Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pole Fishing Magazine - Preston Pole Pairs Event

The Pole Fishing Magazine, Preston Pole Pairs is a new event organised by Pole Fishing Magazine. This is a dedicated silver fish event spread over four matches at four separate venues. 50 pairs places were up for grabs at the start and it sold out quickly. The event as stated is a silver fish event but F1s are allowed too. 
The morning of the first round was upon us and Barston Lakes and Packington Somers was the destination. Myself and Carl Shepardson (another Browning sponsored angler) had entered the event but with his missus recently giving birth to their first child shortly before, he was unable to attend this first match; fortunately Mark Henderson, a good mate of mine was able to stand in for him at late notice. After a 4am wake up call and a couple of hours drive we arrived at the draw venue, which was the West Midlands Golf club, the home of Barston Lake. After a bit of breakfast and cup of tea it was time for the draw. I went up to draw and drew out pegs 114 at Barston and 15 on Little Gearys at Packington Somers. I also had to draw out which of us would be at what venue; it turned out that I was going to Packington with Mark staying at Barston. 

After a bit of a chat with Dan Tresigne, who fishes these venues regularly, I found out that Little Gearys is full of F1s. On hearing this I pretty much decided on an approach even before I arrived at my peg. 
On arrival at my peg I was really pleased to see the wind blowing down to the end of the lake that I was at, as F1s tend to follow the wind at most venues. The only down side was the blooming rain. 

My plan 
I decided on a three pronged attack, but the majority of the match would be spent concentrating on just 2 of the lines. The first line would be a line at the bottom of the shelf at a top 2 plus 2 distance. The second line was a line at 13 meters directly in front of me. The third line was the margin to my right next to the reed bed. 

The rules for this event stated natural baits only. This included maggots, casters, worms, ground bait, corn and bloodworm and joker. I had all these with me but I decided on a simple maggot approach with just a few casters mixed in for an alternative hook bait. 

13 Meter Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - 0.4g Scotthorne 1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

6 Meter Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - 0.3g Scotthorne 1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Margin Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Middy Styrex  
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

The Match
I started the match by feeding both lines with around 30 maggots and a pinch of casters by pole cup.

I decided to start on the long line and give the short line a bit of time to settle. I put a few maggots in the pole mounted pot and shipped the rig out. I tapped the maggots out then lowered the rig in really slowly; I like to do this due to the way that F1s feed, F1s tend to follow a bait down and just as it settles they grab it . Another thing that I like to do is regularly lift and drop the rig, as the can provoke the fish into taking the bait quicker.  After a bit of lifting and dropping I got my first bite which resulted in a small Skimmer. This took the bait a second after the float settled. I re shipped the rig into position and lowered the rig in exactly as before, a second after the float settled it disappeared, a quick lift and I was in.  This time the fish was much bigger and after a steady battle, a pristine F1 was safely landed.

The next drop in resulted in another, I was off to a flying start. Unfortunately the following drop in resulted in a motionless float. This is definitely a trait with F1s especially when the water temperature starts to cool down. You will catch one or two and then they will back off. I decided to swap to the short line but before doing so I made sure that I topped up the long line with around 20 maggots and a few casters. The switch to the short line immediately paid dividends as I was straight into fish, but as before, I caught a couple then they backed off. I re-fed the short line and switched back to the long line, but after a biteless 5 minutes I soon switched again. I had a feeling that something seemed to be unsettling the fish more than just the cooler conditions. I decided to stop feeding with the pole mounted pot and concentrate on putting a small amount of bait in by pole cup after every couple of fish. (I had an inkling that the feed going in over there heads was the thing that was spooking them more than any thing else).  This did the trick as it seemed to settle the fish on both lines. As the match progressed the short line seemed to get stronger and stronger. I did manage to keep catching odd fish on the long line, but I only really ventured onto this when the short line needed re feeding.

At the end of the match I was really pleased with the way things had gone, I knew I had beaten most the people around me. The scales arrived and I weighed in 26 kilos 250 grams (almost 58lb) which was enough for me to win the section and come 2nd at Packington. I was over the moon!
My partner Mark weighed in 20 kilo 500 g which gave him 4th place in his section. 

I am really looking forward to the next round at Messingham Sands, which is one of the venues I fish quite regularly. I'll keep you informed how it goes :-)