3rd on pool, Staunton AC match on the canals at Hillview, 35lb 0oz

This was my 3rd outing with my new club, Staunton AC. I’d been looking forward to this one as the match was at Hillview on the canals pools. A venue I’ve spent most of the winter fishing their opens. So I felt very confident of doing well and when I drew flyer 81 an end peg on canal 3 I thought all my Christmas’s had come early. What possibility could go wrong!! Well I got a lot of things wrong today but I still limped home with a Brown Envelope in the back pocket.

Hillview canal 3 peg 81

So full of confidence after catching 127lb on the open the previous week I ran to peg 81 on canal 3. A peg where I’ve caught 100lb+ weights the last two times I’ve drawn it. An easy match to win I thought! I set up to begin on soft pellets on a top kit +2, maggots at 2+3 down the track for later if it was tough going and the right hand margin down into the corner of the pool by peg 82.

Starting on soft pellets

As we were now into the last week of March I hoped the better sized fish in the pool would prefer pellets so I kicked off the match fishing a 4mm Souubaits Pro Expander on the hook, cad potting in a few micro’s over the top. It was a slow start and all I caught were a two or three small carp during the first 30 minutes. So I soon changed to a 6mm but things just didn’t improve with a size of fish being caught. I wasn’t the only one struggling, everyone else also seemed to be in the same boat so I carried on with the soft pellets for another 30 minutes but after an hour in I only had around 6lb in the keepnet. It was hard going. A change of attack was already running through my mind. Do I need to change to maggots? The only problem was I hadn’t primed a maggot line yet. Normally maggots are good for the last couple of hours at Hillview after you have primed it for a couple of hours. But I was going no where anyway. It was worth a go.

Rudded out on maggots

So I opened up a new maggot line and shipped out to 2+3 down the track. I began cad potting in maggots and waited for a response. My catch rate did improve but mainly from small Rudd and the odd Gudgeon in between the odd small carp. I was still going no where in the match. So I changed the feeding, binning of the cad potted maggots and I began to loose feed maggots from my hand. I was fishing a light stung out 4×12 float in only 3.5 foot of water so at least the loose feed was matching the slow drop though the water layers as my hook bait but I was still catching these small Rudd and Gudgeon with a odd small carp. (Maybe a bulk and droppers rig would have been better)I was still going no where in the match. I hadn’t primed this line and there hadn’t been enough time for the carp and F1’s to push out the small Rudd. I now had around 15lb two hours into the match. Very poor by Hillviews standards. I still had the banker margin line to try even though we were still only two hours in, I needed to catch some bigger weight builders and I just couldn’t leave it any longer. The margin needed to produce.

Into the margin early

I started on 6mm soft pellets here cad potting in micro’s and it wasn’t long before a started catching the odd better carp. The float just wouldn’t settle right with small fish grabbing the pellet and I soon changed to corn. This was better and I caught some carp but I was also pulling out of a few hooked fish and on a day where bites were hard to get this was very frustrating. I was fishing it wrong really and I don’t mind admitting to that. I was using a margin rig that I already had set up through an margin short stop kit with 0.17mm Yellow Preston Dura Slip that I normally use for large carp. This was an error in my part as the carp in these canal pools are a lot smaller, around the 2-3lb size. The Yellow Dura Slip was simply to powerful for these small fish. I pulled out of just as many as a landed.

Still good enough for a Brown Envelope

The margin wasn’t good fishing and I chopped a changed around fishing maggots and pellets all around the peg. Nothing was really working. What I should have done was to put on a much lighter rig with a lighter elastic for that margin line. I did catch fish here but I really fished a bad match. The match was won off the 4th canal with 62lb which by Hillviews standards is poor. My peg was worth that had I fished it properly. My section on the 3rd canal was won with 45lb again very poor for the venue. Normally had this been an open I would have thrown my fish back but today I could see the weights were low so I pulled out two empty keepnets and kept just the one in the water for the scales to arrive while I got my prayer mat out!

My section/pool had fished badly. I was last to weigh in and my one keepnet tipped the scales around to 35lb. Luckily for me this was a club match where the prize money is spread around and they were paying 1,2 and 3 on each pool and dispute really fishing a bad match I had enough to win the 3rd placed Brown Envelope from canal 3.

The Prayer mat worked!!

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