This weeks Open saw the match held on the Moorhen pool and Canal 1 on a very hot Summers day. I really wanted to draw on the Moorhen pool as it has a more diverse population of fish to enjoy but home for the day was peg 44 on Canal 1. Which normally means plenty of bites all day but mainly the same stamp of fish. With the clear bright sunny conditions and no breeze to keep everyone cool I expected a tough day and I’d brought along the brolly just in case I needed to get in the shade, plus a 2 litre bottle of water I’d frozen the night before! It was guna be a hot one!
The set up was straight forward I planned to start on the short pole on the bottom with hard pellets with a view to fish over to the far bank shallow with casters once I had primed it and to finish off in the margins later in the day.
So starting on the short pole at 2+2 I began to fish with a 6mm hard pellet on the band feeding only a few 6mm’s via a cad pot. If the fish weren’t in the mood to feed I didn’t want to spoil my peg feeding to much to early. I had a good start and began to catch straight away but as expected these were mainly small F1 stockies but I was happy to put fish in the keepnets anyway. As I gained confidence that the fish were feeding I began to cad pot in heavier with the 6mm’s and I did catch the odd better F1 around 2lb. But these fish weren’t going to build a weight. Time to go shallow I thought. I’d been priming my caster line since the start of the match and now an hour in it was time to try it. I just couldn’t get it to work. I even changed to pellets shallow but still with little return. My catch rate had dropped and I needed another change.
I planned to go over to the far bank against the cover but if I could catch in the margins it would be quicker so I thought I would try this first. I cupped in a few 4mm’s and fished a 6mm soft Sonubaits Pro Expander over the top and began catching small F1’s. I needed bigger ones or some carp. So I changed to a bigger 8mm soft pellet on the hook and this was like tuning on a light bulb I caught a couple of bigger F1’s around 2-3lb and also a couple of small Carp around 4-5lb. I thought happy days, time to do a weight catching the right stamp of fish, but no more followed, Maybe I’d put to much bait in. I quickly swapped over to my other margin to my left where I’d been drip feeding meat. This produced straight away with another couple of F1’s and then nothing. I spent the next 30 minutes in both margins with little return and this ultimately probably cost me the section win and now going into the last two hours of the match I needed to catch anything.
Hard Pellets on the bottom at 2+1 always produces at Hillview in the latter part of the match and I began to see out the match here. Plenty of fish can be caught here. These are mainly on the small side but some bigger ones can also be caught throwing pellets from hand now. I caught well plenty of stockies with the odd better fish and I just got my head down trying to catch them. I began to foul hook a few now with fish coming off the bottom so I fed heavier with 6mm’s but at longer intervals to get them back down on the bottom. I was catching well and stayed here for the remainder of the match.
The weigh in
The talk on the bank was that the Moorhen pool hadn’t fished that well due to the hot weather and many anglers had struggled for bites apart from a couple of anglers. I had caught well for most of the day apart from that poor middle hour in the margins putting 86lb on the scales. A couple of anglers to my right on my pool had caught well weighing in 109lb and 110lb and I expected the 110lb to win the match with the 109lb ending my hopes of a default section. The match was actually won off the Moorhen pool though with 111lb. So a really close finish to this match and why Hillview really is a good match venue. The match can be won from any peg!
Best Rig of the day
This was the short pole hard pellet rig. I used an 4×14 Preston F1 Maggot pole float in 4 foot of water. On reflection a 4×12 may have been better! Mainline was 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge as the average stamp of fish is 2-3lb. Shotting was a bulk of no.9’s with two no.10 droppers above a inch size 16 (0.13mm) Guru SLWG Banded Ready Rig, set up on Preston 13 Dura Slip through a standard puller kit.