2nd placed, Hillview Sunday Open, 41lb 8oz


This week Hillview’s open match was on the Heron pool where they have been re-doing the causeway between the Heron and Moorhen pools in recent weeks. This causeway had become eroded in recent years and had become quite narrow in places making it difficult to set pole rollers up behind you. So with the pegs on the causeway now refurbished the match was on all four banks of the Heron pool.

Peg 29, Heron Pool, Hillview

The talk before the match was that you needed to be on the café end of the pool which had been producing. So when I drew peg 31 on the opposite end of the pool I was a little disappointed but luckily a re-draw was required and I found peg 29 home for the day. A little nearer to the café end but still on the wrong end of the pool. I wasn’t to despondent though as this is a peg that can be a good area to be in, although there had been an over night frost and being the end of January I still had a tough match ahead of me.

I set up to fish maggots long and short on the pole, two rigs, one a bulk and droppers and a light 4×12 strung out one for fishing through the water in 4 foot of water. I also set up a rig for the right margin as a throw away line as the fish would probably be away from the bank and if needed a bomb rod for either fishing bread and bomb or a maggot feeder into the middle of the pool.

A great start

On the all in I shipped out to 13 metres cad potting in a few maggots capped off with a few micro’s to stop the maggots spilling out and fished my bulk rig over the top of the feed. After 15 minutes I hooked my first fish of the day, A nice F1 around 3lb. Several more good F1’s followed in the next hour plus my only carp of the day at around 8lb so I was off to a great start having around 20lb in the keepnets. All was good and I was easily winning the match at this point but I knew there was a long way to go and this line was beginning to slow down.

Up until now all my fish were nicely hooked in the lip but the last one from this first spell was foul hooked and it had now been a while since that last fish so I began to think the fish were on the move. So I switched to my light 4×12 strung out rig and began to loose feed maggots via the catapult moving left and right around my 13 metre line and also going out to 14.5 metres. Nothing came my way though and the fish hadn’t moved up in the water. The angler on the next peg was now catching them. They had clearly moved into his peg and he was catching me up.

So I came short trying a soft 4mm Sonubaits Pro expander over some micro’s next. This produced another F1 and I thought this was the way to go but I didn’t catch anymore here and I quickly switched over to maggots. No more F1’s seemed to be present but I did catch some nice Roach here. The angler next to me was still catching on his 13 metre line so I returned to mine hoping now that it had been rested I might be able to catch there again. I did hook another carp here but it was foul hooked and was soon lost. At least I knew where a few carp were and I persevered on the 13 metre line and added a couple more F1’s in the next hour.

Half way in the match now and after a good start the angler on the next peg had now caught me up. We both had around 30lb. He was catching faster than me thought and I needed to find some fish. Time to try the right hand margin. I tried a 6mm Pro Expander over a few 4mm’s and after 10 minutes I landed another F1 but nothing followed it and I switched to corn and then maggots. This produced another F1 on the maggot but then nothing again and it just didn’t feel it was right after the frost. I was still conscious the angler next to me was catching although he had now closed down and I didn’t want to waste anymore time in the margin. The fish still seems to be out in the pool. So next option was to throw out a maggot feeder right out into the middle of the pool. On some days this can transform your match but it didn’t work today. So for the rest of the match I was alternating between my long and short maggot lines picking off the odd F1 and a few silvers. alternating between single, double and triple red maggot hook bait. I was in catch anything mode now just trying to catch more than the next peg. The weigh in was going to be close!

The weigh in

I’d clicked to 37lb but knew it was going to be close between me and the next peg and when the scales arrived the top weight was 53lb. I knew I couldn’t beat that but I was pleased to weigh a bit more than I thought, tipping the scales round to 41lb 8oz. But would the next peg beat that? Would those few silvers make the difference? It was going to be close. Luckily for me he weighed in 40lb So those few silvers scratching around the peg were enough to take the section and 2nd in the match. So happy days!

Best rig of the day

Out of two maggot rigs I set up the bulk rig was the best today. This was a 4×14 Preston F1 Fine because of its fine 1.2 bristle to show up the bites. set up on 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge main line with a bulk of no.9’s 18 inches from the hook and then two no.10 droppers 6 inches apart above a 6 inch Preston SFL size 18 (0.11mm) Ready Rig set up though a puller kit with Preston green Dura Slip 11 elastic.

Preston SFL Ready Rigs, Why tie your own?
Preston F1 Fine, 1.2 tip to spot shy bites
Preston Dura Slip 11

This set up will land anything in the winter time on commercials. The green 11 Preston Dura Slip enables light silver fish hooks such as the SFL Ready rigs to be used with total confident with a light 0.11mm (3lb hook length) leading to more bites and it’ll land every thing from a small Roach to a double figure Carp.

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