After three sections on my last three Maggotdrowners matches I was sceptical as to whether I could continue my good form (scratching for bites!!).
We were on Alders this week which has 34 pegs and there were only 21 of us fishing so we’d have a bit of room. Alders has been good to me in the past, I’ve won a few knock ups on here, as well as a winter club match, even going back to my junior matches I always picked up a few points off this lake. It’s also been terrible on occasions too, with my weights being marked on the board as DNW!
What I like about Alders is the options you have, this is peg dependant but you’ve to be ready to go at it with a number of methods. With the island being 20-25m in some areas I’d packed the waggler rod as well as the method, I was hoping it was now warm enough to winkle a few out on the method, we’d have to wait and see though.
Typically after preparing my tackle all week, I drew peg 5 which you can normally reach the island with, or at least in the middle of summer when there’s plenty of vegetation on the far bank! With only having 15m of pole to play with it left me about a metre short where as the chaps on pegs 3 and 7 could both reach!
I was unsure as to how it would fish, I assumed the carp would still be in winter hiding even after the milder temperatures and also didn’t think it would be warm enough for the Ide to be there in any great numbers so I planned on scratching around for bites.
I set up a maggot line at 13m straight in front and this was a 4x12 KC Carpa Belter on 0.10 to a 0.08 hooklength and size 20 Drennan Silverfish Match, this was finished off with a size 6 solid latex. I also set up a pellet lines at 15 to my left and right, this was a 4x12 Malman Cedar on 0.12 to an 0.10 hooklength and a size 20 Gamakatsu pellet and paste hook, this was finished off with a doubled 5 latex. My final attack would be the method tight to the far bank, although casting would have to be a case of punching it out to hit the clip to avoid the overhanging branches (that I clipped a few times whilst setting the clip!).
Bait for today, I had a pint of white maggots, last week’s pint of casters that I’ve stored in my pellet pump, some micros, 4mm expanders and some black swim stim. I planned on mixing the micros and groundbait as and when I needed for the method.
The match kicked off at 10am and I shipped out with a kinder pot of maggots onto the 13m line before going out to the left hand 15m line with a 4mm pellet, the float settled and I tapped a few micros and a fruit shoot worth of groundbait over the top. After plenty of lifting and dropping, 10 minutes later, the float quivered and I struck into my first fish, a dumpy roach of a few ounces, at least I’d not blanked! A re-feed on the second put in saw me put my first F1 in the net of about a pound, this gave a healthy scrap on relatively “heavy” gear.
No more bites materialised on either 15m line, I’d been feeding a kinder of maggots ever 15 minutes or so on the 13m line and decided it was now worth a look. Chris on peg 3 had managed a couple of half decent fish off the point of the island and the chap to my left had only had a few bits. After 90 minutes I think I was the only one with a carp in the net on our bank although the majority of Ide in Alders are bigger than the F1 I had in the net! I got into a rhythm catching tiny roach and rudd off the 13m line but they were incredibly small.
I started to up the feed and was spraying a few maggots over my float with the catty. I started to get a few liners and striking at thin air so decided to set up a shallow rig to have a go over the top. This was a Preston PB3 on 0.12 to 0.10 and size 18 Middy 63:13, elastic for this was a solid 6 latex. I set the rig around 18 inch deep and went out with double maggot, I planned on feeding caster so but went with the more robust maggot so I could slap the rig in. I had a few small roach from the off before an Ide of about a pound, a few more roach followed before the laggy shot out and the pole tip buried under the surface. The fight was on and when I finally got back to my top 2 I stripped a few feet of elastic from the pulla kit and eventually slid the net under a lovely 4lb mirror. When possible I fed with the catty whilst playing the fish although the emphasis was on landing the fish!
I went back out on the shallow line and managed a few more roach before the sun hid behind the clouds and the fish seemed to back off a bit. I tried on the deck again and although I was getting indications I was missing a few bites. I decided to big pot some maggots in, only maybe 100ml but I hoped this would settle the fish on the deck again.
Whilst I waited for this line to settle I had a quick chuck over the far bank with the method to see if there was anything there. I’d been firing the odd 4mm pellet over there but this was to no avail, after 15 minutes I’d not even had a liner so carried on firing the odd pellet out there and went back to the 13m line.
The big pot had settled the fish, or sort of, I managed another F1, another 1lb Ide and the roach were back in force! I decided to carry on hammering the roach to keep pace with everyone else and hope that my bigger fish would carry me through. Chris on peg3 was flying by now putting good fish in the net quite often, as was the chap on the other side of the point so I was fishing for the section again.
The all out was called at 4pm and by my reckoning I might just scrape 10lb (4lber, 2 F1’s 2 decent Ide and loads of bits).
The weigh got underway and Chris plonked 35lb on the scales (I wouldn’t be troubling that!). My 10lb 8oz fell way short of the mark but was good enough to beat my other neighbour who managed 8lb13oz. I wasn’t sure how the sections were working today, a couple of lads put an 18lb and a 25lb on the scales from the bay on my side of the lake and the other side had disappointed with Bri Clays 12lb odd winning the bank. Last to weigh off the end peg and other side of the point to peg 3 weighed a very respectable 37lb of Ide and one lonely F1.
The match hadn’t fished as well as I’d hoped though there were still some good weights but showing that the fish are still very tightly shoaled up.
Back in the cafe and my name was read out for the 4th time in four matches, another section under my belt! The pressure is really on now for Maple next week in order to carry on my good form!