The more observant ones amongst you will have noticed i didn't blog after my match last week. Following the practice session I was in two minds on how the match itself would fish. With poor weather conditions predicted and a heavy wind I was lucky to draw on the bank so the wind was on my back, so at least I had a comfortable day in comparison to others! However, I managed to hook 3 good carp in the first 45minutes and lost them all! This would have been close to a section win on the day if i'd have landed them, but I didn't. I then followed up losing the three fish by not getting another bite for the rest of the day and blanking along with half of the lake! So after blanking for the second time this year I didn't see the need to tell everyone how not to catch fish again!
Now, onto the weekend just gone, I went to Brafferton which is the far side of Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire. I've only ever been here a couple of times but a long time ago, the first club match was set here and was won with around 60lb, although i didnt personally fish it. I'd been on www.maggotdrowning.com to pick up some tips and the plan for today was set to be predominantly feeder tactics with a short pole line for back up.
We didn't actually arrive until about half twelve due to other commitments, we all plumped for pegs on the right hand side of Ghost lake as you look at it from the cafe and fished about half away up the lake. I had two islands in front of me, the one to my right was a good 25-30m away and the one to my left was nearer being about 20m although I could see right down the side of it.
I set the feeder rod up with a bomb at first in order to clip up to the island on my right, and thought if I were to fish to the other i'd have to cast 'properly'. Once clipped up I mixed up half a bag of Sensas Marine groundbait and added around three quartes of a pints worth of 2&4mm softened pellets. Mainline was 0.20 Drennan Super Specialist, to a 2ft trace of 0.13 Preston Powerline and a size 18 Gamakatsu Black. I used a simple metal open ended feeder which had a quick change swivel attached in case I wanted to change the amount of feed going in.
I filled the feeder, put a couple of red maggots on the hook and launched it towards the island. I started with maggot in order to judge what fish were in the swim, I soon changed to corn after reeling in to find tiny roach after the first three casts with no indication on the tip. I then proceeded to set up the short pole line while the rod was out. I set up a mathckit plus my number four, this was to fish at the base of the near shelf. The depth was about 4ft, i had a Garbolino Hollow Yellow, to an 0.13 Preston Powerline direct to a sie 18 PR36, the float for today was a 0.2g BGT 'shallow float'.
Whilst setting up i'd managed only a couple of small carp between 4 and 8oz. I persevered with the feeder for another hour and managed a couple more carp of a similar stamp. I then thought i'd give the feeder a rest for half an hour which would also give me chance to bag up on small roach and gudgeon on the 4m line. I'd been chucking a couple of maggots in every five minutes and hoped there'd be a few fish about, I wasnt wrong first chuck in and I was into my first gudgeon, at least I was catching I thought. After 7 or 8 gudgeon and small roach I swung the rig out once again, the rig 'didn't want to settle' so I lifted and the float bolted under water and I was soon into a good fish. I'd hooked a good carp that tried his best immitation of free willy arching out of the water three times before he got his head down and bolted. With my elastic carrying a rating of 6-10, the fish bolted for all it was worth and ended up a couple of pegs down before it stopped. I shipped back and removed the number four section and then played the fish for the next 7 or 8 minutes on the pull bung. After a very healthy scrap by both parties the fish was in the net, a common of about 8lb! I then went straight back out to see if his big brother was there, he wasn't, it was back to the gudgeon for the rest of the day.
Seeing as the gudgeon and roach had settled back in i decided the feeder was calling once again, I fed to both the islands and then roatated between them either every five minutes or every fish. I started to catch the odd carp but they were all only around 12oz with the odd better one pushing the pound.
The time was now about 6pm and with the light starting to fade and the loud roars of thunder over the horizon it was decided to pack up before it started raining again. On emptying my net I had around 15lb in there, so not a busy day by any stretch of the imagination, but an enjoyable one to say to least. We almost missed the rain but it absolutely paggered it down as we were walking back to the van, sods law that you keep your stuff dry all day only for it to be soaked on your walk back!
I've got a match at Woodlands this weekend so hopefully I can improve on my last match, i'll update the blog, so check back next week!