This weeks Open at Hillview was held on the Heron pool, Only a dozen or so anglers this week and with clubs booking out the normal canals that are used on a Sunday, we found us all pegged out on the Heron pool this week. High pressure and bright conditions were forecasted which wasn’t ideal for fishing but when peg 29 was drawn out for me, a noted flyer I was more than happy and I couldn’t get started quick enough.
A very slow start
The plan was to start fishing short with hard pellets with options of a shallow long line and the right margin which I hoped would be the ‘banker’ line for later in the match. I started at 2+3 fishing hard pellets, A method that usually works well early on for a few smaller fish before switching closer in and to the margins at this time of the year. But things didn’t go to plan. After the first hour a had one small F1 with hard pellets. Not a lot had been caught by anyone and I was probably last on the pool at this point. With the bright still conditions hard pellets weren’t working and a change was needed. I was last on the pool at this point but not that far behind. So after 1.5 hours I still had time to try and put things right.
Switching to Corn was a game changer!
During this first spell of the match while fishing pellets I had been priming a short corn line on a top kit + one, just drip feeding it with a few grains every 5 minutes. The pellet line clearly wasn’t working and it was time to try corn next. It was still a little slow but I had began to catch a few F1’s now and I spent the next hour alternating between the corn and pellet lines. The corn line was the better line, although I had caught a few F1’s on pellets but the corn line seemed to be the better line. Is wasn’t good but at least I was now catching and catching everybody else up. I decided on an early look down the right hand margin, fishing a soft Sonubaits 6mm expander and cad potting in micro. This produced a few more F1’s during the next half hour but the fish didn’t seem to be there yet and I went back to rotating between the pellet and corn lines. The corn line was still better than the pellet line so I went back to the margin but with corn this time. But nothing came my way. So I returned to the short corn line but now loose feeding 6mm pellets over the top of my cad potted corn. This worked and proved to be the game changer. I had gone from scratching around trying to catch fish to finally beginning to get a good run of fish. These were good sized 2-3lb F1’s with a odd larger one and a couple of carp to 8lb. The line got stronger and strong as the day progressed and I was now back in the game! Looking around the pool, most anglers were catching. I felt a framing place was now on the cards going into the last hour if I could keep this corn line going. One angler two pegs down from me was also catching well though. I was beginning to lose a few foul hookers so I slowed down feeding the pellets and fed the corn as its a little more heavier, hopping to keep the fish on the bottom. Foul hookers were a still a problem but the fishing was good and I was able to keep the fish coming until the end of the match.
The weigh in
I estimated I had just over 100lb and when the scales arrived with 72lb being the top weight with myself and 3 other anglers to weigh in. But this also included the angler two pegs down from me who had caught well. It was really between him and me for the win. I weighed in 113lb and I was just happy for a framing place anyway but as I pushed my trolley down to him after packing away my gear. I asked his weight, he’d weighed 111lb so I had the won the match. Just!
I really enjoyed this match. The change to corn was a game changer on the day, with the high pressure and a bright sunny day and with no ripple on the water the fishing was tough for all and I was glad I made the change to corn. Normally at Hillview hard pellets will get you plenty of bites but not today. The pellet rig was a strung out rig but this wasn’t right for the day and a heavy bulked rig on the corn line proved to be much better. Match fishing is all about making changes and not sitting it out on the wrong method and I got it right today.
Best rig of the day
Obviously this was the top kit + one short corn line. This was a Guru Mick Wilkinson 0.5g Diamond pole float set up on 0.19mm Guru N -Gauge mainline with a bulk of no.8 stotz’s and a no.8 dropper above a 0.17mm size 14 Preston XSH 6 inch Ready Rig set up on Preston 17 Yellow Dura Slip.