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Today I was back at the impressive Weston pools fishery for my third attempt at natural bait festival which I was really looking forward too, especially with the added twist of not being able to use pellets or ground-bait

As well as providing visitors with some of the very best fishing in the country, for the past few years Weston Pools Fishery has been involved in its fair share of extra-curricular and charity work along the way. Recognising the need to get more youth into angling, that is what the fishery staff set out to do by inviting Marches School of Oswestry to the fishery each year to take part in a fishery-run coaching day.
The fishery staff have always done what they could with regards to providing tackle for each of the children wanting to take part in the event but, as many of us may know, that is often easier said than done. Thankfully, when local charity Par 5 Charity Golfing Group was in the fishery’s own clubhouse discussing ways they could help in the local community, owner Mike Philbin was quick to come up with a solution. The group was happy to oblige by donating funds to Marches School in order to buy suitable fishing tackle for its students, allowing each of them to become involved in the events that Weston Pools will hold for the school each year.

Thinking angler Giles Cochrane takes you through a simple yet deadly approach that just keeps on winning him matches!

 

When tackling any commercial in the winter there are a few basic approaches that work well and have done for years but, due to the popularity of certain methods, ultimately they lose their effectiveness. Perhaps it has more to do with the ease and convenience of the approach and the number of anglers using them that leads to fish wising up and becoming more difficult to catch.

The Method feeder and pole, for example, now result in much lower weights than they did in previous years and consequently, I seldom set up either through the winter. Chucking the Method through the summer does account for some respectable weights of fish but it’s nowhere near as effective as a straight lead and loose-feeding approach, simply because the fish have associated it with danger and have learned to avoid it. Not so with the lead, as fish have difficulty distinguishing between the loose feed and hook bait.

MF Giles Cochrane April 16 2
By feeding just two grains at a time...

 

MF Giles Cochrane April 16 3
... You can avoid spreading your feed too far.

 

The solution then, when fishing winter matches on the same venues, is to revert to the straight lead, or so it would seem. However, the reality is somewhat different and fish such as F1s are not so keen to pull the tip round. The cause of this problem is due primarily to the number of fish competing in the peg, which means that in order to get wraparound bites on the lead, you need a lot of fish in your peg!

Fish do not often respond to large quantities of bait being chucked at them in winter, as we might be inclined to do in the summer to get them competing – quite the reverse actually. You will get the odd bite on the lead during the first half of the match but often wasting far too much time on a method that is not productive. For me, the solution to this problem is to fish the waggler and corn.

I accept that the pole is a good alternative approach, or at least it used to be but, as with all good methods, it loses its effectiveness, purely because fish seem to settle beyond the range of the pole in the colder months.

My theory on the subject of fishing the lead is that F1s pick up the bait, but eject it without us knowing, so the ultimate approach would be to fish the waggler as it is possible to see some indication that the bait is being sucked in.

The waggler and corn is not a new method and has been around for a long time but as very few people fish it, the fish have not wised up to it as quickly as with more popular methods. This is not an easy approach to master as F1 bites can be a nightmare to sort out but there are ways around this and this feature is based on putting fish in the net, when all other methods have failed. The bites you don’t see on the lead will show up as a twitch or some sort of indication on the waggler if you do it right.

MF Giles Cochrane April 4
As with all baits, there's a right way and a wrong way of fishing corn.


To begin with, your basic approach should be based on how you would attempt to fish for silvers, so treat F1s like roach and you won’t go far wrong. I use inserted crystal wagglers up to 2g but mostly around 1 to 1.5g. The loaded ones are better as I don’t like to put too many big shot around the float and a few BBs are all you need. You need a float you can cast with ease so short pellet-waggler-type floats are no good for this as they are too short and catch most of the surface drift. You will need a static presentation and longer wagglers are ideal as most of the tow tends to be in the top six inches of water. 

MF Giles Cochrane april 16 5
This is a great method for cold-waters F1s



I dot my floats right down in the water to reduce any drag caused by surface tow from crosswinds. Besides that, there are plenty of indications that you won’t see with an inch of waggler sticking out of the water.

To make this method work you need a low-diameter main line. Anything more than diameter 0.12mm will sink too deep, causing a belly to form, dragging your float offline, which will make bites impossible to hit. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to line so I’m not telling you to use anything other than sticking with what you have complete confidence in. Even 3lb (diameter 0.14mm) is far too heavy and believe me, you will miss far too many bites as a consequence.

MF Giles Cochrane MF April 16 6
This is the rod action you're looking for...

