Pellet Waggler
  • Reel – Browning Xitan HM reel
  • Mainline – 0.18 Browning Cenex Match Line
  • Hooklength – 0.16 Browning Hybrid power
  • Hook – size 14 B911 extra strong tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float – 4.5gram Drennan Crystal pellet waggler attached via a waggler connector
 
Pellet Waggler #2 
  • Rod – Browning Commercial King Medium Pellet Waggler
  • Reel – Browning Xitan HM reel
  • Mainline – 0.18 Browning Cenex Match Line
  • Hooklength – 0.16 Browning Hybrid power
  • Hook – size 14 B911 extra strong tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band
  • Float – 3 gram Drennan Crystal waggler attached directly on to a mainline twisted loop between Gummy stops, 2 either side. A snap link swivel is attached to the end of the twisted loop so hook lengths can be changed easily

Silvers Pole Rig 
  • Pole – Browning Xtreme Margin
  • Elastic – Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Mainline – 0.14 Browning Hybrid power
  • Hooklength – 0.12 Browning Hybrid power
  • Hook – Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float – Shep special 4x12 Chianti Style
  • Shotting – A bulk of no10 Stotz 

Carp Pole Rig
  • Pole – Browning Xtreme Margin
  • Elastic – Solid 22
  • Mainline – 0.16 straight through
  • Hook – Size 14 Kamasan B911
  • Float – Shep special edge Diamond 4x14
  • Shotting – Bulk no8 Stotz 

The Session 
I decided because I could see plenty of fish cruising around, to start on the pellet waggler. I started feeding 2 or 3 11mm pellets every 20 seconds and keep casting regularly. It was around 15 minutes before I hooked in to my first fish, a Carp around the 5lb mark. After safely netting the fish I spent 15 more minutes on the waggler without a bite. A switch to the Bomb line produced 5 Carp in 5 casts. I had been feeding this line regularly whilst feeding the pellet waggler line. The signs were getting stronger on the pellet waggler line that the fish were beginning to feed confidently, as swirls after feeding became common place. So a change back to the pellet waggler produced a bite almost instantly, resulting in a Carp around 7 lb.

For some reason I could hardly get a bite, even though they were feeding well. The next fish I managed to hook felt monstrous and it charged straight through the lilies snapping me off; this is where my fortunes changed. Instead of retackling up the power rod immediately, I picked up the medium rod I re-fed and cast out, the float buried instantly and I was in again, another nice Carp. This happened another 3 times in the next 3 casts. I had a couple of casts without a bite, then the cast after another fish.
I found the secret was to get the float to make the perfect plop, just like the pellet, the 3 gram float was perfect for this, and this almost guaranteed a bite. If the float made any other noise than the plop, there was no point of leaving the float in place as no bite materialized. These are extremely wise fish!

I decided to rest the wag line and have a go back on the bomb, resulting in more fish. This gave me the incentive to spend the rest of the session switching between the 2 lines, which ensured the action remained fast and furious. As the all out sounded, I can honestly say I was knackered, these fish are so fit and strong it is like they are on steroids!!!
The scales arrived and I was over the moon when the total reached a personnel match best of 201 lb 13 oz. This gave me the match win by close to 100 lb. What a day!