Initially I was booked onto the Starbeck club match as a reserve but at five past seven on Sunday morning Nige rang me to say someone had dropped out and that I could get on. Bonus! My plan was to turn up and fish the open if I couldn’t get on but thankfully I’d made it onto the match, or had I!? Somehow Nige had made a mistake and already had one too many booked on the match before I arrived. Not to worry though, Nige sorted me out and I was fishing the open which was to be held over two of the lakes, Kestrel and Skylark. Ideally I wanted to be on Skylark as it is supposedly a much better lake than Kestrel. I’ve also fished Kestrel before and not done very well as you may have already read!
With the draw not until 10am I sat around and had a think of what tactics to employ. The draw finally came around and I was to be on Kestrel 8, brilliant! Or not! I gave Nige a ring to get filled in on how best to approach it and he said ‘big fish down the edge and fish a pellet line at 13m and after every 3 or so fish chuck the bomb over the same line and fire a load more bait in!’’ Easy I thought!
I already had the bomb rod set up with 0.20 Ultima mainline to an 0.17 Powerline trace (12’’long) with a PR36 size 16; I also employed a hair rigged band in the set up.
I plumbed both margins and only found a deviation of a couple of inches so the one rig would do for both lines with a bit of alteration in between. The margin rigs were on 0.18 silk shock straight through to a PR36 size 14. As for the float, it was once again one of my trusty BGT shallow floats 0.2g. Elastic was 16 latex.
I also set up a line at 13m for on the deck, this was the same line and hook as the above rig but with a hair rigged band. Float was a Preston PB13 4x14. Elastic was 14 latex.
Finally I had a shallow rig to go over the 13m line just in case.
Bait for the day in accordance with the limits were: 2pints 6mm feed pellets, ½ pint of 6mm expanders, ½ pint 8mm hard pellets for the band and 3 pints of meat for the margin.
The hooter sounded at 11am to signal the all in, I quickly potted in either margin with a big pot of meat, then out to 13m with a potful of pellets. My plan was then to try and snare a fish or two down the edge before moving onto the 13m line. I tried for 10 minutes on either side without a sniff, not even a liner. So I decided it was time for the 13m line.
Whilst fishing the margins the weather had changed for the worse! The wind had picked up so that even presenting a bait at 2m was difficult let alone 13m and the rain was hammering down! This is how it remained for the rest of the match, lovely! Although we should be used to it by now!
For the rest of the match I was forced to fish the bomb on the 13m line as this was the only method I could present properly. I managed to snare quite a few fish and ended up with 34lb 12oz. once again I couldn’t snare any of the monsters from the margins to bump up my score but that’s how it goes. After the match I spoke to a few people who kindly informed me that meat doesn’t work at Woodlands, so maybe that’s why I can’t get them from the margins then if I’m feeding meat! D’oh! The bloke to my left on peg 6 battered me with 96lb yet the bloke to my right on peg 10, who is a regular up at Woodlands only managed 46lb so I didn’t feel too bad although I knew I could have done better!
The club match was won with 113lb by Vince and Pete Whale came 2nd with 111lb, so some very good weights, there were also a lot of backing weights around 60-70lb mark.