 

MF Gale Cochrane April 16 7
... to land more fish, not lose them!



An important aspect of making this approach work for you is the ability to sink the line effectively. I use Fairy Liquid and dilute it 50/50 with water. Spray this on your spool before the start and repeat when necessary. I give the reel handle a sharp turn and this is normally enough to sink the line. I would advise against sinking the rod to the butt and striking upwards as sound travels much further in water and is likely to have an effect on the fish… like scaring them witless within a five-peg radius!

Preparing Sweetcorn -

Gale Cochrane MF April 16 8
1. Tip it into your landing net - one tin should be enough

 

MF Gale Cochrane April 16 9
2. Give it a dunking to rinse the juice off

 

MF Gile Cochrane April 16 10
3. Gently squeeze off the excess water. Easy.



As for hooks, I tend to use size 18s and 20s as I think F1s eject the corn too quickly when they detect bigger hooks. I don’t think fish can see hooks but they certainly know when they’ve picked one up, much like you, eating your Sunday dinner with a hair in your mouth. By dotting the float right down and using smaller hooks, I have a far better chance of connecting with the bite.

As for rods, you can forget the shorter pellet-waggler designs as you will miss too many bites. People will dismiss this but it is only when you are drawn next to someone using a longer rod that you see the difference. Mostly, pellet-waggler rods are too stiff, which makes playing F1s and carp a lottery on smaller hooks. The rods I use I have designed myself for finesse-based approaches as I felt that there was nothing on the market that would give me the confidence to use the smaller hooks and lighter lines.

In effect, the rod should continue to bend to accommodate the size of the fish. Playing big fish effectively is down to the rod you use and stiffer rods, for me, cause more problems than they solve. It’s about putting more fish in the net than your opponents so use rods that will do this and not the opposite. Ideally, for all my carp and F1 fishing I use 12 to 13ft rods. Anything shorter is not viable and will affect my ability to land 99 per cent of what I hook.

The key to success, as with all methods, is feeding. It is possible to get bites consistently and all day long, while those around you are struggling, but corn is difficult to feed accurately. I never feed more than two grains at a time; firstly, because fish do not respond to the ‘carpet effect’ and will back away from large quantities of corn, and secondly, try feeding more than two grains and people around you start complaining that you are feeding their pegs.

MF Gile Cochrane April 16 11
Giles favours long insert crystal wagglers for F1s...

 

MF Giles Cochrane April 16 12
... and rods should be a minimum of 12 feet long.

The most effective way to build your peg is to feed two grains, wait 30 seconds, twitch the float and feed another two. This approach can be instant and I would normally expect to get bites by the second chuck. You need to keep the fish competing so I never exceed the amount of bait I started with. Keep it to two grains and you won’t go far wrong, drawing fish from anglers around you who are not catching on the pole. 

After a few hours of doing this, you will start to miss bites as many of these bites are actually liners caused by too many fish in your peg. The last hour is when I normally chuck the lead as it can be devastating, but it’s the consistent feeding that eventually created this situation. About one tin of corn a match is all you’ll need but don’t be wasting your money on the expensive free range/Fairtrade nonsense. Tesco budget stuff is about 30p a tin and spot on for this.

One final word about this method – plumbing up! You will need to get this precise. I use a BB shot on the hook and I tend to cast out, sink the line and give the float about 10 seconds to appear. If it appears too quickly, you will be overdepth. If it doesn’t appear then add a few inches at a time until it does. Fishing overdepth with corn is never a good idea as you need to be able to detect the bait being sucked in, not spat out!

This is by no means an easy method to master but with some practice and by following these basic tips, it will result in far more bites and ultimately more fish in the net than those who sit it out on the pole or feeder. It works for me!


MF Gile Cochrane April 16 13|
Get it right and the rewards are there for the taking.

 

Angler File -

Name: Giles Cochrane

Age: 50

Sponsors: Tri-Cast Weston Pools/Concept Design Rods

MF Says: The Angling Philosopher!

 

Venue -

Venue: Weston Pools

Location: Weston Cotton Farm, Weston Lane, Weston, Oswestry SY10 9ER

Website: www.weston-pools.co.uk

Number: 01691 671812

 

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BUY NOW BUTTON Retro 1 

Jamie Hughes explains how a single-minded, catch-everything approach can be the key to match wins this winter!

 

For this month’s feature, I’d like to talk about something that is becoming increasingly popular on commercial fisheries, and a method that I really look forward to using once the weather begins to cool.

