After the disappointment of my first club match of the year I was hoping for a good result today or at least a good weight for a change. So far this year my fishing hasn't really got going, yet!
Today we were fishing on Kestrel up at Woodlands lakes near Thirsk; I woke up at 6:45, made my flask, packed the car and sorted out my bait. I was on the road by half seven and arrived at about 8 o' clock. With the draw not until 9am I decided to have a quick walk round with a couple of the guys. Kestrel is a simple rectangular lake with rushes and sedges over hanging the 'boards' that line the lake. On first glance the peg I'd have loved to have been on was 35 (or the end peg near the entrance, think it was 35!) When fishing in the corner pegs you have a feature to fish to, or not so much a feature but the boards that line the side of the lake. The wind was pushing strong into this corner, and it looked to be the peg to be on for the day. The opposite corner was flat calm without a breath of wind! After we'd finished walking around, a quick sausage butty and then into the onsite tackle shop to get some pellets. At Woodlands there are bait limits, and many other rules that in all honesty confuse the angler more than anything else!
Bait for the day then was two pints of meat, two pints of hemp, two pints of 6mm pellets and a handful of 8mm hard pellets and also some 6mm expanders. Up at Woodlands the rules state you’re only allowed 3 pints of pellets including your hook pellets, you also have to use Woodlands pellets. This doesn’t bother me too much although for them to distinguish that your using their pellets they put in a small handful of tiny pink pellets, no problem there you might think, I’ll explain later on!
So to the draw, I drew peg 24, it was at least on the bank that the wind was pushing on so I wasn't too disgruntled. The corner pegs hadn’t even been put it in, I presume to make it a little fairer on everyone. I got to my peg and started to set up. Methods for today were to include a 6m line at 10 o' clock, a 13m+ line at 12 o' clock, two margin lines (left and right) and a simple running bomb to finish off the array of tackle.
My margin lines comprised of 0.17 Powerline straight through to a size 14 PR36 tied with a knotless knot. The float was a BGT shallow 0.2g and elastic was Middy Pink Hollow (14-16). This rig was perhaps a couple of feet deep and was to hopefully cope with the big boys that move into the margins towards the end of the match.
The 6m line was 0.15 Powerline direct to a size 16 PR36. The float was a 0.4g BGT shallow long float and the elastic was a solid Middy 12-14.
The 13m+ line was the same as the 6m line but with a Preston PB13 4x14.
The bomb set up was a Ron Thomson 11-13ft heavy feeder rod, used at 11ft, with a Shimano Catana loaded with Ultima Power Match 0.20. To this I had a simple quick change running bead with a half ounce lead. A 12 inch hair incorporating a pellet band finished off the setup.
At the all in I potted a 250mm cup of hemp, meat and 6mm pellets to both sides and also on the 13m line. I then went out on the 6m line with a 6mm expander and kindered a pot of 6mm pellets and hemp over the top. after a couple of lifts and drops the float shot under and I was into my first carp, although only about a pound it was more than welcome, seeing as though I’d blanked the last match! I went back out again and caught a skimmer of about 3oz, how they get a 6mm pellet in their mouths I’ll never know. I managed to pick up 3 more carp of a similar size and a dozen more skimmers in the first hour but it wasn’t hectic by any means. I decided to try the 13m line and went out with double meat, the float immediately shot under with hardly enough time for it to settle, a skimmer of 4-5oz was soon in the keepnet, I then caught three or four more skimmers before re-feeding the swim and going back on the 6m line (I might as well catch milk bottle tops at 6m rather than 13!)
I persevered for another half an hour before going out on the bomb, I’d been firing 6mm pellets quite sparingly at about 25-30m and so banded up an 8mm pellet and launched the bomb out, after a couple of liners the rod wrapped round and I was into another carp, carp number 5, although once again it was only around a pound. Now, here’s my qualm with the fishery own feed pellets and then little pink ones. When your firing 6mm pellets 30m away, where do the pink ones go? That’s right, not 30m but 8 or 9m out, where you’re not feeding! Brilliant!
For the rest of the match I predominantly fished the 6m line catching 3-4oz skimmers, no matter what I did, 3 bits of meat, 3 6mm pellets, I couldn't not catch a skimmer. All through the match I’d been throwing bait down into the margins and so when the last hour arrived I sat it out down the boards.
With feeding both sides I fished ten minutes on one side before swapping to the other, I dropped down with two 6mm pellets and the float sat there stationery for ten minutes. I swapped to the other side and bingo! The float shot under and my elastic was being ripped out at a rate of knots, the fish jumped up twice in the next peg scaring the bloke sitting there half to death! Any way to cut a long story short it ran and ran until my rig came back with a giant scale attached to it, foul hooked then!
I hadn’t really seen anyone else catching, the bloke to my left hadn’t caught well all match but had 4 or 5 carp from the margins in the last hour where as the bloke to my right had suffered a similar fate to mine although he was catching 2 fish to my 1.
When time was called I was actually quite relieved as once again my match hadn’t gone as planned and I was thinking what had I done wrong this time? (Answers on a post card please).
At the weigh in I estimated I had around 14lb made up of skimmers, and the five carp. When the scales got around to me I weighed in 13lb8oz so not a bad guess. The match was won I think with just over 72lb, the winning peg was somewhere around 6, 7, 8 I think. Apparently the winner had fed 3 pints of caster shallow all match. So completely what I wasn’t doing then!
After a quick cuppa and a chat in the cafe it was time for off and time to reflect on how poorly I’d done again.
This weekend just gone I’ve had a break, mainly due to hangovers on Saturday and Sunday morning, but I’ll be back on the bank on the 18th for another club match up at The Oaks, Sessay on the Alders Lake. See what I can manage!