I’d book on to fish the Northern Intersite match for www.talkangling.co.uk; we were to be up against 3 other forums, www.maggotdrowning.com, www.totalfishing.com and www.anglingforums.com.
In the weeks running up to the match we’d all been busy collecting as much information as we could about the venue. We had a team plan formulated and hopefully our hard work would see us reap the rewards, bragging rights!
I arrived up at the oaks at about half nine, the draw wasn’t until 10:30 so I had plenty of time for a cuppa and a chat, I bumped into Bri Clay who I’d recently been to White Acres with, so after a brief discussion about all things fishing, I eventually spotted a talk angling t-shirt! I met up with the guys whilst they were walking around the lake and in fairness, there wasn’t an awful lot of activity on the lake, the occasional swirl was all the fish were giving away!
All the captains were rounded up to draw our teams’ pegs, we all then drew our individual pegs from a hat and I was to be on peg 24 for the day. Not where I wanted to be but what can you do? Peg 24 is about 17m to the island and with only 15m of pole this meant my island line would be a bomb and pellet attack.
So, rigs for the day were to be the bomb rod for the island which I already had set up. Then I had two lines at 13m, one at 11 o’ clock for the carp and one at one o’ clock for the Ide.
For the carp line I was to use a Preston PB13 in 4x14, this was on 0.15 Powerline with a size 16 PR36. I also set up a shallow rig to fish over the same line with a Gaz Malman MTD2 0.2g float with the same line and hook but with a hair rigged band.
For the Ide line I used a Preston PB23 0.5g on 0.12 Silk Shock – with a hooklength of 0.11 Powerline to a Gamma Green 18. I also had a shallow rig for the Ide line too; the same as the depth rig but with a Drennan Caster float.
Bait for the day, I had 3 pints of casters for the Ide, some micro’s, 4mm hard pellets and also some 4 and 6mm expanders. I also had a little bit of meat to use as an alternative to pellet on the bomb.
At the all In I cupped in a 150ml pot of casters on the Ide line and the same amount of micros and 4mm pellets on the carp line. My plan was then to fish the bomb for the first hour whilst continually spraying the respective baits over the 13m lines to try to get the fish shallow.
I’d clipped up to the island and as long as I held the rod perfectly upright after casting the bomb would splash down within half a yard of the island. This worked well and for once I didn’t snag up on the island for the whole match. I had a banded 4mm pellet and every few minutes I would spray half a dozen 4mm pellets over the top. It became a bit of a juggling act feeding all three lines and having to use two different catapults but I managed to get my head and get on with it. I didn’t have so much as a liner on the bomb for the first 15 minutes so I changed over to double caster to see if there was anything about but still not even a twitch on tip. I stuck to it for 45 minutes though as I wanted my 13m lines to be well primed before I went on to empty them!
Eventually I gave up on the bomb and went out to the Ide line with the full depth rig, I had double caster on the hook. I swung the rig out as the way it had been shotted would hopefully give a nice slow fall through the column of bait. The rig was working as I’d expected and you see each shot register on the bristle, the only thing was the bristle wouldn’t go under from the resistance of a fish! I fished this line for nearly an hour trying to induce a bite but nothing. This was until the float started to slide off sideways, the tip buried and I struck into my first fish of the day, a 2oz roach, at least I hadn’t blanked, therefore I was able to weigh in at the end and at least pick up one point for the team!
At this point the guy to my left hadn’t had anything still but the lad on my right (who was also using his car as a pole roller!) had one carp and a couple of Ide. No-one I could see was bagging so at least I could hopefully make it up.
I decided to leave the Ide line as I’d still being spraying pellets onto the carp line. I shipped out with the depth rig armed with a 4mm expander. Generally I use the tackle shop ‘own brand’ expanders but seeing as I’d run out the past few weeks I’ve been using some Sensas ones that I received when I took a magazine subscription, I’m very impressed with them, they go quite rubbery as long as you don’t leave them too long. I’ll definitely carry on using them as the ‘own brand’ ones can go a bit mushy over the course of a session. First put in I got a liner but ignored it and then BANG! The float shot under and my pole tip slapped the water, carp on, I quickly got it in on the 14 latex and swiftly placed it in the keepnet, it was only just over a pound but hopefully this would get the ball rolling. I shipped back out and the float buried again, get in I thought! It must have been foul hooked as it steamed off and pulled out sending a giant bow wave through my swim, after a few choice words I was shipping out again but to no avail. The swim was devoid of any fish life.
For the rest of the match I swapped between the two pole lines and the bomb but couldn’t tempt a bite. Meanwhile the guy to my left where it gets a bit wider and also a bit deeper was lining the Ide up and the lad on my right was getting a few carp off the island rushes at 16m.
By the time the all out was called I had the lonesome roach and single carp in my net, what a disappointment after all the preparation I’d done.
I weighed in 1lb 7oz for last in section. As a team I think we came joint 3rd, so technically last but it was a good day out even if it did chuck down all day.
Due to the rain two of my sections had got stuck together, now with my old pole, the sections were much shorter so if this happened I could just bung them in the back of the car and usually by the time I got home they’d dried out and would pull apart. However my current pole there isn't a chance they would fit. So I went to the café just before it shut to get some boiling water to pour over the female joint to hopefully make it expand, this didn’t work! In the end it took 4 of us to get it apart, with Woody and I on either end pulling whilst Ian Bailey and another chap rolled and tapped it respectively, thank god t came apart, otherwise I’d still be there now!
Hopefully I’d be able to get on the Starbeck match on the Sunday otherwise I wouldn’t have had a days fishing this weekend!