This weekend I fished the Saturday open at Hillview which was held on the lakes with 20 anglers split over the Moorhen and Heron pools. The draw was done and I had peg 36 on Heron as home for the day. I fancied a shallow day fishing casters this time as this has been the way to go lately at the venue and a method I’d not done a lot of to be honest but as the day panned out it was going to be meat in the margins doing the damage.
The plan was to start short on the pole fishing hard pellets for an hour while priming a long shallow caster line before looking in the margins for later in the match. I kicked off fishing a 6mm hard pellet and kindering in a few 6mm’s over the top and it wasn’t long before I was into fish, mainly small F1’s and the odd Skimmer. I had around 15lb doing this during the first hour but as these were all on the small size, I dropped onto my long shallow line as planned after an hour. I’d seen the odd F1 top and felt confident I could catch a few. I tried this for 30 minutes and this only returned a small Roach. Not great, it was raining now and I just thought maybe that was why. So even that I had planned to fish casters shallow this wasn’t working and I had noticed the angler to my right had now taken a carp out of his margin. Maybe I was going the wrong method.
In to the Margin
Since the re-widening of the causeway between the Moorhen and Heron pools which was done earlier in the year the margins are very sloped. There isn’t a nice flat spot to fish on and little plant cover. So I set up two rigs for the margin to my right as the next pallet was vacant. One was tight in to the mud bank in 12 inches of water and the other 18 inches further out down the slope. I decide to fish 8mm cubes of meat here thinking pellets being lighter would be washed down the slope if any big carp moved in. I started fishing the deeper swim first after I’d put a half a big pot of 8mm meat 10 minutes prior to fishing it, kindering in a few more 8mm cubes over the top of the float. It wasn’t long before a caught a carp around 6lb here and this pretty much made my mind up to bin off the shallow caster line that hadn’t worked. I hoped the day would be carp down the edge rather then catching F1’s further out on the pool. I did catch a couple more carp here but it wasn’t great and it was a bit of a waiting game putting fish in the keep nets.
I returned to the short pole hard pellet line where I caught more fish straight away but these were still small F1 stockies and Silvers and really I needed to catch bigger fish. So at this point I began to feed a few 8mm cubes of meat to my left short, with the same on the hook at 2+1 in about 18 inches of water. This produced a few better F1’s, a nice Skimmer around 3lb and a Barbel around 4lb. Not big carp but still enjoyable to catch. Those Barbel really fight well for there size.
Meat on the Mud line
Going into the last hour I moved up the marginal slope to my right, fishing 8mm cubes of meat in 12 inches of water tight in just kindering in a few cubes of loose offerings. It wasn’t long before I could see swirls from big carp moving in and expected some bigger carp sport. I few minutes later the elastic stretched out and I began to catch some Carp. Not big ones but decent weight builders plus the odd F1. I did foul hook and lost a couple but generally I landed every fish I hooked. I love this way of fishing, just waiting for the elastic to stripe out. I’ve stopped using standard long top kits for my margin fishing, having recently purchased a couple of short Garbolino Ultra Compact Power Margins kits to use one my Garbolino UK3 pole. These Kits are fantastic for big carp margin work and speed up the netting of big carp immensely. I wish I’d brought them when they first came out.
These late edge dwellers boosted my weight to 98lb. I wish I’d gone on the mud line earlier but this 98lb was enough to win the section money, Just. The 24lb of small F1 stockies and Silvers I’d caught earlier in the match had played their part though before the carp moved in later in the match.
Best Rig of the day
This was the shallow mud line margin rig. This was a no mucking about rig. A 4×14 Preston Edge pole float because its buoyant 2.5mm tip to support an 8mm cube of meat and its inline design were the line goes though the body of the float making it a tough float. Mainline was 0.19 Guru N-Gauge witch a small bulk of no.8 stotz’s above a size 14 cut down 4 inch 0.17mm Preston XSH Ready rig. Elastic was 0.17mm Preston Dura Slip through the Short Compact Power Margin Kit.
So on reflection my day didn’t plan out as I wanted, to fish caster shallow but when those carp are in the margins they can be match winners and can’t be ignored. I just wish I’d fished that mud line sooner. But match fishing is all about making the right decisions at the right time. The match was a tie with two anglers weighing in 138lb which unfortunately cut my section money down but at least it paid for the unused casters! Had I gone on that mud line earlier, I could of challenged the winners.