This match was spread over Hay, Barley, Front and Back Deans. I fancied Hay and Barley and when I drew end peg 19 on Barley I really fancied it for a few fish.
The plan was to start the match on the pellet feeder throwing to the far bank. I found the same depth of water on my long and short pole lines, about 4 foot of water and set up maggot and soft pellet rigs plus a margin rig. I found a good depth of water about 2 foot close in on the left margin which also had a nice flat bottom and being an end peg I fancied this to produce later in the match.
So I started on the pellet feeder. The set up was 6lb mainline on my trusted Daiwa TDR 2508 reel and Preston 10 foot Mini Plus rod with a 20g ICM Preston pellet feeder with a 4 inch size 18 Preston KKM-B Banded ready rig. Feed was blue fishery micro’s with a 6mm blue fishery pellet as hook bait.
I threw over about 2 foot off the far bank lined up with a marker tree at about 2 o’clock and waited. I began catapulting a small pouches of maggots in at 13 metres every 5 minutes with the view of going on it after an hour or so. After 20 minutes the tip pulled round. It was a good fish and being the first one of the day I played it carefully before landing the 5lb Carp. I threw back out and caught another 3 carp in the next hour, so a good start. Then next 3 fish were small stockies so I threw around looking for more carp but know more came. It was time of a change in tactics.
I’d fed the 13 maggot line now for one and a half hours, plenty of time for the fish to gain confidence but it seemed full of tiny roach and I gave up on this line after 20 minutes hoping to hook a carp. I came in short at 6 metres with a soft 6mm pellet, sprinkling in a few 4mm fishery pellets via a cad pot. I tried this line for the next 15 minutes but no bites were coming and I began to think about the margin line where I’d been throwing a few 4mm pellets since the start of the match or to go back on the pellet feeder. I thought I would try the margin for 10 minutes and if no bites came I would be back on the feeder. So into the margin I went with single grain of corn as hook bait and I continued to loose feed the 4mm pellets plus 3 or 4 grains of corn. I was soon into a carp and this gave me the confidence to stay in the margin line longer and after about 15 minutes I caught another carp.
So now a had 6 Carp two hours into the match. I felt I didn’t need to catch F1’s or silvers now and I gave up feeding the long maggot line. With 3 hours left in the match I felt the margin would only just get better and I began to feed corn and pellets a little heavier. This didn’t really work and I had a long spell waiting. I opened up a short maggot line now thinking I would be fishing this next and I changed the way I was feeding the margin. I decided to go back to feeding just four 4mm pellets every five minutes without any corn. I wanted to attract the fish into the margin with the sound of the pellets hitting the water but only a stand out hook bait in the water. After all this was the 30thDecember and I didn’t want to put too much bait in and fill up the feeding fish. This worked and I soon had some carp in the margin again, I was catching the odd carp now. So I stopped feeding the short maggot line now. I didn’t want to split my fish. I had decided to stay on the left margin now. I was catching some small carp now and I was just building a good weight.
With an hour left now the margin had slowed down and I wasn’t getting bites. The sound of four pellets going in wasn’t attracting the fish in now. I decided to adjust my feeding and began to also feed a few grains of corn with the pellets. It turned into a waiting game but I now knew I had a good weight anyway and I hoped for a big carp to move in as it was now well into the last hour. This worked I caught a good one about 5lb. Then three minutes before the all-out I hooked another good carp around 5lb. I knew this one may be the section winner and I took my time to land it. Rather than rushing it and pulling the hook.
Come the weigh in I had 78lb to beat from the other end peg in the section. I hoped those last two carp would get me over the line. They did and I weighed in 87lb to take the section. This was a good weight for the venue at this time of the year and I hoped to get into the top 3 pay out. The top weights came in off the other pools and 73lb was the top weight off Deans and Hay. I’d won the match. I great way to finish off the year.
Margin Rig – 2 foot deep, 0.3g 2mm tipped Nick Gilbert Edger pole float on 0.19mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a small bulk of no.8 stotz’s above a 6 inch size 16 0.13mm Preston GPM-B banded Ready Rig. Set up on Preston 13H hollo elastic on a puller top kit.