This week saw a change of venue for me, returning back to Lower Park Fisheries for the first time in about 3 years for a Charity match run by The Corn Stores fishing tackle shop in Redditch in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Corn Stores run this match annually and normally it coincides with our Nomad festival down in Somerset every year, meaning I’m unable to fish it. But not this year and I love these type of matches. 47 anglers gave their support to the match, The fishery waved peg fees for the event which was an excellent gesture and several tackle companies such as Tackle Guru, Maver UK, Drennan International, Dynamite Baits and NuFish donated tackle prices for the raffle after the match. The day raised a grand total of £1213.75 for Macmillan.
My home for the day was the Spring pool, peg 12. This meant nothing to me but I was happy to learn it was an end peg after checking out the notice board in the café showing the lay out of all the pools and pegs. so I hoped for a good day fishing. The plan was an all out pellet attack, short on the bottom with the pole early on before going shallow further out and the margins for later, plus the added option of throwing a pellet feeder to the far bank if needed. The only draw back for the feeder was the fact that I was sat under a tree and casting accurately to the far bank was going to be difficult. It was still set up if needed but I hoped I didn’t need to use it.
A good start on the short pole
I started the match fishing two short pole lines on the bottom, one at 2+2 at 10 o clock and then shorter line in front of me at 2+1. The depth of water was the same all over the peg in the open water so I only needed just the one pole rig in 4.5 foot of water on a calm day with a gentle breeze so I opted in fish light with an 4×12 Preston F1 Maggot pole float with a simple bulk and two droppers above a banded hard pellet. Starting on the 2+2 line was good, just cad potting in a few 4mm’s every put in with a 6mm on the band. This produced a few small F1’s during the first hour for around 20lb before it dried up and I then came closer in to the 2+1 line which was OK but these fish were on the small side. So it was time of try shallow, I had noted the angler on the next peg had began to catch shallow and after a slow start he was beginning to catch me up.
So I went out long to 13 metres shallow where I’d been priming it with pellets. It wasn’t good. I only caught a few F1’s at various depths and I just couldn’t catch. The angler next to me was catching using a Jigger float which was annoying as I couldn’t tell at which depth he was catching at. I just had four normal shallow kits set up a various depths and they weren’t working despite chopping and changing depths for 30 minutes. (Need to get a Jigger!) I was behind him now so I needed a plan B. I fed some micro into the left margin against some marginal cover thinking a couple or three edge dwellers may have a chomp at a 6mm soft pellet and boost my weight but all this produced was the odd Skimmer and I soon staked this off returning to the short pole bottom lines.
So I was back on the 2+2 and 2+1 bottom lines now. I was catching fish but it was clear the fishing wasn’t as good as earlier in the match. I began to make a few changes to the feeding and I spent to the next hour ticking over adding several more F1’s to my keepnets. In my head I was thinking Shallow all the time and going into the last hour I tried it on the short pole at 2+3 where I could throw pellets from hand. This is a lot easier than cattying them in at 13 metres and by feeding 4mm’s every 20 seconds I began to finally catch them shallow with a 4mm Red Robbin hook bait, adding several F1’s before the end of the match. I just which I’d gone shallow short earlier.
Come the weigh in my fish went 57lb 10oz which looking at the recent open match results on the fishery facebook page seemed to be a good weight and I was happy with that not knowing the venue. I already knew the angler next to me had caught well on his Jigger weighing in 100lb and with 4 places in the mainframe I hoped he would be in the top four, giving me a chance of a default section win.
Back at the cafe while I was enjoying a beef burger and mug of tea, waiting for the raffle to begin the weights were being worked out. I heard of another big weight at the other end of my pool but it also seemed the other pools hadn’t fished that well compared to my Spring pool. The big question was. Was this other weight off my pool also in the mainframe? Luckily for me it was, His 94lb was good enough for 3rd overall with the angler pegged next to me finishing 2nd overall with 100lb 14oz. So the angling gods were with me today, giving me a double default section win which I’d have taken before the match as it’s been 3 year since I was last at the venue.
Sadly those angling gods that had got me the double default section win didn’t favor me in the raffle where my fivers worth of raffle tickets didn’t see anything come my way. But this raffle had been well supported by the anglers present and also with anglers buying them in the shop over the last several weeks but unable to fish the match. Plenty of fishing tackle prizes were donated by the likes of Tackle Guru, Maver UK, Drennan International, Dynamite Baits and NuFish and and there was also loads of bottles of Whiskey etc. The Corn Stores had done a really good job for the cause with the raffle and several books of raffle tickets were used. Overall the day was a great success with plenty of money being raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. Well done John and all at the Corn Stores for a great day.
The match results were….
1st Rob Avery 124lb 12oz Pebble Pool
2nd Rob Street 100lb 14oz Spring Pool
3rd Lee Gartshore 94lb Spring Pool
4th Scott Rhodes 92lb 12oz Willow Pool
Ant Carter 87lb 12oz Pebble Pool
Ben Sutor 83lb 12oz Willow Pool
Chris Newton 76lb 14oz Abbey Pool
Jerry Lundy 58lb Lowland Pool
Phil Seedhouse 57lb 10oz Spring Pool
Jake Newton 50lb 10oz Abbey Pool
Richard Kings 35lb Swan Pool
Best Rigs of the day
Bottom rig – Short pole. an 4 x 12 F1 Maggot on 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a bulk of 4 no.9’s 18 inches from the hook with 2 x no.10’s above a 6 inch Guru size 18 (0.13mm) SLWG Banded Ready Rig to 13 White Preston Dura slip through a standard puller kit.
Shallow Rig – The best of the shallow rigs today was an 4 x 12 Preston F1 Shallow set 18 inches deep on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge with a bulk of no.10’s directly above a cut down 4 inch size 18 (0.13mm) Guru SLWG Banded Ready Rig. Baited with a 4mm Red Robbin pellet. Set up on Preston 11 Green Dura Sip through a Short kit.