Approaching a commercial with a ‘fish for everything that swims’ approach can lead to an awesome day’s sport and is also a brilliant way of remaining consistent during matches when the carp aren’t feeding quite as well as during the summer months.

Over the years there have been many pieces written about combining a carp and silvers approach during matches; usually a case of catching a few lumps to begin with then topping up with a weight of silvers and finishing with a few more big lads late on.

While this is undoubtedly the correct way to approach some venues (generally those where the carp are a large average size), at most fisheries that I visit regularly, such as Weston Pools and Lingmere Fishery, simply fishing one or two lines and catching whatever fish come along for the entire session can be almost unbeatable!

Now, I must stress that for a mixed species approach to work you need to be fishing a venue with a good stocking of different fish. Both of the venues I mentioned are home to a huge amount of carp and F1s but they also have an extremely high population of what I would like to call “alternative species” such as tench, barbel, crucians and, most importantly, ide.

In general, these species are a good average size so catching them for an entire session can still lead to a good weight and with the addition of a few carp a match-winning net can be caught in the easiest possible way.

For demonstrating this tactic I've come back to my usual haunt of Weston Pools and the awesome Canal Pool, where I intend to fish just one line for the duration of the short session.

Now before I go into the usual rigs, bait and feeding details, I would like to go over my reasons for choosing just one line of attack.

Firstly, and possibly the most important factor, is what I wrote about in the October issue of this magazine: COMPETITION between fish is vital if you want to get the most from any peg, so by feeding just one line I should have a much larger group of fish in my chosen area than if I was to feed several swims and split the fish up into smaller groups all over the swim.

Secondly, by having all of my attention focused on the one area it is much easier to gain an understanding of what fish are present in the peg, how they are feeding and the best ways for me to catch them. My theory is that different species of fish will enter the peg at different points in the session and each must be fed and fished for in the correct way.

 

The Session

 

With the weather still being good my chosen line for the session was at seven metres, for the sole reason that I could feed casters that distance accurately by hand, meaning I can group my feed much tighter than if I were to fish longer and require a catapult to reach the area. As the temperature falls and the colour drops out of the water I would have no choice but to feed my lines further out, as fish would be reluctant to venture close to the bank.

I believe that the tighter I can group my bait the better, as there is less chance of missing out on fish that are hanging off the main feed due to stray baits landing elsewhere. Also, competition between fish is increased as they tussle to feed in the tight area.

Choosing what bait to feed for this method could not be simpler – maggots, casters and worms are pretty much the only three options and I will choose a bait depending on the conditions and how I expect the fish to feed.

Jpeg 25 Jamie Hughes One Line To Catch Everything
The fish weren't the only ones attracted by Jamie's bait! 

 

Maggots

 

Possibly the most common choice for feeding short, maggots are my choice in the coldest weather or when fish are likely to feed at all depths. Due to their slow-sinking nature, they work brilliantly in attracting new fish into the peg and help to bring fish such as ide off the bottom on warmer days, where they can be caught faster.

Jpeg 12 Jamie Hughes One Line To Catch Everything
Three maggots make a brilliant change bait.

If I intend on cupping my feed then maggots are my only choice, but when loose feeding they can be a little difficult to group tightly at distance or in windy conditions.

 

Worms

 

This tends to be my bait choice during the summer when I want to catch fish on the bottom. While they can be brilliant for catching F1s shallow when thrown in a slop, for other species they are best fed in a soil mix and by a pole cup.

 

Casters

 

These are my choice for today’s session. Casters have all the same properties as maggots, with the added bonus of being heavy. They can be fed very accurately by hand in all conditions and make a lot of noise to attract fish; they also sink faster than a maggot, which helps to keep fish on the bottom.

Jpeg 10 Jamie Hughes One Line To Catch Everything
Fresh casters, and plenty of them!

Rigs

 

As always, I have as few rig options as possible but will always have a couple of options to present my hook bait in different ways. In a similar way to how I fish hard pellets for carp, I have a slow-falling rig for when fish such as roach and ide are present in the swim and are feeding through the water. In today’s case, with the peg being five feet deep, this is a 4x12 slim carbon stemmed float shotted with No11s spread throughout the entire rig.

My second rig is a heavier 4x14 float, shotted with a bulk 15 inches from the hook and two No10 droppers. If I am waiting for bites and there are no signs of fish feeding off the bottom, then my time is best spent on this rig as it settles far quicker than the light rig, which saves a lot of time each cast and also is a lot more stable and keeps the hook bait still on the bottom.

