Despite Manor Farm Leisure being on my door step I don’t really fish there much, but this week I fished the Saturday Open on the island pool. The weather forecast was for strong blustery winds for most of the day. Fishing the pole would be difficult and rods would come into play. Manor is a good bomb and pellet venue and that’s why I went after I’d seen the weather forecast.
I drew well, the historically good peg six. Even with the limited time I’ve spend at the venue I still knew people generally throw to the aerator off peg six and catch well. However in recent weeks it hadn’t really produced.
So on arrival at the peg I made the decision not to set my pole up. I suffer from “poleritis” as many of us do and I knew that if I set up the pole, I would try to fish it at some point. So setting up didn’t take me long today. I just set up bomb and Method rods.
The plan was to start on bread out in front in various places looking for some carp while I fed some 6mm pellets to the aerator for later in the match. If I was struggling for bites the other rod set up was a small Dura feeder for throwing over to the island. So on went three 10mm discs of Warburtons white Toastie, fresh from the bag and squeezed prior to hooking onto a size 18 (0.17mm) Preston KKM-B Preston rapid stop ready rig attached to a 20g Preston ICS match cube. This was feathered in with every cast to avoid an unnecessary plop that could spook a patrolling carp. As bread swells up on the hook some people prefer a long hair but I find no problem with the Preston ready rigs and I haven’t the time to tie my own.
The first cast produced a Skimmer straight away. Then 5 minutes later I began to catch some Carp and F1’s all on the bread. I had a nice little run of fish in the first hour before it started to slow down and I began to cast around looking for a carp.
All this time I’d been feeding pellets to the aerator and as the Bread had slowed right down it was time for the change. I changed the Ready Rig over to a banded KKM-B version and first cast to the aerator with a pellet hook bait produced a small F1. This was followed by several more small F1’s but at least I was catching again. I thought I was doing well at this point but I was aware that I was catching only small F1’s and not Carp. Some other anglers now had caught some carp. So I switched back to the bread to see if I could catch another carp. Nothing came from the bread this time so the next decision was either to go back throwing to the aerator with pellets where I had been catching or to start a new line with the Dura feeder over towards the island. I decided not to come off the fishing fish and went back on the bomb and pellet. I stayed there for the rest of the match, feeding a few 6mm pellets after every fish.
Come the weight in I felt I’d done alright. My fish went to 65lb 4oz which was enough for 3rd place in the match with 100lb winning and 73lb 2nd.
I don’t ever recall not setting up my pole for a match before. Perhaps I should do this more often. Choosing the right method on the day is really important, which in this case was rods due to the windy weather conditions. If I have set the pole up I know I would have tried it at some point and probably caught very little due to not being able to present the pole rig right in the windy conditions. Successful match fishing is really about fishing the right method and not the method you want to fish on the day.