Friday, 28 March 2014

Westlands Lakes, Catwick

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy away from the bank, but I have managed to venture out a couple of times. Over these sessions the weather has been so up and down, but one thing that certainly hasn't been up and down is the wind, it has been bloody relentless!

I fished both sessions at Westlands Lakes, Catwick, Near Hornsea. As I had not been out for what seemed like an age, ( well a week or so ) I decided to go for a pleasure session. I had in my mind to fish either the Canal Lake or the Island Lake. The choice would be decided on which offered the most comfortable conditions due to the blustery wind. There are 5 lakes available to choose from for both pleasure and match fishing. (click to view lakes)

I finally decided on peg 5 on the Island Lake as the wind was directly behind the peg, which offered
favorable conditions for fishing the pole. The Island Lake has a number of islands down the center of the lake  which are roughly 13 meters away making it perfect for fishing the pole. As it was just a pleasure session, I decided on setting up 1 rig for close to the island. After some careful plumbing up, I found around 18" of water around 1 foot away from the island. I felt this would be a good depth to start at, as it gave me plenty of option to change depths, either shallower or deeper. As close to the island offered a depth as shallow as 6" and well away from the island offered 3 1/2 foot. Bait choice was as simple as it could be, fishery feed micro pellets for feed and expander pellets for the hook.














Rig Set Up

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Pink Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Dino Sedge
  • Shotting - Strung Bulk

The Session
I started the session with a 4mm expander on the hook, and a few softened micros for feed. Feeding was done via a pole mounted pot on a little and often approach. I didn't want to over feed the fish causing them to back off immediately.
The approach worked perfectly as I had a bite almost instantly. An immaculate F1 around 2 lb was soon gracing the net. The second drop in resulted in a proper tussle, The fish made a mad dash for the back of the island, but a bit of continued pressure made it relent and come back into the open water. A Ghosty around the 6lb mark was the culprit.

The day continued to get better and better throughout, and the little and often approach worked a treat all day. I kept alternating the hook baits between 4 and 6 mm soft pellets, which kept the fish coming at a rate of knots. By the end of the session I had caught an estimated 70 lb of F1s and the 1 rogue Ghosty. A cracking days fishing, and just what I needed.


The second Outing
The second session was again at Westlands for Carl Grahams, (a fellow fishing buddys)  birthday. A cracking turn out of around 32 made it a superb day, not only for Carl but for the match too!

The match was to be split over 2 lakes, Middle and Canal. I was personally hoping for a draw on Canal. My hopes of that were soon dashed when I drew 23 on middle, an area almost everybody had said they didn't want to draw. On arrival at my peg I was greeted with open water and a featureless margin. Oh joy!

Never the defeatist I decided on a 2 pronged attack, the Banjo and the Pole. I planned to fish the Banjo at around 30 meters and the pole at around 9 meters due to the blustering cross wind.
Bait again was a simple affair, pellet, pellet and more pellet.

Rigs
Banjo Rig

  • Rod - 8 ft Browning Commercial King F1 Wand
  • Reel - Browning Blackmagic Burner
  • Main line - 6lb (0.18) Browning Cenex Feeda Line
  • Hook length - 5.6lb (0.14 ) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Banjo - 30 gram in line Banjo Feeder

Pole Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911
  • Float - 0.75gram Tubertini Serie Pro
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk with 2 droppers

The Session
I started the session on the Banjo Feeder with a hair rigged 6 mm pellet hook bait and softened fishery micros for feed. I cast out to the desired spot. To ensure constant accuracy, I had clipped up before the start of the match. After a couple of re casts I had my first indication, which was a line bite that slowly pulled the tip round. 2 minutes later I had a proper bite, which ripped the rod tip round with some vengeance. A nice F1 was soon in the net.

The next cast I had another wrap round resulting in another F1. I started thinking to myself that this wasn't as bad as I was expecting considering I had not seen any body else catch yet. I had thought too soon, as the next hour remained biteless. I tried swapping to the pole, but I never had a touch.
I decided to swap hook baits, switching to a white slow sinking nugget. This had an instant effect, as I had 5 decent F1's in 5 casts, then biteless again.

