Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Stainforth and Keadby Canal Match

A couple of weeks ago I got the offer to join the Army lads on their next match on the stainy and Keadby Canal. Seen as though I love fishing the Canal, it took me all of 2 seconds to make my mind up;
what would be more interesting was the fact that we could use bloodworm and joker. This is something I have never really done before, so I was looking forward to the challenge.

Match day arrived and I was really looking forward to another cracking day on the Stainy.
After a cracking breakfast at the Delves Cafe it was time for the draw. I drew out peg 161, which I was highly delighted with, as I had drawn the same peg a few weeks ago. I had a cracking days fishing then, and was hoping for the same again today. The only thing that could put a bit of a dampener on things could be the weather as it is meant to be pants today, with strong winds and showers predicted. I think everybody was relieved when we arrived at the canal to discover the wind right off our backs and it wasn't as bad as predicted "yet!"

After a short walk, I arrived at my peg, fortunately for me 161 is the shortest walk from where we park the cars . As I was getting my gear into place I saw a large pike break the surface close to the far bank.; in my eyes, where there are pike, there are plenty of fish. Well hopefully any way.

My battle plan
I decided on a three pronged attack for today's match, firstly a bloodworm line at 7 - 8 meters. I am expecting to catch small fish on this line, so the quicker I can catch them the better. The short distance certainly will help with that. The second line I plan to fish is at 13 meters. I am hoping to target the slightly bigger fish on this line, so I am going to use maggots and casters. The third line is again going to be fished at a short distance, but at a 2 o'clock angle. I am going to feed hemp and casters by hand on this line, with the hope of catching decent roach near to the end of the match. I had some good fish doing this last time on this peg.

Bloodworm Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Browning Cenex solid No4
  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Kamasan B511 size 20
  • Float - Scotthorne 1  0.5gram
  • Shotting - An olivette bulk with 2 droppers

Hemp and Caster Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Pink Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Kamasan B520 size 20
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.5gram
  • Shotting - An olivette bulk with 2 droppers

13 Meter Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Pink Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Kamasan B511 size 20
  • Float - Tubertini Serie Pro 1 gram
  • Shotting - An olivette bulk with 2 droppers

The Session
I start the match by cupping in 4 balls of groundbait packed with joker on the short line, and 4 balls packed with Joker and dead red maggots and casters on the long line. I make sure the groundbait balls are tightly packed, as on plumbing up I noticed a fair bit of tow on the water from left to right. I decide to start on the long line with a live maggot, hoping to tempt a better fish quickly.

 Its takes around 15 minutes to get the first bite, which coincides with the tow stopping. A pristine roach is soon landed and in the net. I continue on this line for a further 15 minutes, but the bites are few and far between. I switch to the short line with a bloodworm on the hook; this gives me the instant response I am looking for, as the float doesn't even have time to settle before it buries. As expected the fish isn't big, but its another fish in the net.

The bloodworm is working a treat as I am now getting a bite every drop in, but the fish are small. In a bid to try and tempt a bigger fish I try the long line again. I am not disappointed as a chunky Roach is soon in the net. I am soon back on the bloodworm line as bites are too sporadic on the long line.

The first drop back in on the bloodworm line offers a nice surprise, a decent Skimmer, which is a welcome sight. To my amazement the next 2 drop ins also produce 2 decent sized Skimmers. I decide to top up the swim with a joker packed ball of ground bait, hoping to keep the Skimmers in the swim. Unfortunately this doesn't happen, but it triggers off  plenty of small Roach with the odd small Perch thrown in.

I try the caster and hemp line; which I have been feeding by hand for the last hour, but this doesn't produce a thing, which is disappointing as this line worked really well in the last match.
I spend the rest of the match on the bloodworm line, catching small Roach and Perch. No more Skimmers show, much to my disappointment .
The scales arrive and I weigh in 4 kilos 100 grams Approximately 9 lbs. This is not enough to get me in the frame, but I have had a lovely days fishing yet again on the Stainy.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Lindholme Lakes Tuesday Open Match - Bonsai Lake

After a second place on Sunday on Oasis Lake with 44lb 12, I decided to try and go one better today on Bonsai,  "well fingers crossed anyway". The lake has been fishing consistently well, even though the temperatures have rapidly declined lately.
After a cup of tea and a lovely bacon and sausage sandwich in the on site cafe, it was time for the draw. Peg 35 was the peg to grace my hand; this is a peg I have not drawn before. On arrival at my peg I was highly delighted to find it was packed with features. It offers an island at a full 16 meters, along with plenty of open water and a reed covered margin to my left. There is also a gap between the islands to my right, which is slightly beyond pole reach.

