Monday, 29 December 2014

Preston Pole Pairs - Round 2 at Messingham Sands


Messingham Sands was the destination today for the second round of the Preston Pole Pairs competition. Fortunately for me it is one of the venues that myself and my partner Carl Shepardson fish a fair bit. If you have not been to Messingham before, the fishery has 3 match only lakes, 4 pleasure lakes and 2 syndicate ponds.  The match today was to be split between 6 of these lakes, which should offer plenty of room and plenty of bites. The lakes being used was Island Pond, South Day Ticket Lake, Oaktree, Swan Newbit, Merrys and Tripp. I had 2 lakes in mind that I would like to draw which were Tripp and the South Day Ticket lake.


These lakes are both pretty deep with depths to 14 ft, both are teeming with silvers. Fortunately I managed to draw peg 8 on Tripp, which was a few pegs away from where I had drawn in the match yesterday. The downside was Carl's peg, I had drawn him peg 16 on the Swan's new bit which was the one lake we both would have preferred not to be on, as this is the lake that we knew least about.



On arrival at my peg I was faced with quite a strong head wind, with the occasional sideways gust. With this in mind I decided on a plan of attack

The Plan 
I decided on a three pronged attack. Due to the strong wind I limited myself to one long line at about a ten o'clock angle, this was to be more of an emergency line should I start struggling on the short lines. The other 2 lines where to be at a top 2 plus 2 distance one at a ten o'clock angle and the other a 2 o'clock angle, with a hope that I could catch on these all day. 

Bait 
After yesterday's match I decided on a positive approach. I would feed both the 10 o'clock lines with groundbait packed with corn, dead red maggots and a pinch of casters.


Yesterday I got plagued with gudgeon, so I was hoping the more positive approach would put these off and encourage the big crucians and skimmers to feed. On the other line I decided to feed just maggots by hand for an instant reaction at the start, this will also give the groundbait lines time to settle. 

Rigs
Short Maggot Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Short Positive 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 - Scotthorne 1 0.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Long Line Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Tubertini 1.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus droppers 

The Session 
I started the session by feeding 2 balls of groundbait on each of the 2, 10 o'clock lines by pole pot. My plan was to give these a bit of time to settle so I baited up the maggot rig with a single maggot and just before I shipped the rig into position I flicked a few maggots by hand for loose feed. This way the maggot hook bait should follow the loose feed down. It didn't take long for the first bite and after a few seconds the first fish was in the net, a small crucian was the reward.
I spent the first hour on this line as it was producing regular bites, even though the fish were small, I was still putting fish in the net. I decided to give the short 10 o'clock line a try but after a fruitless 5 minutes I was soon back on the maggot line. This is how the full session progressed; I spent the majority of the day on the maggot line as it kept producing regular small fish. The 2 10 o'clock lines never produced at all. I must have tried them both 5 or 6 times on each. At the end of the match I was quite pleased with how things had gone even though the groundbait lines never produced. At the weigh in I weighed in 21 lb 4 oz which was enough to give me the section win. Unfortunately Shep had not fared so well. His section had been extremely tight and was won with only 13 lb. he had 8 lb which placed him last in the section. Maybe the next round may see us fair better as this is at Lindholme Lakes, which is my regular haunt :)

For more info on these venues why not check out their web sites on:
http://www.lindholmelakes.co.uk or on facebook

http://www.messinghamsands.co.uk




Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lindholme Lakes Winter League Match

Every year Lindholme hosts a winter league series with some of the countries best known anglers taking part. This year I decided to enter as I thoroughly enjoyed the winter fishing at Lindholme late last year and early this year, plus it gives me a good incentive on those really cold days.

Today was the 4th match of the 11 match series. The first 3 matches have gone pretty well with a section 3rd in the first match, a section win in the second match and a section 2nd in the 3rd match. Today's match was to be split between Bonsai and Strip lakes due to the number of anglers attending. I was secretly hoping to draw Bonsai as this lake is just awesome. I was highly delighted when I drew out peg 70 on Bonsai, which is a fantastic peg with stacks of features and room. On arrival at the peg I was greeted with a slight breeze blowing towards me which was producing a nice steady ripple on the water. Everything looked perfect for a good days fishing.



The Plan 
After fishing the Thursday open match from peg 27 which is directly opposite peg 70, I had seen "Big Un" Paul Christie catch fairly steady on the pole with the odd fish on the bomb and he managed to come second in the match with 77 lb. With this in mind I decided on my plan, which was to start on the pole at 13 meters and select a number of areas to target with the same rig. If bites were slow I had plenty of option to push out up to 16 meters helping me cover plenty more water.  To the right I had an island which was 16 meters away, which could also be a good area to target. I also set up a bomb rod to target the big island which is slightly to the left.

Bait 
The bait I was going to concentrate on for the pole was 4 mm expander pellet for the hook and dampened micros for feed. This would be fed through a pole mounted kinder pot and sprinkled in slowly. For the bomb I had some 6 mm hard pellets as well as some bread as an alternative.



Rigs 
13 meter Rig 

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


16 meter Rig

  • Identical to 13 meter rig 

Island Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1, 0.3g 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

Bomb Rod 

  • Rod - Browning Commercial King 8 ft F1 Wand 
  • Reel - Browning Black magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Bomb - 0.9g square bomb


The Session
I started on the pole at 13 meters picking 2 spots initially. I fed both with a small sprinkling of micros on each, then lowered the rig in on the left hand side line. After a couple of lifts and drops the float buried and I was in immediately. Unfortunately after a couple of minutes the hook pulled out, "gutted" it was a decent fish too!
The following 3 hours were really hard; I spent most of this time swapping lines and searching the swim for bites. I did manage to pick up a carp, 2 small F1s and a skimmer, but I was really struggling. At this point I was well behind in the section as some of the other anglers in the section were catching steadily. I needed to change something and soon, otherwise I was going to end up last in the section.

A Change of Plan!
As I had been fishing the other lines I noticed a couple of fish roll close to the big island to the left. I had been constantly thinking of how I could make a drastic change and start catching at least a few fish. I then saw another fish roll and I thought sod it, I'm going to get my waggler rod from my bag..... nothing else is working.
I spent a good 5 minutes getting the float and rig right. I thought I'll start at roughly half depth and alter things as I need to. So I set the rig at 2 1/2 foot to start with, with 2 number 8 Stotz down the line, so that the hook bait fell slowly.  I baited up with a 6 mm hard pellet and cast it close to the island, 5 seconds later the float slipped away. A quick strike and I was in, a nice sized  mirror carp was the result - was it a fluke? Well 10 casts and 10 fish later say not. I now had a smile on my face instead of a blooming big grimace!

On reflection
One thing I had to  make sure of was that the waggler landed softly with a tiny plop because when it splashed in  I didn't get a bite. I think the waggler landing properly mimicked a pellet landing and as the hook bait was the only bait falling the carp took it quickly. I was only able to feed every now and then when the wind subsided as it had picked up quite a bit during the match, but I think the wind may have helped me as it stopped me over feeding. I think putting more feed in would have reduced the number of bites I was getting. Well it couldn't have increased it. as I couldn't get in quick enough anyway :-)   I spent the remainder of the match on this line picking up decent sized fish. 2 of the carp will have weighed over 20 lb between them. At the end of the match I could not believe how the match had gone from next to nothing to full on with just a simple change. At the weigh in I finished with 115 lb 3 oz which gave me the section and match win. Happy Days!

For more info on this venue visit: http://www.lindholmelakes.co.uk/