Open match win, Manor Farm Leisure, Thursday affordable open

Using up a few days holiday from work before the end of the year meant I was able to visit Manor Farm Leisure for their mid week affordable open. I drew Windmill 34 in the shallows with only a 3 foot depth of water. But with a few days of mild winter weather I was still confident of catching a few fish.

I decided to fish in the deepest part of the peg I could find, 13 metres slightly to my left with expander pellets over micro’s. With it being relatively mild I pumped up some 6mm Ringers Next Generation expander pellets and also a few 4mm’s if it was hard going. A pint of maggots were the back up bait if things got really hard as the recent winning weights have been very low at this venue for several weeks.

I started on a 6mm expander and kindered in some mirco’s to see how it was going to fish. I had a good start catching 5 small F1’s and a few skimmers in the first hour. Then it slowed down and I had a switch to a maggot line I’d been feeding to my right at 13 metres. This line was just producing small Roach every put in and not really weight builders. I tried my maggot rig over the pellet line that I’d been feeding but this still produced the small Roach.

So it was time for a change. I’d caught some F1’s and a few Skimmers with the 6mm expander. I tried a 4mm expander but I was still catching the small Roach. So I decided to big cup in half a 250ml cup of micro’s into the pellet line. This did the trick, as after 10 minutes I attracted and landed a Carp around 4lb. 

So I began topping up the pellet line with mirco’s after every fish, getting some bait into the swim even though it was December! The fish were feeding and I caught several more F1’s, Skimmers and Roach during the next hour. 

Going into the 3rd hour I struck into something bigger, which turned out to be a Carp around 8lb. I’d decided to fish a 12 elastic as there are some big Carp in this pool and the 12 elastic gave me half a chance. Taking your time on these bonus fish in winter is very important and I let it tire out for several minutes letting the elastic take the strain before bringing it into netting range. 

I was beginning to build a good weight now and all my fish had come from the same line. I was thinking about resting this line and trying the short pellet line I’d been feeding as back up soon. But after another 10 minutes I was into another good Carp which was about 5lb this time. Again I let the elastic take the strain before nettting it. 

At this point in the match all was going OK so I decided to stay on the same line for the rest of the match. The fish didn’t seem to be bothered about the pole over the heads despite the swim only being 3 foot deep. I was catching Carp, small F1’s, Skimmers and Roach and all was good. 

Going into the last hour I landed a couple more good Carp around 4lb each and some more F1’s, Skimmers with the odd Roach. 

At the end of the match I weighed in 64lb 8oz for the match win. This was a brilliant winning weight for the 2nd week in December. I’d had bites all day from the same line. This day was one of my most enjoyable matches of the year and I was very pleased with my winning weight of 64lb which also was the best winning weight at the complex for several weeks. I just wish I could fish it more often but I have to work full time.

Pellet Rig – 0.3g Nick Gilbert XT finesse Carbon HD pole float set up on 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge main line with several no.10 stotz’s at 2 cm gaps just above a 6 inch 0.12mm Silstar matchteam hook lenght will a size 16 B911 F1 spade end hook. On a No.12 Preston Dura Hollo elastic.

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