Saturday, 30 September 2017

Messingham Sands Hollywood Lake

Of all the matches on our Fire Service match calendar, Hollywood Lake at the Messingham Sands complex is the one I really look forward too. I think it's the variation in techniques required to tackle it, that raises the appeal above others.

My last visit here was a good few months ago, when I did a feature for Pole Fishing Magazine. That day went really well, it covered fishing big pellets on the pole, a method that has won me a good number of matches on the venue.

I had a bit of a chat with a few venue regulars who I know and they told me that the end pegs 2 and 30 were the ones that had been producing the best results. I was hoping that the drawbag would be kind and give me one of these pegs; fortunately it was very kind and gave me peg 30, which was followed by a load of banter from the other lads. Well there's no point drawing a bad 'un' is their?
We made our way to the lake from the main complex and on arrival, the lake looked stunning. I arrived at my peg full of optimism and came up with a plan of attack 

The Plan 
My main focus would be on 2 pole lines which have given me plenty of success in the past, a short line at a top 2 plus 2 distance and a long line at 13 meters. I don't like to go past 13 meters on this lake as it one of those lakes that gets badly affected by the wind if it gets up and 13 meters is usually handle able in most conditions.  As a back up for if the pole lines I also planned to set up a method feeder for casting to the far side, this can sometimes produce a few extra fish if the bites dry up on the pole lines.  My 4th and final line was for the margin to my right hand side towards the end of the lake cover. 


 This was one of the simplest bait selections ever. For my pole lines I had a selection of 6, 8 & 11mm fishery feed pellets and for the method feeder I had some Groundbait and dead maggots, done!

Short And Long Rigs
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero - G
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 (10+ Hollow)
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru MWG tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band
  • Float - 0.6g AS1
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus 2 droppers 
Margin Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero - G 
  • Elastic - Orange Browning Stretch 7 (14+ Hollow)
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hooklegth - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Guru MWG tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float - Tez Naulls Inline margin Diamond 
  • Shotting - A bulk set just above the hooklength 
Method Rod 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb
  • Reel - Browning Sphere 930
  • Mainline - 0.20 Browning Cenex Plummet Line 
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid power 
  • Hook - Guru Kaizen size 16
  • Feeder - Preston 30g small method 

The Session
I started the session on the short pole, feeding a dozen 6 mm pellets by hand before shipping the rig into position. It wasn't long before something took a liking to my 8 mm banded pellet. After a short battle, a nice Mirror Carp around the 3lb mark was safely netted. The next drop-in followed the same pattern but a smaller Stockie Carp was the result.
The first hour was pretty good, with fish continuing to grace the net. The short line stared to slow at the beginning of the second hour which prompted me to try the longer line. I had been continuously feeding this from the start with around 10 x 6 mm pellets every 2 minutes via catapult. The first drop-in on this line produced a decent Carp followed by a couple of smaller ones. I was having to wait a while for a bite to materialise, much longer than on the short line. So I switched back to the short line, which resulted in a quick fish before I was waiting what seemed an eternity for another bite.
I thought I would give both lines a rest, continue feeding them but switch to the method feeder. I baited up with a couple of dead maggots and loaded the feeder with groundbait (a mix of Brownings Method BBQ Green Mussel and Black Halibut, half and half).

Browning BBQ Black Halibut Method Mix 1kg

I cast the feeder tight to the far bank and placed the rod on the rest, a minute later and the tip juddered round, I was into a decent carp, A couple of minutes later it was safely netted. The next couple of casts resulted in a couple of smaller stockies, before bites dried up here too.
I decided to switch back to the long pole line and just be a bit more patient and wait for bites. This worked pretty well and even though I wasn't setting the world alight, I was still putting fish in the net. I did give the margin line a go and this resulted in the biggest fish of the day around 8 lb but unfortunately that was it. The remainder of the match was spent on the long line, picking up odd fish. The end of the match arrived and it was time to weigh in and I totalled 100 lb 9 oz which gave me 3rd place behind Ian Ralph with 123lb and Mark Henderson with 107lb,

Lindholme Lakes Laurels

After returning from holiday, I really needed to get back in tune with the lakes at Lindholme. I
decided to venture out on the Saturday open as it was been held on Laurels Lake, which is not utilised that often for the open matches. With winter league fast approaching and this lake featuring quite heavily in it, I really needed to give it a go.
The draw soon came around and I pulled out peg 57, a peg I have not drawn for a long time. On arrival at the peg, I was a bit disappointed to be honest, as the over hanging trees on the flat bank to my right were going to restrict my options. With this in mind I came up with a plan. 

The Plan
As I have fished the lake plenty of times in the past, I decided to go with a pretty standard approach. Firstly I planned to fish a short pole at a top 2 plus 2 distance, this line can be really productive early and late on in the match. My second line would be at 13 meters at an 11 o'clock angle so that the over hanging trees didn't cause me any issues. My third and final line was for the margins both left and right as the depth was pretty identical. 

I had some 6 mm fishery pellets for banding and some fishery 4 mm pellets for feeding on both the short and long pole lines. For the edges I had some micros and corn. 

Short And Long Pole Rigs 
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 Hollow (10+) 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.3g AS1
  • Shotting - Bulk plus 2 droppers 
Edge Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Sphere Zero-G 
  • Elastic - Orange Browning Stretch 7 Hollow (14+)
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook -  Size 14 Guru Kaizen 
  • Float - 0.4g Tez Naulls Inline Diamond 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

The Session 
I started the session on the short pole; I loaded the pole mounted pot with 10 dampened 4 mm pellets
and baited the band with a 6 mm pellet and shipped the rig into position. I tapped the pellets from the pot and lowered the rig slowly into position. A minute later the float dipped, a quick lift of the pole and I was into the first fish of the day. A chunky F1 was the result. The next few drops followed the same pattern. The first 2 hours were spent on the short line and I managed 20 Carp and F1s before the line died.
I switched to the long pole at the beginning of the 3rd hour which I had been feeding steadily via catapult with 6 x 4 mm pellets. This line produced a few fish in quick succession before the line
slowed. It was again a case of been patient and letting bites materialise by working the float.
Eventually the line pretty much ground to a halt. A try down the margins produced a few more better stamp fish, especially the right hand margin. 
The remainder of the match was spent rotating lines and picking up odd fish. At the weigh in I was pretty pleased with the 97 lb 3 I totalled. 
I was left kicking myself, as I hadn't taken casters, thinking they wouldn't be required. How wrong I was as the top 3 on the lake all had more than 100 lb on, yes you've guessed it Casters!