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,