3rd placed, Solhampton Sunday Open, Kingfisher pool, 69lb 0oz

With the individual winter league starting soon, it was off to Solhampton this week for a bit of practice. A good turnout of anglers saw The Valley, Kingfisher and Jackdaw pools in this week. I was hoping to draw on the Valley as I’ve never fished that pool at the complex but when I drew 32 on Kingfisher, an end peg I was happy. I’ve fished Kingfisher a couple of times and always caught a few fish. 

On arrival at my peg I noted that they had been doing a bit of fishery maintenance on the island and I was greeted with a lot to floating debris from the work they’d been doing. I was a little concerned because the work had only been done at my end of the pool and I hoped this hadn’t pushed the fish down to the other end of the pool. I wasn’t complaining though, Solhampton has to be one of the best kept fisheries in the country and in the height of summer the pools are simply stunning. 

I had some good options and I set up rigs for fishing down the track in the deeper water and my margin rig could also be used over to the island as the depth of water was similar there. 

The weather was on the change now and even though the water was well coloured I felt I needed to fish the track in the deepest water a could find as the average depth is only around 3 foot deep. The margin down to my left was good at around 18 inch right by the reed bush and I felt confident of a few fish here. As the weather had turned colder I started on maggots on 2+2 after cupping in half a big pot of fishery micro pellet into the margin with a view of fishing it early. The maggot rig was a 4×10 Preston F1 maggot set up on 0.15 Guru N Gauge mainline with a spread bulk of no,11’s above a pre tied 0.11mm Preston SFL-B ready rig set up on an 11h hollo elastic. This produced plenty of Ide, Roach and micro Perch and the odd small carp but these were really small. The competition from these smaller fish intercepting the bait wasn’t allowing the carp to feed on my maggot loose feed and so I binned this off after 45 minutes. 

Left hand margin, Kingfisher 32
Left hand margin, Kingfisher 32

I went into the left margin next with a 6mm Pro Expander and cad potted in some more fishery micro’s. I began to catch some carp here straight away and this continued for the next hour feeding micro after every fish. The rig was an 0.4g Nick Gilbert XT Edger set up on 0.17 Guru N Gauge and a small bulk of no.8’s above a cut down 4inch 0.13mm Preston size 16 GPM Ready Rig set up on 13H hollo elastic. After an hour I began to foul hook some fish and the pellet was catching a few decaying leaves on the bottom. I felt a heavier bait would be better and I changed to corn. Still feeding mirco’s and a few gains of corn. This was much better and I had a good next hour and I was now building a good weight but the margin was now slowing down. I decided to feed another half a big pot of micro and rest the line. Returning to the maggot line which I’d still continued to feed. I hoped this constant feeding would of fed off the silvers by now and some carp had moved in but the small fish were still present and it was a time for a think what to do next. I thought about going long over to the Island but decided to start feeding maggots short on 2+1 to my left tight to the bank. This worked and I had a nice little run of carp here for the next 30 minutes before it died on me. Dropping on the maggot line next again just produced the small Silvers and I was now struggling to put fish into the keep net. 

I opened up a new line next with mirco’s and a 4mm Pro Expander on 2+1 but I never had a bite. The only places were I could get bites was from was the long margin with corn and the short margin maggot line and so I began to alternate between these lines for the final hour of the match. Things had slowed right down now and looking around the pool the other angers were the same. I was just picking off the odd fish now. I decided to return to the maggot line and catch what I could. It looked like a close finish was on the cards and a least these small silvers were adding to my overall weight. But these silvers were really small and they weren’t really of any value to me. I decided to stick with the long margin hoping to finish off with a couple more carp and I did catch two more in the last 30 minutes, so the right decision!   

The match finished and I estimated I had about 65lb on the clicker and I wheeled my tackle back to the car as I was on an end peg and last to weigh. Talking to the other anglers as I passed them and listening to what they thought they’d got, it soon became clear that it was going to be a tight result.  With the tackle back in the car I returned for the weigh in. 69lb 14oz was the top weight with 2nd having 69lb 10oz. With my 65lb on the clicker and a few silvers it was going to be very close as they were paying the top 3 anglers on each pool but a framing place was on the cards.

I weighed in 69lb dead which was enough for the final framing place. Those small silvers had made the difference. So a very close match and I only needed one more fish for the win! But I was happy, catching a good weight of fish in October is good and Solhampton never fails to disappoint. It really is a cracking fishery and more importantly a fair venue as the result showed. 

Margin Rig – 0.4g Nick Gilbert XT Edger, 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge, small bulk of no.8’s above a cut down 4 inch size 16 0.13mm Preston GPM ready rig set up on 13H hollo elastic. 

Result – Kingfisher pool
1st Karl Stephens 69-14
2nd Derek Silk 69-10
3rd Phil Seedhouse 69-00 

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