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!