Some days you feel gutted loosing a framing place by a few ounces when you’ve worked hard all match but it don’t half feel great when it goes the other way. Today it did and this match saw me pick up the section win by just ounce! beating the angler on the next peg.
Todays Hillview open was spread over canals 3 and 4. We were now into winter mode with temperatures in single figures, a cold day ahead with the occasional rain show but at least there was no biting wind and with my cold weather gear on I was ready to do battle. Numbers fishing were a little down from normal, but we are in December now and we all had plenty of room.
Dobbing Bread to start
After the first frosts of the year during the week I planned a negative feeding match and I started dobbing bread over to the far bank up against the only feature on the pool, a sedge bush (as on above picture) It was a bit of a waiting game but after a couple of hook pulls I managed to snare a couple of small carp during the first hour using a small light 4×10 float set 6 inch’s off the bottom with just a small bulk of no.10’s just under the float to give a nice natural fall to the bread as it sank through the water. Most of the other anglers were doing the same from what I could see but the bread wasn’t really working and very little was being caught from both canal 3 and 4. So after an hour or so I decided on a change
Soft pellets short
A maggot attack was planned for later on in the match where at Hillview the last two hours of the match it can be awesome fishing maggots, even in the depths of winter. But this week had seen a big temperature drop and I guess it’ll need a few weeks of settled temperatures before the fish get properly into winter mode so I went down the soft pellet over micro pellet next, fishing at 2+2 with a 4mm Sonubaits Pro Expander on the hook and feeding just a few fishery micro’s via a cad pot. Some people say these Pro expander pellets which have a high oil content are no good for winter fishing when its hard going but I still have total confidence in them all year round. It wasn’t long until the first bite and I had a couple more F1’s and a small carp here during the next hour. This seemed to be better than dobbing the bread so I carried on here adding a few more F1’s and small carp until around 2 o’clock, at which point the line was fading away. I was happy to sit it out as not a lot was being caught from the other anglers on my pool anyway. Definitely winter mode now, sitting and waiting for bites! But now with an hour and a half to go in the match, it was time for that maggot attack, where if it was to work I could get myself into a framing position.
Finishing on maggots
I wanted to keep things tight with the feed maggots so shipped out to 2+3 down the middle of the track with double red maggot hook bait and cad potted in just a few maggots. Bingo !! The float buried on the first put in and a nice 4lb carp graced the landing net. So I re fed and waited. But no it wasn’t to be. Maybe I just got lucky. I couldn’t get a bite here for the next 20 minutes while I was cad potting in the maggots. I changed to loose feeding maggots here now and rested the line while trying the soft pellet line again. This produced a couple more F1’s but now going into the last hour I needed this maggot line to come good. I decided to switch from this 10 o’clock line to a new 2 o’clock line with the maggot rig. I cut the feeding right down, just cattying a small pinch of maggots now. The more positive feed line hadn’t worked. This negative line worked better and I picked off the odd F1 and Carp here for the next 30 minutes. It was slow going but at least I was putting fish in the net. Going into the last 15 minutes I began moving around the peg without feeding much, just a few maggots each time and this added a couple more F1’s. The positive feed line hadn’t really worked today but it needs to be tried as here at Hillview as it can be awesome fishing late in the match. But not today the negative approach was better on the day.
The weigh in
It was clear today a big weight wasn’t on the cards. The cold weather had done the damage and I estimated I had around 35lb if I was lucky, and luck was on my side today! The best weigh on my pool was 34lb 11oz and my fish went 34lb 12oz which was enough to pick up the section win, just by a ounce!!
Best rig of the day
There wasn’t one today. I took fish from two rigs today. One with soft pellets and the another with maggots. The rigs were slightly different but equally as good as each other.
Pellet rig – 4×14 Preston F1 Pellet set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with 8 x no.9 shot at 3 inch gaps above a size 16 Preston SFL-B ready rig (0.11mm) set up on green Preston 11 Dura slip elastic.
Maggot rig – 4×14 Preston F1 Fine set up on 015mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a bulk of 5x no.9 shot 18 inches from the hook with 2 no. 10 droppers at 6 inch gaps. Hook length was a size 18 SFL-B (0.11mm) Preston Ready rig. Set up on green Preston 11 Dura slip elastic.