Hooks, line and elastics need to be tailored to the size of fish and conditions on the day. Generally, a light hollow elastic combined with a 0.10mm to 0.12mm hooklength and light-gauge wire hook is perfect.

 

The Session

 

The key to making the most of my peg is to be using the correct rigs at the correct times, depending on what species are present. The amount and timing of my loose feed also needs considering carefully. For this session I planned on feeding everything by hand and began feeding around 10 casters every 30 seconds; this allowed me to pull lots of fish into the area without giving them too much feed.

For the first period my light rig was ideal and several chunky ide were caught just after the rig had settled. I find that at most venues ide are first on the scene and just like perch, gorge themselves on as much bait as possible. This seemed exactly the case today as after 45 minutes I have a good weight but bites quickly slowed, the ide disappeared and were replaced with some crucians, carp and barbel.

Swapping rigs allowed me to make the most of this change, as did cutting right back on the regularity of my feed and a pattern quickly emerged, showing the ide were continually re-entering the peg in small groups throughout the day. Their arrival was signalled by several missed bites on the heavier rig, but by swapping over to the slow-fall rig I could catch several before they backed off and the other species moved back in.

Jpeg 21 Jamie Hughes One line to catch everything
A nice bagful of ide, with a good helping or barbel F1s and carp mixed in.

On the day it was also vital that I fed in the correct way, depending on what rig I used. Ten casters every 30 seconds was right for the light rig, while changing to 30 casters every two minutes was far better and stopped any false bites when using the heavy rig.

In just a couple of hours, I put together a decent weight that would be well on the way to a winning weight here at Weston. I swapped rigs several times over the session, which I believe has maximised my fishing time and also made the most of the short feeding spells of each species. Of course this method isn’t the way when large weights of carp are needed to win, but in the tricky days of autumn you will more often that not outscore those applying a more selective approach and without doubt have a much more enjoyable day’s fishing.


Angler File - 

Name: Jamie Hughes
Age: 32
Lives: Wirrell
Sponsors: Map, Bag 'em Matchbaits

Venue File -

Venue: Tri-Cast Weston Pools
Location: Weston Pools, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 9ER
Number: 01691 671812
Website: www.weston-pools.co.uk 

 

 

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BUY NOW BUTTON Retro 1

Well, it’s certainly been a while since I last updated you with my extraordinarily exciting life. It’s amazing how I blink and months disappear. Work has been interesting to say the least and looking back I’m amazed I managed to fish the matches I have.

Being so busy I pulled away from the big majors this year. It can be a long hard road chasing the dream and if you’re not fully prepared and in the right frame of mind to do it, having had plenty of experience at this, you are better off not bothering. I wasn’t going to drive a million miles, catch nothing having pushed poor pegs to destruction and got the severe ump in doing so. My limited free time means more to me than that!

So… intent on enjoying myself, me, Eggy, the Wern, Donk, Bob and Mikey Williams fished the South Wales Summer league.  Teams of 5 event that a good few of the local lads fish. 6 rounds over 3 venues meant a bit of diversity and with the newly crowned Supercup Champions, Nobblers, Frenzee South West and a few other good sides fishing it would be a good craic, bit of local needle and a few bites…

IMG 2104

As it goes our Milo team won the league comfortably winning 4 out of 6 rounds and only dropping 2 points. The fishing wasn’t easy on times but it was nice not to be in a fish race and have go and catch some. The Wern did his trick with the draw bag and sat me on a few nice pegs. The stand out days for me were two days we fished on Hartleton lake near Ross. 17lb of small roach over a bed of overwet Pro Natural Dark managed a section win and 2nd overall in the first match there. Back for the last round and even though the pegging was different I somehow managed to sit on the same peg as previous this time catching 26lb of roach on a single tin of hemp for another section win and 3rd overall. A lovely change to get the silverfish gear out in summer. Well done to all the lads, they all fished well and took their chances.

With this done it was time to start thinking about the Welsh national that was to be held at Weston Pools. Now, I don’t need any excuse to visit Weston, more than a little bit of man love going on between me and there. a couple of practise trips saw us pick up a few quid and start to get our eye in. What's more, Donk and I managed to bung a day off and get up there for the Natural Baits Festival being held the two days prior. Strange to what some of you may think I do know what a castor and worm looks like.

