This week I fished the Hillview open on the Saturday rather than my normal Sunday. The two pools, Moorhen and Heron are normally used on a Saturday and I’d been looking forward it it all week. But the big question was how was it going to fish? We’d had a heat wave all week with temperatures in the 30’s and Keith the owner had said they’d been spawning earlier in the week and today there was an 10 degree drop in temperature. I was pretty glad anyway as fishing in 30 degree heat ain’t nice!
The draw was done and I only had a short walk to peg 5 on Moorhen and I set out my stall for hard pellets on the pole and corn/soft pellet over fishery micro in front of the next pallet to my left. I was pegged on the causeway between Moorhen and Heron and with it recently been renovated making it wider the margins are quite sloped with no decent flat spots to fish to. So fishing to the next pallet flat on the bottom seemed a better option.
Hard Pellets on the short pole
I started with hard pellets on the bottom fishing the short pole at 5 sections planning to work my way back to the bank as the match progressed. I began fishing a 6mm banded hard pellet and cad potting in a few 6mm’s over the top and it wasn’t long before I began to catch a few small stockie F1’s with the odd better one. These fish were in the small side but bites were plentiful and I probably put 20lb in the keepnets during this first hour. I was happy to continue to doing this as not a lot was been caught by the other anglers. I felt the bigger ones would come as the match processed. But now 2 hours in they hadn’t so a change was needed. I potting in a big cup of micro up to the pallet to my left with a view to dropping onto it in 15 minutes and continued with the hard pellets on the short pole. I did change the hook bait to an larger 8mm hard pellet next hoping to stop the small stockie and to catch a carp or a bigger F1. This worked to some degree and I did catch some F1’s around 2lb to 3lb but I was still getting the small stockie F1 and the odd Skimmer.
An early look into the Margin
The margins at Hillview cannot be ignored if a big weight is going to be done. It’s well worth having an early look their two hours into the match. If they are their, this can produce a match winning weight. I tried it with an 8mm soft Sonubaits Pro Expander cad potting in micro over the top but this only produced a few Skimmers and a small Carp during the next 15 minutes. It was worth coming off the small stockie short pole line for a while and I tried double corn next on the pallet line. BINGO I hooked a lump next and carp around 8lb graced the landing net. This prompted me a feed a few bits of corn in with the micro but sadly northing came my way after another 15 minutes. So in went a large cup of corn and micro for later and I retuned to the pole next.
Back to the pole
We were three hours into the match now and looking around the pool it was clear not many of the large carp were being caught. But plenty of F1’s were willing to feed. This was probably due to the spawning in the hot weather we’d had during the week and now the 10 degree drop in temperature was putting them off feeding. So I decided to stick with these small stockies and F1’s on the short pole line. Saving the margin for the last hour. I continued with the 8mm hard pellet hook bait, catching plenty of these stockies with a odd better F1 for the next couple of hours and then I started to look in to margin line from time to time. The Margins weren’t working and I spent more of the time on the short pole line. I did catch one more carp but it was a turning into a busy day catching the stockies and I spent the reminder for the match getting my head down and catching a many as a could. I only caught three carp all match. It was a small fish day.
Reflections on the match
All these fish weighed in a 87lb 8oz which was 3rd on the Moorhen pool and I enjoyed the busy day catching them. The match was actually won from the Heron pool with 126lb and my pool Moorhen was won with 120lb. These weights were caught with caster shallow so maybe I should have done the same and fished casters shallow but at £4.50 a pint is it worth doing on a 13 peg match? Casters do seem to be the way at the moment with big caster weights recorded the next day. But adding several pints of caster to your bait bill along with pellets, corn etc really makes for a expensive day. They definitely out score pellets at the moment so maybe I need to do it next time. But their cost it really going to put a big dent in any potential winning, especially on a small 13 pegger!
Best rig of the day
My short hard pellet pole line was a 4×16 Preston Carp Pellet in 5 foot of water with 0.19mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with 8 no. 8 split shot spread out in 3 inch gaps above the hook length which was a pre-tied size 16 (0.13m) Guru SLWG banded Ready rig coupled with Preston 15 Dura Slip elastic. (a little heavy for F1’s and I did pull out of a couple of fish but there is always a chance of hooking a double figure carp at Hillview)