Well, the previous week I got my wish to fish on Match pool at Carp Vale and right some wrongs, but as you may have guessed it didn’t go to plan and I weighed in 16lb 8oz for no where but still managed another quid off Mr Thackwray!
With Poplars this week I was in a quandary on how to approach it. I’ve never done terribly well on the lake and wanted to put that right today. We were on pegs 14-54 and with 21 fishing this meant it was just about peg one miss a peg. Owen initiated another three way quid between us two and Acko as they both wanted a chance of winning them back from the match on Maple, I duly obliged!
By the time of the draw Stu announced that the top 3 would get a pay out as well as three sections of seven. I held the draw bag and was greeted with the odd smile but the more occasional frown as the pegs were being lifted out. This left three pegs in the bag, Nige was drawn peg 25 as he was running a little late and this left Stu with 20 and me with 14. I was pretty pleased with this as peg 13 and 15 weren’t in so I had plenty of room and some pots to fish to on peg 13.
I bought a couple of pints of maggots and as I was walking to my peg Stu revealed that Minty and I were on scale duty! I’m sure I’ve done it half a dozen times this season, I don’t mind doing the weigh in to be fair but it takes me long enough to pack up as it is!
I got round to my peg, Minty was on 16, Wrighty was on 18 and Stu was on 20, that was as far as I could see. I got all the kit out of the car and had a sit down to assess where I’d be attacking today. With the pots in front of 13, this would be my main line of attack with maggot. I would also fish the same rig to the tree on my left, again with maggot. With no real cover straight in front I set up a pellet line to fish tight to the far bank. I also set up a line at the base of the far shelf at 11m to fish meat; this was more a token gesture if no where else was working!
My maggot rig was a Malman Cedar 4x10 on 0.12 Ultima to a 6inch hooklength of the same material and a size 16 B911, I’m aware this seems a bit big for maggot fishing but I wanted to fish 4 or 5 maggots at a time to target the better Ide, a lesson I’d learnt from fishing on Alders. Elastic was soft set 12 latex. My pellet rig was the same float but on 0.16 Ultima Power Match to an 0.14 hooklength and a size 18 B911 complemented by a 16 latex. My meat rig was a 0.4g BGT shallow long float on 0.16 straight through to a size 16 PR36 with size 14 latex.
For bait I had 2 pints of maggots, half red half white. Plenty of hooker pellets, some micros and some meat but I was concentrating on the maggot and would only deviate to other baits if it was hard going. At the all in I potted some meat in down the track at 11m, and half a big Drennan pot of maggots to the pots on my right hand side. As with Maple a couple of weeks previous I thought I’d target the carp for the first 15 minutes or so as you often get them early on and they’re not worth missing out on. Anyway a biteless 20 minutes ensued and I sacked off the pellet line and went over the maggot line which by now would have hopefully settled.
I shipped out and double kinder potted over the tope of my float, by lifting and dropping my rig back into the feed zone soon sparked a response and Ide number one was in the net, with it being about a pound it was a good start. I caught another fish of a similar size before deciding to change down to a 10 elastic, as I was shipping back at angle it made it easier to ship back quickly without fear of losing the fish. I repeated this until I had 6 in the net all of a similar size and on the stroke of the first hour disappearing I struck like Zorro and managed to catch my float on a loner branch and although I had a hooklength on this wouldn’t do me any good as it was the mainline that was snagged. After pulling for a break I came back with a fraction of the rig I had shipped out, the loop on the connector to be precise! I chucked another rig on and seeing as I’d marked my top kit with tip-ex it was a quick process and I was back in the swim in no time. I only managed 2 more fish before I had to re-feed another big pot. I switched to the meat line whilst this pot of maggots settled but had nothing to show from it. By the end of the second hour I had 10 fish for probably 8lb.
Minty went for a walk and when he came back probably after a good half an hour I still only had the 8lb in the net. While he was gone I potted on the tree on the left hand side and by the time I went over it I caught another Ide straight away before repeating the process. I shipped out again and before I had time to feed I had hooked a fish on the drop. I tipped the feed in before playing the fish to the net, my first carp, a stocky of about 8oz.
It then died as soon as it started so to spark a response I changed to a hooklength of 0.10 and a size 20 B611. Going into the last hour I’d put the odd Ide into the net but nothing much was happening. I big potted onto both lines and then just switched between them until I got indications. It turned out to be my most fruitful hour with a couple of Ide and 4 proper carp to take my tally to around 25lb before the hooter sounded to signal the end of the match. Remarkably all the carp came to the net without much fuss, I thought I’d have to be careful with the light hook length and light laccy but they came up near enough straight way!
Minty had started packing up before the match had finished so I had a rush on to get packed up and off to do the weigh in. Seeing as I was on the first peg I put a marker down for everyone, I weighed in 25lb 10oz, Wrighty remarked that would be a good weight today but I knew he had caught, Stu had caught and apparently Rab and Howard had both caught well on 53 and 54 respectively. Minty didn’t weigh in which meant Wrighty was up next, he pushed me close but not close enough with 22lb odd. Stu then shattered my dreams by putting 34lb in the sling. The rest of the weights in our section were all in the high teens but no more above 20lb. Round to Acko’s peg and seeing as he wasn’t there Rab did the honours and 13lb 10oz was recorded. Acko shouted across the lake asking what he’d weighed, I replied ‘’a quid less than me!’’ Gordon weighed in 17lb ish so another quid was claimed. Tel took the section with a weight not much more than Gordon’s. Jonesy weighed 19lb odd which was good enough for the section and Owens weight wasn’t up to scratch meaning I’d be taking another Quid! Three quid’s out of three can’t be bad!
Up until this point I was still in second place behind Stu, with only Rab and Howard left who I knew would have more than me it meant I was guaranteed my section. Howard put 26lb 4oz in the sling; I’d been pipped by 10oz!
Now onto Rab who was last to weigh in, out came his first net and into the sling. He had a similar amount in the other net and it was going to be close between him and Stu to take the match. Rab pulled out his second net grabbed the bottom ring and started to feed them through to the top whilst keeping the middle of the net in the water, nothing wrong there you’d think, and you’d be right. Until Rab dropped the top of his net back into the drink and as he was still holding the bottom ring the inevitable happened! All his fish made a dash out the net and by the time the keepnet had been rescued there was nothing left to show for his days work! Now Rab isn’t one to take the micky out of anyone (and if you believe that then you need your head checking) so to say everyone erupted with laughter would be an under statement! A look of dismay crept into his face as his now single net weighed 17lb 12oz which meant he didn’t even win the section.
This however was good news for me and Wrighty as I crept into third spot meaning Dave took the section by default! So not a bad day at the office in the end! On reflection it wasn’t a bad match, I don’t think I missed a bite, although they were all fairly positive, I didn’t foul hook or lose any fish and the only thing I can think of that would have pushed me into second was the nightmare of getting my rig caught and having to put a new rig on. Apart from that I don’t think there was much more I could have done.
We’re at Brafferton on the F1 Lake next week, I’ve never fished here before but if the weather carries on being up and down then it might be another maggot approach. Its also now officially winter, I had to wear my jumper through the whole match this week and I’ve also been considering putting the heating on on a night! Considering not actioning, I’m not Rockefeller!