I’ve not been fishing in a long while due to busy weekends with the band and finally completing my degree! After 7 years of further learning it’s finally finished, I can now hopefully get out on the bank a bit more often!
This week we were returning to Brafferton on the F1 Lake. I was at Fish O’ Mania the week before (not competing!) and managed to grab a couple of bargains so wanted to test out some of my new gear!
I arrived at the fishery at just after 8 o’ clock and before I got chance to order my breakfast, Gordon robbed me of all my change for the football card, nice to see things don’t change! There were 20 of us booked on today and all the pegging was down the central arm of the lake. I’ve only fished here 3 times, on the two end pegs, 63 and 64 and also mid way down the right hand bank on 56. I’ve never excelled here so fancied giving it a real good go today, especially after not fishing for a few weeks.
Come the time of the draw I managed to snaffle peg 54. For company I had Acko on my right on 52, Martin Dodsworth on 55, and behind me I had Gordon, Paul Jones and Bad Santa.
The wind was blowing through fairly strongly so first things first I got the method rod out and clipped up to fish in a little hole on the far bank. I also set up a rig to fish in 18 inches of water at 13m, a metre off the bank. My final two rigs were to fish paste at 5m in six and a half feet of water and margin rig to my right where I had a spare peg.
At the all in I fed my paste line with a potful of 6mm pellets and a few blobs of paste. I also cupped in a big pot of corner down the edge. Whilst these lines were resting I cast the method out to the gap in the island. 2 minutes later the line went slack as the fish backed away from the island, I struck and frantically wound in until I got some resistance, I played the fish for a few second before we parted company, not the start I was hoping for! I recast to the same spot (well, within about 10 yards!). The tip slammed round again and this time I was in, after a brief tussle I had my first fish in the net, an F1 of perhaps 12oz. I carried on in this vain for the first half an hour and put 4 further fish in the net, all of a similar size to the first. After recasting and waiting with no response, I had a final cast which again proved fruitless, so decided to have a look on the paste line, and big pot some more corn in down the edge.
First indication on the paste line was from a small barbel or about 5-6oz, hopefully there were a few bigger ones there! Thankfully there were, I put another half a dozen fish in the net before again it went iffy. I was trying a new tact with the paste rig today, I remembered reading a while back to use a sliding olivette as the bulk shot, this way when you ship out you get far less tangles as all the line is tight against the weight of the olivette. It worked well however I’ve a feeling the “jerk” it creates when hitting the stop shot down line may not be the way to go if using really sloppy paste?
I spent the rest of the match switching between lines, continually feeding the edge hoping it would come good in the last hour! I only put a few more fish in the net in these few hours, Acko was also having a nightmare and Martin was only putting the odd fish in his net too.
The final hour turned up and I probably had less than 15lb in my net, I desperately needed to catch some down the edge and thankfully this happened, it wasn’t manic but I put 4 fish in the net, all of a much better stamp. I probably had 15-16lb with these 4 fish including one that would have been pushing 7lb. this was nothing though, Bad Santa behind me had 3 fish for 40lb, including one that went 17lb 12oz!
Come the weigh in and I managed to put 32lb 8oz on the scales, not brilliant, but the last hour probably doubled my final bag. Gordon weighed in 17lb, but disappeared before he could give me his quid, I expect it to be sparkling by next week!
Top 3 looked like this:
- Woody – 103lb
- Bad Santa – 100lb 8oz
- Stu – 99lb 12oz
I’m presuming Woody and Stu fished pellet against the island; Stu remarked he was fishing a distance off it in about 14 inches of water. Bad Santa fished cat food all match and reportedly fed 12 tins! Food for thought for the next time we're at Brafferton!