4th placed with 80lb, Solhampton Sunday Open


This week we Jubilee Nomads fished the open at Solhampton where 20 anglers were spread over the Buzzard and Jackdaw pools.

We are all fishing the individual winter league later their this year. So off we went for a little practise. I expected my normal bad draw which has continued throughout the summer of 2020 since we went back fishing after lockdown. I hadn’t had the best of luck during this time and nothing has been worthwhile posting. There’s been plenty of bad draws and me just making up the numbers fishing open matches during this time. 

Its been frustrating and when you go through bad runs like this you begin to doubt your angling ability. I’ve won plenty of matches over the years but this run of poor form has really got me thinking “what the hell am I doing wrong” I’ve watched countless youtube videos and read lots in the media about pole rigs, baits and how to feed. In fact I’ve pretty much thought about my fishing 24/7 and during this time I’ve struggled to frame in my matches. 

Yes Open matches are a higher standard of fishing than club matches and I compete with some excellent anglers. Many of these anglers are able to fish several times a week on their preferred venues and they are really switched on to these venues and it’s tough when I only fish once a week it different venues. 

During this bad run I’ve really had to think about my pole rigs coupled with the seasonal changes in the weather. Rig wise, its a mine field, pole float selection is key with correct line and shotting and float weight etc, Pole floats options with 2mm, 1.5mm and 1.2mm, Wire, glass or carbon stems, and spread out or bulk shotting, hook gauges and then rig stability on windy days to think about. So I’ve taken all this on board and I’ve taken the decision to re organise my pole rigs. I’ve been using Nick Gilbert pole floats for a number of years and they are all very good but I needed a confidence boost and I’ve completely redesigned my pole rig draws. Having confidence in your rigs is half the battle and I’ve changed to several different brands/styles of pole float which I hope changes my success. 

The first outing for these new rigs was this Sunday and I hoped for at least a good peg to try them out. At last a drew a good peg Jackdaw 4. The weather had changed since my last match and some of my winter finesse rigs were the first rigs out of the new draws. The plan was to fish maggot long (13m) and short (2+2). Soft pellet next to the reeds close to my right (2+1) and then left hand edge. I started on the short maggot line first feeding just maggots. This produced plenty of Ide, Roach and Skimmers but no Carp so I began cad potting in fishery micro pellet on to this line and the carp soon arrived. I was now building a weight but these carp were only small around 1lb. I needed to catch a better stamp of fish. 

So after an hour I switched a fishing a 6mm Sonubaits Pro Expander soft pellet next to the reeds cad potting in fishery micro’s. I began to catch a better stamp of fish here for an hour before it slowed down. I decided to rest it and switched to my left hand 2+1 but feeding fishery 4mm’s here to see if it made a difference. I caught here to and so for the next 2 hours I alternated between these two (2+1) lines. 

Half way into the match I seemed to think I was doing OK but now both lines were slowing down. I’d been feeding the 2+2 line with maggots all the time and decided to try here next but to feed  some micro into the left margin. The margin on this pool is just a gentle slope starting at couple of inches so I was a little unsure if they would come in now it was October. I began to fish maggot on the 2+2 line but kept an eye on the margin for swirls. The maggot line just produced silvers again so it was the micro that was pulling in the carp and pushing out the silvers so I binned the maggot line off. I tried the margin next with a 6mm soft pellet and I caught carp straight away but I was getting silky weed around the hook and missing bites. The carp were coming into the margin though so I re-plumbed up the margin nearer to me (2+1) but changed to feeding maggots with 3 on the hook in 6 inches of water. The maggots brought the carp in and I began to catch well here now. I could actually see the carp feeding on the maggots and I spent the rest of the match here. 

The match ended and I weighed in 80lb beating either peg each side of me. I ended up 4th on the pool with 118lb first and a couple of 90’s 2nd and 3rd. I just wish I’d fished the margin a little earlier. But I enjoyed the day and caught all day long. It was just the confidence boost I needed. The new rigs worked!!

Rigs – 

2+2 maggot line. (4ft)  4×14 Preston F1 maggot on 0.15mm Guru N Gauge mainline, Tapered 2″ spread bulk of no.10’s & no.11’s above a 6 inch 0.11mm size 18 SFL Ready rig hook length – Preston 11 hollo elastic 

2+1 Pellet line (3ft) 4×12 Preston F1 Pellet on 0.15mm Guru N Gauge mainline, Spread bulk of 1″ no. 9’s above a 6 inch 0.11mm size 16 SFL hook Ready rig hook length – Preston 13H hollo elastic (6mm Sonubaits Pro Expander)

Margin (6″)  0.2g Nick Gilbert Edger, 0.17mm Guru mainline, bulk no.10’s below float to 4″ 0.13mm size 16 GPM (chopped down Ready rig) – Preston 13H hollo elastic 


Author: Phil Seedhouse

Match fishing Blogger, Based in Worcestershire, fishing Commercial Open matches

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