This week I fished the Sunday open match at Hillview, Canals 3 and 4 were in this week but only 10 anglers booked in, probably due to other venues having winter leagues and festivals over the weekend. So not many there but at least it was a match. Plus there was plenty of room for all this week.
I drew in the middle of canal 4 on peg 88 which is a good draw but with it turning cold I was unsure whether it would be a pellet or maggot match. I’d pleasure fished on the River Avon on the Twyford stretch the previous day so I had plenty of maggots and casters left over and these would come into play if things got hard and pellets weren’t working.
I started the match on the bottom at 2+2 with 6mm hard pellets on the hook feeding 4mm’s and began to catch well straight away, but I could see the fish were still up in the water dispite it being the middle of October and raining. The angler to my left was catching well in the margins with what looked like a better stamp of fish than I was catching. So as I had plenty of caster I began feeding them to my left margin at about 2+3. I gave it 20 minutes before trying it and I caught fish here straight away. Shallow fishing seemed the way forward.
Wrong shallow bait!
Things were great my catch rate was good on the casters shallow. Just 12 inch’s deep was the best depth and I carried on here fishing shallow to the margins but I also opened up a new shallow line down the middle of the track as back up if the shallow margin line slowed down. The angler on my left was catching much better fish than me and much more quicker. I couldn’t really work out why and I began to rotate my shallow lines. I could see he was also catching 12 inches deep and I persevered with the casters shallow. The fish were there I just couldn’t catch them like the other angler who was racing away from me now. I was still catching well so I carried on. I stayed shallow for the rest of the match rotating between the track and margin but still scratching my head as to why I was getting battered by the angler to my right. He won the match easily 178lb which he told me after the match was has best ever match weight. I asked him “was that on caster?” To which he replied no triple red maggot. doh!! I’d made a mistake.
So a lesson learnt today. I had maggots on my side tray. These were bronze maggots that I had left over from the previous days river session. I didn’t have confidence in them as red maggot is the bait for Stillwater’s. I should have at least tried them! But all was not lost. I weighed in 100lb and was delighted to pick up the 2nd place money even though I’d been battered by 78lb.
Best rig of the day
0.10g Preston dibber float set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge with 5 no 10 stotz’s above a cut down 4 inch Guru SLWG size 18 0.13mm Ready rig set up with White Hydro though a short stop kit. (I just fished the wrong bait all day)