Thursday, 2 August 2012

July 29th - Brafferton F1 Lake

We were back at Brafferton today and after a few not so good results we should hopefully have a better day today as there were only 14 of us booked on and we had the whole 80 peg lake to go at. After breakfast I held the bag for the draw and with two pegs left, I drew myself peg 53, leaving Stu with peg 7. I’ve not been down the arm for a long time so was quite looking forward to it. On arriving at my peg I had acres of room with Steve Cromie on peg 57 to my left and no-one to my right until peg 29! I had probably a third of the lake to myself! The back straight doesn’t seem to produce match winning performances that often so they’d been left out. I set my box up remembering all the lessons I’d learnt on the Monday and set about my rigs. I was going to concentrate on two lines today. One in the deep water in front of me and a shallow line to my left, just far enough away from deep line so they didn’t get confused. My deep rig was a 0.4g homemade wire stemmed pencil float on 0.16 mainline to an 0.12 hooklength, size 18 Drennan Power hair rigger and a small bait band tied to the hair. Although the swim was around 7ft deep there wasn’t much tow on the lake although there was a bit of a ripple that got stronger as I was setting up. If the tow picked up then I could switch over to a heavier pattern should I need to. This rig was finished off with a double 5 elastic and a newly made sprinkle pot. I had two shallow rigs set up one for fishing 6-12 inches and the other for 12-24 inches. Both of these were the same line, hooks and elastic as the deep rig but with 0.2g Rizov shallow floats. For bait today I had some 6mm hard pellets for the band, 4mm hard pellets for feed, two pints of casters, a handful of maggots and a few worms. The all in was called and I armed the deep rig with a 6mm pellet, filled up my pot and shipped out. I lowered the float in slowly, before tipping a few pellets over the top. Constant twitching of the float and drip feeding saw bites come nearly straight away and after a few minutes I was slipping the net under my first F1. I carried on in this way whilst constantly firing half a pouch of casters onto my shallow line. After an hour and a half I had 10-12 fish in the net and seemed to be doing OK. I even managed a small F1 around 6oz from under my feet whilst I was filling my pot up! Although I thought I was doing OK and seemed to be catching fairly steadily, the shallow line was calling. Although I planned to feed this for two hours before going on it, the water was erupting every time I fired some casters in and I couldn’t resist any longer!! I went out with the deeper shallow rig fishing around 18 inches deep and was into fish straight away, by constantly flicking a few casters out every ten seconds or so I was catching one every put in! Be it a chub between 6oz and a pound or an F1, I was always putting something in the net, it was solid! I tried the shallower shallow rig but the better fish seemed to be sitting a little bit deeper, I was just getting plagued by roach and small skimmers in the top foot of water. At the half way point of the match, as always I switched to my other keepnet and three hours in I reckon I had 42lb in my first net, which made a nice change! The fishing started slowing down a little and the stamp of fish were getting slightly smaller. It was more than coincidence that my supply of casters were running out too! I was being a little more sparing with them to make them last but it was having a big affect on my catch rate. I’d only taken two pints as with the forecast intermittent thunderstorms predicted I wasn’t sure how effective the shallow approach would be. I started firing 4mm pellets onto the same line but it wasn’t the same, or at least to start with. It took probably half an hour to convert them onto pellet though I did get the odd one in this drier spell. I was soon into a rhythm of catching one near enough every put in though I did lose a couple, which I think is down to the length of the hair I was using as I noticed I landed the odd fish hooked in the nose rather than the mouth. Eventually it was a case of fishing 6 inches deep with as short a lash as possible, slap the rig a few times, stir the surface like mad with the pole tip and wait for the laggy to rip out. I only fed pellets when I was playing fish to keep them in the area. The fish were really on the feed now and I remember looking at my watch and seeing there was only seven minutes left. In this time I had 4 F1’s and lost one! The match drew to a close and I’d really enjoyed myself, by my reckoning I had 80lb, with 42lb in the first net and 38lb in the second net. John and Martin started the weigh in, Martin had 38lb and John 34lb if I remember correctly? I was up next, my first net weighed 47-08, so a little more than expected, my second net at first glance looked bigger than my first and this was confirmed as the 50lb scales went round twice! Had I done my first proper ton on a match? After tipping a few fish back into the keepnet my second weigh was 43-12, my third and final weigh of 9-08 meant I’d done it 100lb 12oz, a lot more than I expected and proof that I’d taken on board a few tips from Mondays master class! Going up the lake there were some more good weights, including Gordy’s 45lb (that’ll be a quid ta!!) and 88lb from Steve Cromie which was good enough for third overall. Acko (I’ve got anything between 70 and 100lb) had to spoil things though by weighing in a fantastic 111lb from peg 63! In the end I came second and had thoroughly enjoyed my day, it had been nonstop and even the quiet spells were busier than my normal bagging days! Roll on Cedar on Thursday!

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