This Sunday I took in the open at Hillview. I fancied fishing one of the canals this week as these are normally in on a Sunday. On arrival at the fishery the place was rammed with anglers cars and I feared a club were on the canals. It turned out two clubs had matches, but I was happy to learn these two clubs actually were on the two main pools, Moorhen and Heron.
Strangely there weren’t many anglers fishing the open this week dispite the weather which was mild for the middle of October and today just 12 anglers fished the open. We used the 3rd and 4th canals this week. These two canals are the best ones at Hillview and I hoped for a peg on canal four (the best one) but Keith the fishery owner drew me out peg 77 in the middle of the 3rd canal for me this time. So no end peg flyer for me this week but I still expected a nice days fishing.
Maggots or pellet attack?
As the weather was on the change now, maggots were back on the side tray along with soft 6mm pellets, micro pellet and corn. I was a little unsure what to start on so I decided to start the match on maggots, hopefully to get a good start and get a few small fish in the keepnet before the bigger fish turned up. I started fishing a short pole at 2+2 as you don’t need to fish long on these canals. This was a mistake, I was bitted out with small Roach straight away. I couldn’t get my hook bait though these micro Roach! So an early change was needed.
I could see a few carp and F1’s shallow just off the pallet to my left and I began to throw a few 4mm’s while I was persevering with the maggot line but it wasn’t long before I went on it starting at 12 inches deep. I had no takers but I could see they were very shallow and I soon changed to just 6 inches deep. This was much better, catching and nice ghostie some small carp and F1’s. I was now catching the odd fish. I wasn’t bagging in any way, just the odd fish but at least they weren’t micro Roach! but my thoughts soon began to fishing the left margin at 2+1 to my left.
The left margin was deep at around 3 foot so I used a heavy 4+16 Preston edge float on 0.19mm mainline with a bulk of no.8’s 4 inches from the size 14 (0.15mm) hook to nail my corn hook bait to the bottom, feeding balls of micro to get the bait quickly down. I caught a few more carp here but I was missing some bites, It just didn’t feel right and I spent the next hour changing between this deep margin and the shallow line off the next pallet.
Change of rig!
I felt the margin had plenty of feeding fish. I just could catch them fast enough and I was getting behind in the match. A change was needed. I had set up a lighter 4×12 Preston F1 pellet float on 0.15mm mainline for the far bank and replumed it up for the left margin. Rather then having a heavy bulk this rig had a 5 no’s 9 and a no, 10 at 1 inch gaps above a 4 inch (0.13mm) size 16 hook length to dot the bristle down. I was going to use a 6mm soft Sonubaits expander this time on a size 16 Preston GPM hook.
This change was much better, changing to a lighter float, mainline and hook length was miles better and I began to catch more fish. the lighter soft pellet rig was much better than the heavy rig that I started on. But this change was to late! I was now catching well but well behind the other anglers in the section.
I finished the match weighing in 73lb which was about 30lb short for the section win. I am sure if I had started with the lighter rig I would have challenged for the section. I’d changed to the lighter rig to late to catch the other anglers up. I don’t really fish these canals enough and the regulars were just to good for me today but you are always learning with fishing and next time with the right rig set up I’m sure I will compete with the regular anglers that fish these canals.
Best rigs of the day
Shallow rig – Preston 4×10 dibber set up on 0.17mm Guru N Gauge with a bulk of 5 no.10 stotz above a cut down 4inch Guru size 18 (0.13mm) Banded Ready Rig, this was set up on White Hydro through a short stop puller kit. A 6mm fishery pellet as hook bait was the best while I was feeding 4mm’s
Margin rig 3 foot deep – 4×12 Preston F1 Pellet set up on 0.15mm Guru N Gauge main line with 5 no. 9 shot and 1 no. 10 to dot the bristle down, 1 inch gaps above a 4 inch cut down Preston size 16 (0.13mm) GPM Ready rig baited with a 6mm Sonu baits soft expander pellet, set up through a standard power kit puller with 13mm white Preston Dura Slip elastic.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Sometimes I doesn’t go right at the start of a match. I’ve not fished these canals much over the last couple of years and my heavy margin rig was probably more suited to fishing the margins when big carp are around, swirling bait around with their tails. But these canals at Hillview are full of small F1’s and Carp and they provide excellent fishing all year round. There wasn’t a need to pin a bait on the bottom. A lighter rig with smaller diameter line and hooks proved to be better.