Hillview Saturday Open – an enjoyable day catching shallow, but I neglected a good margin, weighing in 80lb


This weekend with it being Fathers day on the Sunday and the Mrs had planned a meal out down the pub on the Sunday for her aunties 81st birthday. I dropped into Hillview for the Saturday Open.

This Saturday saw a poor turnout of only 15 anglers, which is strange for such a prolific venue that Hillview is. But this did mean we were spread over the Moorhen and Heron pools. This was good as we all had plenty of room and because of the low turnout there was no section on one of the canal pools which generally fish better and record better weights. So all fair with something to fish for this week with all anglers on a level playing field.

I drew on the Heron pool, peg 22 this can be OK with good margins left and right. I planned to start on a short pole line with meat moving out further out if it was slow going. Pellets on the bottom on my long pole line, several shallow kits for up in the water again with pellets and a rig for down the left hand margin.

At the all in I fed pot of fishery micro in the margin early and started on the short line. Rig wise there wasn’t much depth at 2+2 and 2+3, only about 3 foot so I set up a small 4×10 Preston Carp pellet on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge main line with stung out no.10’s above a size 16 0.13mm 6 inch GPM Ready rig. I should have cut this down to 4 inches as the the water was so shallow, mistake 1 !

Preston 15 Dura Slip elastic
Preston Carp Pellet

This was set up on red 15 Preston Dura Slip and cad potted in some 6mm cubed meat with a 6mm cube on the hook. This produced several F1’s in the first hour re feeding after every fish but it wasn’t prolific and I’d noticed the angler to my left had begun to catch some F1’s shallow. So I began to prime my long shallow line with some fishery 4mm’s before trying shallow after playing around for 30 minutes trying to catch with pellets on the bottom with no success.

Shallow fishing

It wasn’t long before I began to catch a few F1’s. I have four shallow short stop kits I keep ready made up in the holdall set up a various depths because F1’s can sit at various depths shallow but the 0.3g dibber rig set up at 12 inch proved to be the best. I’ve been using Preston’s new light green 11 Dura Slip through theses short stop kits this year and I’ve been really impressed with it. Plenty of stretch for the hooked fish to swim away from the shoal without spooking them but once it powers up, a couple of pulls and their ready for the landing net. There’s plenty of give in the elastic for a size 18 Guru SLWG banded 0.13mm Ready rig cut down to 4 inches.

Garbo Short Stop kits, great for F1’s Shallow
11 Green Dura Slip again great for F1’s Shallow

My big mistake!!

I really enjoyed catching these F1’s shallow and that’s where I made my mistake this week. Because I was catching well shallow and really enjoying the sport I neglected my margin. I’d been feeding it with big pots of fishery micro every hour and I didn’t go on it until the last 45 minutes. Big mistake!

When I did, I caught some carp straight away with Sonubaits soft 8mm expanders and a few more on double corn. I was geared up to catch some big carp here with an 4×14 Preston Edge float set up on 0.19mm Guru N-Gauge to cut down 4 inch size 14 0.17mm SXH Ready Rig on 17 Dura Slip. I probably did 25lb in these last 45 minutes and really should have fished it earlier for some big boys.

So lessons learnt for next time. I had a good margin peg but I got blinkered into catching small F1’s Shallow for most of the day! The match was won with 120lb of shallow caught F1’s and if I’d gone down the edge they were there to be caught! So no brown envelopes this week but at least I enjoyed the day catching a few.

Author: Phil Seedhouse

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

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