I spent the rest of the day swapping lines and hook baits, I managed to catch another 4 F1 's all on the Banjo. At the weigh in I totaled 15lb 12oz, which was the best weight from the area I was in, but nowhere near enough to get in the frame. All the better weights came from the canal lake that had fished its nuts off, but still a cracking days fishing was had by all!


 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lindholme Laurels Sunday Open

Last weekend I missed out on my usual fishing fix, due to being at "The Big One" show with Browning; so this weekend I was itching to get back to Lindholme. Just my luck though, the weather was beautiful on the Saturday with not a breath of wind. I choose to go on the Sunday and its blowing a bloody gale and forecast rain. Oh Joy!

The open matches have been becoming ever more popular, with attendances hitting the forties and fifties on a regular basis. Today is no exception with 50 booked on. The match today is split between 2 lakes Loco and Laurels. www.lindholmelakes.co.uk/


Both lakes have been fishing pretty well lately. The recent mild weather has had a positive effect, as the fish are spreading out and feeding freely. The only thing that was going to hinder things today was the wind. With this in mind I was secretly hoping to draw on Laurels, as it is much more sheltered than Loco. I was definitely not disappointed when I picked out peg 19 on Laurels. On arrival at my peg I was pleased as this peg has a fair bit to offer. It is situated on the first spit on the right hand side bank. It is the second peg in, on the right hand side of the spit. On offer is plenty of open water, a good left margin and to the right there is a reed bed on the flat bank which separates the spits. The only down side is the blustering head wind, but you can't have every thing!

The Plan
My plan was to go with a 2 pronged pole attack, with a line at 11 meters directly in front of me and a line at 14.5 meters to the reed bed on the right hand side. As back up I have a number of bomb and feeder rods in my bag should things get difficult.

Bait
On the 11 meter line I plan to fish pellet, feeding fishery micro's and fishing a 4 mm pellet on the hook, on the 14.5 meter line I plan to feed micro's and alternate between pellet and corn on the hook.

Rigs
11 Meter Rig

  • Pole - Browning Xitan Z12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - Alan Scotthorne 1 0.3gram
  • Shotting - Spread bulk with 2 droppers






14.5 Meter Rig

  • Pole - Browning Xitan Z12
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Shep Special 4 x 14 http://www.carlshepherdsonstittletackle.com/
  • Shotting - Spread bulk with 2 droppers


The Session
During plumbing up the 11 meter rig I had lined up with a tree on the far bank. I always line up with some form of marker whether its on the far bank or on the horizon as long as I know it won't move.  This ensures accurate feeding and that the rig is in the exact spot every time.
I baited the hook with a 4 mm expander and filled the pole mounted pot with softened micros. I shipped out to the spot and tapped the pellets for the pot and lowered the rig over the top. After 2 minutes of lifting and dropping then leaving , the float twitched then buried. A steady stream of yellow elastic emitted from the pole, After a short battle, a pristine F1 was safely netted. It was a good start and in the next 10 minutes another 3 more joined it in the keep net.

Bites soon slowed down, but I was still picking up fish. After a couple of hours I decided to give the 11 meter line a rest and changed to the 14.5 meter line. I baited up with corn on the hook and micros in the pole mounted pot and shipped out to the reeds. I had a bite instantly, which I missed, after lowering back in, it went again. This time I hit the bite, another F1 was soon safely in the net. I shipped back out, and the wind started becoming blustery, making this line extremely hard to fish. I went back onto the 11 meter line, as this was directly in the wind, making it much easier to handle. I had a couple more fish before bites dried up.

A Change of Plan
I decided on a complete change, as the wind was becoming stronger and more blustery. I dug out my 8 ft Browning Commercial King F1 Wand from my bag and rigged up an in line Banjo method feeder, with a 0.14 Hybrid hooklength tied to a size 18 B911 with a hair rigged micro band.