My plan of attack

  • My first thoughts were to target the island, but after plumbing up along the full length of it, I didn't feel that the depth of water was quite deep enough. On average it must have only been 2 feet deep, so I removed a section of pole and again plumbed up along the length of the island. This offered me around 3 1/2 feet of water, which I felt was a much better depth to target. What was fortunate was the bottom was completely uniform, so everywhere I targeted with the rig it was the same depth. Its always a Brucey bonus when you can use the same rig for multiple swims!
  • The second area I planned to target was gap between the islands to my right. I plan to swap between the Bomb and the standard waggler My thoughts behind this are, the bomb gives me a static bait and the waggler gives me a slow falling bait. this gives me the chance to cover a lot of water and depths.
  • The third area was a reed bed 11 meters to my left, which has a depth of around 3 feet tight to it. As the temperature is cold and the water close in is quite clear, 3 feet of water should  give me the best chance of catching down the edge.


  • For the pole line I plan to swap between 2 and 4 mm pellets on the hook and feed fishery micros through a pole mounted sprinkle pot. I also have some corn as an alternative hook bait.
  • For the bomb and waggler line, my plan is to use 6 mm hard pellet and feed minimal amounts of fishery 6 mm pellets via a catapult.
  • On the margin line I am going to catapult small amounts of 4 mm fishery feed pellets on a regular basis, starting half way through the match.

Pole Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Pink Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.12 (3.70 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 (2.0 lb) Browning Cenex
  • Hook - size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - Scotthorne 1  0.3 gram
  • Shotting - A small bulk with 2 no 10 droppers

Margin Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.14 (5.60 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.12 (3.70 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.3 gram
  • Shotting - A bulk of no 8 Stotz set just above the hook length

Bomb Rig

  • Rod - Browning Commercial King 8 ft Wand F1
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 620
  • Reel line - 0.18 (6.10lb) Cenex Feeda line
  • Hook length - 0.12 (3.70 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Bomb - 7 gram square bomb

Waggler Rig

  • Rod - Browning Force 11 ft Pellet Waggler
  • Reel - Browning Xitan HM
  • Reel line -  0.18 (6.0 lb) Browning Cenex Sinking Match Line
  • Hook length - 0.12 (3.70 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Waggler - Browning Peacock Waggler no 2  3BB

The Session
I started the match on the bomb, casting to the right hand corner of the island. I feed 2 x 6 mm pellets every 2 minutes with a hope to attract fish, but not over feed them. For the next 30 minutes I continue to cast around the island and into the gap between the islands, but I don't even get a liner. "It is not looking promising". A switch to the waggler changes this as I foul hook and land a small F1. This is the only action this line offers.  To try and get something going I decide to swap to the pole, I start with a 4 mm pellet on the hook. I put a pinch of micros into the pot and ship out to 14 meters. I have lined up with the left hand corner of the island to ensure the small amounts of bait I am feeding stay in the same area. Its a good 20 minutes before I get a proper bite, but the wait is worth it as a decent F1 is soon in the net. On the next drop in I put a few extra micros in the pot, so that I can start prepping a second line directly in front of me. It takes around 10 minutes before I get another proper bite, this time its a Skimmer around 8 oz.

The next 3 hours are spent swapping between lines and hook baits, this is definitely doing me some good as every body that I can see seems to be struggling. I have had around 8 F1s and a fair few Skimmers. As the last hour ticks away, the guy in the next peg has started catching regularly, where as my bites have ground to a halt.
I decide to give the bomb another go but this time I am going to target the open water to my left. I am going to change bait as well to a bit of popped up bread. 5 minutes after casting out the rod tip pulls steadily round, a lift of the rod see's it bend round further. A small but extremely welcome Mirror Carp is soon netted. A few more casts see no further action.
The scales arrive, and on lifting my net out I'm surprised and pleased with what I have caught. I weigh in 27lb 1 oz which gives me enough for 3rd in the match. I am even more surprised when the guy in the next peg weighs in 18 lb. I personally thought he had beaten me easily. Looks can sometimes be deceiving!