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.

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.

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: