After a few weeks off fishing and also nothing really to write about from the few matches I have actually fished, it was nice to frame at the latest Hillview open this Sunday.
Now that the days are getting shorter and temperatures dropping this is my favorite time of the year where the fishing gets a little tougher. So I expected maggots to come into play today along with soft 4mm and 6mm pellets.
Today the match was held on three of the canals 1,3 and 4. I drew peg 81 on canal 3 which is an end peg and one I’ve done well off before so I was confident of doing OK if the fish were my end of the pool. I set up to fish down the track with two maggot rigs. One with a bulk and 2 droppers and a strung out rig. Another rig for soft pellets and a margin rig for fishing down onto the corner of the pool in front of the last pallet.
Starting on Soft pellets
I started the match fishing a soft 4mm Sonubaits Pro Expander as hook bait, cupping into small balls of fishery micro in at 2+2. This produced two or three F1’s during the first 30 minutes but it was slow going. I decided to come back to 2+1 again with the 4mm soft pellet but this time I began feeding a few fishery 4mm’s rather than the micro. This was a bit better and I had one or two better sized F1’s and a carp around 4lb but still hard gong and after an hour my thoughts were to try into the corner for hopefully some better sized fish.
Early look into the margin
The day felt like fish didn’t want much bait going in. I’d caught straight away on the 2+2 line and then the 2+1 line but then struggled so rather than cupping in micro into the margin and just planned to small cad pot in micro and fish a 6mm soft Pro Expander over the small pile of bait. I caught several more fish here for 20 minutes before it began to fade away just like the other two pellets lines. I tried corn as hook bait as the margin was quite deep thinking a heavy bait would be better but no bites came and it was time for a re think. I returned to the 2+1 pellet line but switched to corn for a while but it wasn’t good. Just one carp which was foul hooked. It was time to switch to maggots.
Switching to maggots
I started with a bulk and two droppers rig to fish maggots, cad potting the maggots in to keep everything tight and to avoid any silvers that they may be attracted but this really wasn’t working. I was getting the odd fish but it wasn’t good fishing. I changed to feeding by hand and fishing a strung out rig though the water. This was much better and I began to get into a good rhythm catching some good sized F1’s and the odd small Carp and as the day progressed I increased the loose feed going in from a small pinch of maggot to feeding 50 or so every couple of minutes. Double red maggot was the best earlier on but as the day progressed triple red maggot on the hook was better attracting the better sized fish. I started to catch well 3 hours into the match and began to think a framing place was up for grabs with this maggot line and I stayed on this line for the rest of the match. I had the option of going back into the right hand margin if the maggot line faded away but I was catching really well on them and there was really no need to fish elsewhere.
At the “all out” I had clicked to 115lb and at this time of the year it’s always good to do a tonne weight. (These canal pools at Hillview produce great weights all year round) I could see the angler on the next peg had also done a good weight and it would be close between us. I hoped both of us would frame. I was first in weigh in on our pool. The top weight off canal 1 was 90lb and I was confident of beating that. My fish weighed 109lb 12oz but Brian on the next peg just beat that with 113lb 11oz. These were the best two weights on my pool so I hoped he would win the match with just canal 4 on weigh in, thus giving me the section win. The top weight on canal 4 was 106lb so I’d won the section and actually was 2nd in the match. So I was went home happy with the Chinese take away on the way home paid for! It was a nice days fishing, I really enjoyed fishing maggots and now that winters setting in apart from bread, maggots will be the go to bait.
Best Rig of the day
Without doubt the strung out rig was the better of the two maggot rigs I set up. This was a 4×12 Preston F1 maggot set up in 3 foot of water on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with strung out shot at 2 inch gaps. These were 4 no. 9 shots and 2 no.10 shots above a 6 inch size 18 Preston 0.11mm SFL-B Ready Rig. Set up on Preston green 11 Dura Slip elastic though and standard Power kit. This set up will land anything in the winter if your careful.