I had some fishery 6 mm hard pellets in my bag, this is what I decided to use as hook bait and the micro's I already had ready would be used as feed. I gave the feeder a quick cast with no feed to just under half way and clipped up. I reeled it in, baited up and re cast it out. Within 2 minutes the tip pulled round and a chunky F1 was soon netted.

The last part of the match flew by. as I was now catching extremely well. The main species I was catching was F1s. but I did also have a bonus Carp around 6lb. The end of the match came to quickly and I weighed in 48 lb 4 oz for around 7 th in the match.
I was really pleased I had gone with my instincts as this provided the bulk of my catch. Bring on next time :-)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Woodhouse Grange

Overview
I was recently asked to do a feature for the Angling Times on Woodhouse Grange, which is situated on the out skirts of Hatfield Woodhouse near Doncaster. If you have never been before, the venue has 6 lakes to choose from, which are all extensively stocked with a large variety of species. These include: Carp , Ghost Carp Tench, Ide and F1's to name just a few. http://www.woodhousegrangefisheries.co.uk/6-fishing-lakes.htm

The venue has its own cafe, which is where I met up with the bailiff Mark, the owner Mick and his nephew Dave; these lads could not have been more helpful or welcoming! After a good chat, and a bit of brain picking, I was advised to try out the Ghost pool as it had been fishing exceptionally well during the past couple of weeks. The Ghost lake is about 2 acres in size and has 25 pegs. Before the session I went for  a walk around the lake and peg 11 seemed to jump out at me. It offered plenty of room and 2 cracking looking margins. This was to be my home for the day.


Plan of Attack
Mark advised me that F1's would be my main target species with a few Ghosties possibly! The plan I came up with revolved around fishing the pole long and short. On the long line I plumbed up a line at 11 meters, which gave me approximately 6 feet of water. I also plumbed the surrounding area should the fish back off. fortunately the bottom was extremely uniform, enabling me to utilize the same rig every where. Bonus!



For the short line I am going to go target each margin on a top 2 plus 1 section. After some careful plumbing up, I discover I can use the same rig for both sides, which is a bonus! Again.

Bait
This is as simple as it gets. Fishery micro's for feed and fishery Medusa 6 mm prepared expander pellets for the hook. I have also brought some corn and different expanders, should I need an alternative hook bait.

Rigs:
11 Meter Rig
  • Pole - Browning Xitan Z12 
  • Elastic - Pink Browning Cenex Hollow 
  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Middy Styrex No4  4x14
  • Shotting - Spread bulk with 2 droppers

Margin Rig
  • Pole - Browning Xitan Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Hollow 
  • Main line 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length 0.12 Browning Hybrid power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Alan Scotthorne 1 0.3gram 
  • Shotting - Double bulk 

The Session 

I baited the hook with a 6 mm pellet and loaded the pole mounted pot with a pinch of micro's and shipped the pole out to 11 meters. I tapped the pellets out of the pot and then lowered the rig slowly over the top. I was expecting a bit of a wait, but a bite came almost instantly and a steady stream of elastic emitted from the tip of the pole. After a short battle a chunky F1 was soon in the net. The next few drops in produced the same result. Out of curiosity I pumped up a few of the expanders I had with me so I could give them a try. I tried one of the pellets I had pumped; what amazed me is that the float never moved, so I brought the rig back in and baited up with 1 of the Medusa 6 mm pellets and the float buried instantly. Was it coincidence? No. I tried it a few times and the same result occurred.
During the time I had been fishing the 11 meter line I had been regularly flicking pinches of micros down each margin in preparation for later in the session.

After a couple of hours I decided to give the margin line a try. I baited up with a 6 mm pellet and lowered it in the right hand margin, seconds later the float slipped away and I was latched into golden F1, which was soon safely netted. The action down the margin was fast and furious. As bites slowed I switched to the other margin which produced fish immediately. I continued to swap between each margin, which kept a steady straem of fish coming to the net.


At the end of the session I had had a wonderful days fishing and amassed around 60 lb in 3 1/2 hours. A cracking days fishing and hard to believe its still February. I would like to thank Mark, Mick and Dave for their incredible hospitality and I hope to be back soon.