This would be my first open match in a long time and having only fished the new “Squares” up at the Oaks once before I was looking forward to it. The weights on the previous few weeks matches were more than convincing for me to have a go. The week prior, the lowest weight on the match was 43lb, so perhaps I’d even be able to achieve my own personal goal of 40lb from the Oaks! After getting some welcome advice off Chappy and a good chat with Rob the day before I felt ready for what would hopefully be a decent match.
I set my rigs up on top kits at home so I’d have plenty of time to plumb up and to minimize rushing about. I had three rigs set up. The first was for the shelf at 13 plus meters, this was a 4x12 Malman Cedar on 0.12 Ultima Power Match main line to an 0.10 hooklength of the same material, a size 18 Gamakatsu Pellet & Paste Hook, this was finished with a doubled 5 Preston Original Slip. The next two rigs were for fishing at 4ft deep on the slope and at the bottom of the slope at 5ft ish. Both these rigs were the same line and hooks as the shelf rig but with a 0.4g Garbolino DC13H and doubled 6 Preston Fluoro Slip.
At the draw I managed peg 7 on Beech, this didn’t mean anything to me as such, although when I got to my peg I had 7 spare pegs! Yes 7! You can look at this in two ways, you can draw fish in from all the other surrounding pegs but the fish can also back off to these safe pegs where they know they won’t get caught, we’d have to wait and see!
For bait I had a pint of white maggots, some dampened micro’s, some 4mm feed pellets and some 4&6mm expanders for the hook. The main aim was to fish with a 4mm expander and feed micros but I had the opportunity of a change bait with the 6mm hookers and the 4mm feed pellets would hopefully help to pin the fish to the deck if I was suffering liners and foul hookers. I would only use maggots if I wasn’t catching to try get in amongst the Ide and other silver fish.
I plumbed up 3 lines, one at 11.5m in the deeps, 12.5m on the slope and 13.5m on the shelf.
For company I had Bert Poole opposite, Bob the Builder, Ghandi, Robbie, Whaley and A.N.Other.
The all in was called at 10am and we were away! First put in on the deep water line the float bobbed and I was in, unfortunately we parted after a few seconds! Next put in I had a couple of liners before getting a proper bite. This time I put a fish in the net, an F1 of about a pound. I carried on in the same vain feeding half a fruit shoot of micros after every fish to keep bait going in but to not over do it, if I didn’t feed I’d only wait longer for a bite so thought it better to keep something going in. At the end of the first hour I’d managed 10 fish, going into the second hour I went onto the slope and managed a couple more fish before pushing on top of the shelf. The second hour passed by similarly to the first with 9 fish although I’d lost a couple of foul hookers too.
I kept on rotating the lines starting deep and working shallower and repeating for the remainder of the match. The third hour resulted in 6 fish, fourth hour 5 fish, fifth hour 6 fish and the final thirty minutes I managed three. In this time I’d started feeding more four mil pellets to try get the fish to stay on the bottom but still suffered from foul hookers and in total I probably lost a dozen fish during the match! Changing to a 6mm pellet did bring more bites in the latter parts of the match those this may have been coincidental.
So in total I managed 39 fish, and from looking round I’d done fairly well on my lake (apart from Ghandi who’d caught most of the day), Bert and I were near enough fish for fish although I think I pipped him at the end. Whaley had caught less than me but had caught some decent fish and Robbie complained all day that there weren’t any fish in his swim!
By the weigh in though, Ghandi managed 72lb, Bert was just off 40lb and I thought it would be close between us. Whaley managed 42lb including an F1 over 4lb! Robbie managed 48lb, even though there were no fish in his peg! Bob didn’t weigh in and I managed 45lb 8oz, I’d finally beaten the Oaks demons! This was good enough for the third on the lake, however there were some better weights over 50lb on the other lake.
The final six (including myself) looked like this,
Chris Hall (Oaks) 72-12-0, carp to 3 lb on 14 m pole and pellet, Beech 15
Ray Singh (Garbolino Elton) 66-6-0
Phil Sellars (Garbolino Elton) 59-13-0
John Chapman (Garbolino Elton) 56-8-0.
Rob Minikin (Sonubaits) 48-0-0
Steve Lupton 45-8-0
I’d only narrowly missed out on my section and the lost fish could have catapulted me into the top three! I think the main reason for lost fish was the new elastic, the double 5 I was using was fine as I’ve been using this for a few weeks now, the double 6’s were brand new for this match and proved a little too stiff, hopefully these will be bedded in for the next match! Still, I was more than pleased with 6th on a match with some very good consistent anglers who fish there a few times a week!
We’ve got an inbetweeny club match next week at Brafferton so I’ll hopefully catch a few for once, Brafferton is a venue I’ve never had much real look with so I’m looking forward to giving it a good go!