Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Lindholme Lakes

First 2 Matches of 2016 

With a couple of week lay-off over the festive season due to work and family commitments, I was itching to get back on the bank ASAP. With this in mind I decided to go both Saturday and Sunday to Lindholme, to try and get myself back in tune ready for next Sunday's winter league match.

Saturday 
I was up pretty early on the Saturday morning all giddy and eager to get fishing again, after what seemed like an eternity lay-off. The match was to be held on Bonsai, which has been in great form considering the time of year; the mild weather has definitely helped keep the fish feeding well! 

After a bit of banter and catch up with the regular open lads, it was time for the draw. I pulled out peg 1, which I was slightly apprehensive about as the best weights lately have been caught in the 40s, 50s and 60 pegs but this peg can sometimes throw up some good weights. 
This peg has plenty of fish holding features on offer, firstly a reed covered island which is around 14 meters away and you can cover 2/3 of the island with 16 meters. To my left in the corner is a thinned out reed bed which normally holds loads of fish. To my right I had plenty of open water as the next peg in was peg 6 around the corner. With this in mind I came up with a plan. 



The Plan 
I decided on a 3 pronged approach, firstly starting with the island but after plumbing up as far as I could reach I decided on setting up 2 separate rigs; this was due to variations in depth along the island. The second line I planned to fish was close to the reed bed to my left hand side. Fortunately one of my island rigs was perfect for this as it was identical depth. The third and final line was into the open water, both towards the aerator to the left and at a 2 o'clock angle to the right. 

Bait 
For the island I had opted to go with bread, with the idea of dobbing it along the reed fringe. This tactic has caught quite a lot of fish in recent weeks, but If this didn't work I had some pellets and corn as backup. For the reeds in the corner I planned to start with bread on the hook and move the rig along the reed bed in the same manner as the island rig. Again if this didn't produce I could switch to pellet or corn. For the open water rig I had some 4 mm hard pellets which I planned to feed and use as hook bait. 

Rigs
Island and Reedbed Rigs 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS3 0.3g
  • Shotting - Spread out pattern

Open Water Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS1 0.3g
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers

The Session 
I started the session on the long pole to the island with a bread hookbait. This is what is meant by the term "dobbing". The plan is to lift and drop the rig in different areas along the reed line until you get a bite. The spread out shotting lets the bread fall slowly, hopefully tempting the fish into taking the bait quickly. 
It didn't take long to get my first bite, but unfortunately the hook pulled out half way back. I re-baited and shipped the rig back to the island starting off where I'd just had the bite and worked the rig along the reed line but to no avail, I just could not get a bite anywhere. In a bid to make something happen I decided to leave the island to rest and have a look to the reed bed. I'd seen plenty of movement in the reeds and temptation got the better of me. The first drop near the reed bed resulted in a bite and fish on, this resulted in a chunky F1. I was finally off the mark. I re-baited and dropped the rig in the same area hoping for a similar response, but again to no avail. 




I definitely had to get my thinking cap on and sharpish as I was going nowhere fast. My thoughts were that the fish wanted some feed and not just a visual hookbait. I decided on a drastic change of plan, I decided to ditch the bread and go with a pellet approach on both lines. I opted to feed slightly dampened micros through a kinder pot, with a hole only big enough to allow a micro at a time through. I thought that feeding this way would make a bit of noise but not overfeed the fish. For hookbait I thought I'd start with a 4mm expander and I also had a bit of corn for a change bait. This worked a treat as no sooner had I tapped a few micro's in on the reed peg and lowered the rig over the top the float buried. A minute or two later another chunk F1 was in the net. I knew things wouldn't be fast and furious, so the rest of the match was spent rotating lines and picking up odd fish. At the weigh in I managed to put 24lb 3oz on the scales which got me absolutely nowhere :-( 
   
Sunday 
Sundays match was supposed to be split between Bonsai and Beeches, but as there was a few winter league matches taking place, numbers allowed us all to stay on Bonsai. I was hoping the Draw Gods were looking over me and would let me draw between 52 and 70, as this is where the best weights had come from the previous day. I was over the moon when I drew out peg 56 as this peg had come 2nd the day before and I'd managed to have a chat with the guy who was on it as we packed up :-) 
The peg has a fair amount to offer with an island around 25 meters away. There is also plenty of open water to go at too. 




The Plan 
The plan was really simple, to fish bomb and waggler to the island. I planned to target the left hand end of the island with the bomb and a small clay bank halfway down the island with the waggler. I also planned to set up the pole as an emergency backup.  

Bait 
After chatting to the guy the day before, he had caught on corn, but would they have it 2 days on the trot? I planned to alternate between ;orn and 6mm hard pellet; I thought that varying the hookbait maybe a good way of going, especially if they have wised up to the corn approach. I also had some 4mm feed pellets for the pole line. 

Rigs 
Bomb Rig 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Bomb - 1/3 oz bomb (free running) 

Waggler Rig 
  • Rod - Browning Force 11ft Pellet Waggler 
  • Reel - Browning Black magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with hair rigged micro band 
  • Waggler - Drennan loaded Insert Crystal 
  • Shotting - 2 x locking shot plus 2 no 8 droppers 

Pole Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS1 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk with 2 droppers 
  
The Session 
I started the session on the bomb with a 6 mm pellet on the hook. It took all of a minute for the first bite which was a massive drop back. A good strike and I was into a decent sized fish which resulted in a decent sized Mirror Carp. All I can say is the next 2 hours were like fishing in the summer as I was getting a fish every cast almost. Sometimes I would have to wait 5 minutes or more for a bite but eventually it would come. 

It's not something I have experienced very often but nearly every bite was a drop back bite, only maybe 3 or 4 pulled round properly. With 2 1/2 hours gone I had a bit of a lull in bites, so I decided to give the bomb line a rest and switched to the waggler, which was unbelievable as I was soon into fish on this too. 
After a few fish though I soon discovered that if I didn't drop the wag tight to the island I didn't get a bite. Even though I had a back wind casting wasn't easy as trying to draw the rod back to get the float behind me was near on impossible. as the wind tried keeping it in front of me. I persevered for a while before switching back to the bomb.

With around an hour or so left, bites almost ground to a halt. this seemed to coincide with the club match on the other side of the arm in the 70s and 80s pegs packing up and starting vans up and leaving them running close to my peg. I did pick up odd fish but not many. At the end of the match I was pleased with the way things had gone and when I weighed in 71lb 8oz I was more than happy, as this was enough to give me the match win!
Definitely a tale of 2 days :-)