Before I go on, I must say a massive congratulations to Cwmbran Nobblers for winning the Supercup. Being a local side to me I know all of these lads well and I was chuffed to bits to see them win it. They are all great anglers and I know how much they’ve wanted this title for some time. They had put in the hard yards and done a lot of work in preparation and in fairness they did a right number on it… the bit I love about this event at Barston is the venue itself. It’s made for it. Big carp, big F1s, big chuck feeder fishing, roach and skimmers on pole.. all plays a part so you need to be on your game to make sure you come back with the goods. Shaun Wilson was 2nd in the match with 90lb of brutes on Pellet waggler yet the next section round from him team mate Phil Weaver had the job of getting his head down to catch 35lb of small fish on pole and maggots. Brilliant event at a brilliant place… looks like Wales are winning in Fishing and Football this year…!

IMG 2100

Back to Weston and the festival.. don’t look around the car park or you may turn around and go home again. Bennett, Hughes, Carass, Barlow, Scholey, O’connor to name but a few… all wanting to take your hard earned.

The excitement for this was something me and quite a few others haven’t experienced for a while. We all mentioned it, it was bristling. I guess we all knew we were in for some serious fishing and none of us really knew how it would react to natural baits only. Speaking to a few, like me and Donk, they had brought the kitchen sink in terms of maggot, castor and worm etc.. Joe Carass on the other hand.. ‘hope they like maggots Bodge!’ was the reply. ‘I’ve got 2 gallon! Nowt else!’ this worried me as I’ve seen Joe fish before. Fresh and newly married, Joe was clearly a happy man with nothing but fishing on his mind. Equals danger.. believe me!

IMG 2145

IMG 2107

The draw bag of dreams opened and in we went. Good start… good start.. please please… peg 1 Clay pit! Wallop! And we’re off! Id luckily drawn this recently so knew straight away what the plan was. A quick chat with Bagger Bennett and I was off to empty the lake of its contents.

Sat on the boards, have a look at that for a pretty picture. Wouldn’t matter if the lake was empty would it.. nice place to spend a day. To make things even better (or worse depending how you look at it) Tugger sat across from me on peg 29. Fancied him there! Richie O’Connor on 19 which although normally poor had form of late and I was soon looking at a tough day at the office. Cleggy walks up and shows me a picture of a million f1s sat in his swim.. looked like a bait ball! Oh the joy!

The bait list was simple. casters, worms and Juice covered corn. Castor and worm slop shallow and corn down the edge. There's not a lot else you can do as the place it proper bottomless. It’s a mental lake because of the depths its quite clear. With my glasses on I can see fish 5 feet down as they are coming up when playing them. amazing to see but its heart wrenching stuff.

The match started and it must have been all of 2 minutes before I was attached to a chunky F1. Things looked good and the more I fed the fish seemed to be in the swim. I had a belting start and bagged proper for a good hour. I looked at my watch and 1.5 hours in I thought I’d had 55-60lb. net limits at Weston are 60 so I immediately swapped onto my next net. Although it slowed compared with the first big hit I had a lovely day. I switched to the edge only to start catching proper carp. These things are crackers. I don’t think I’ve ever had fish pull like it anywhere. It’s as if they want to beat you up for jamming a hook in their gobs. So much so you worry for your pole such is the force and turn of speed these things have. you would swear they were foul hooked.

I had a lovely match but so did everyone else as I saw Richie put his 4th net in with an hour to go. Tom was extracting units from his edge and Chris (never had a bad peg) Jones was slaying them on 9! (that’s the point.. the best peg in the world AND America! So I’m told.

I'd caught well and although it was very close I thought I may just have sneaked it. as the scales came down I reached for my first net. It was stuck on something.. wait, no, it’s not stuck it’s just heavy… hang on.. oh shit! As I lifted them out my heart sank as I knew I was going to get knocked back for being over. 60lb limit, 60-70lb counts as 60lb and anything over 70lb you lose the net. A few nervous looks came my way as I tumbled these F1s into the sling. They actually looked bigger than when I had caught them. I’m normally pretty sharp with these things so it came as a bit of a shock to me that Id caught so much in the first hour and a half. Basically, that one net weighed 71lb. There were a few looks at each other.. some ums and arrhs and even a ‘I’ll ring Richie..’ no, chuck them back it’s over the limit. Rules are rules. I weighed the rest of my catch to end up with 114lb. I should have weighed 190lb. Richie then went on to win the lake with 168lb. I ended up 5th! obviously I was talk of the town that night but it seemed it was me who was least affected by it. It was my fault, a mistake on my part… not as if you do these things intentionally! done now! Its only fishing boys… let have another pint of cider and not worry about it!!

On the results front it was that man Joey F1 who’s maggot mania had destroyed stretton. He won the day with a massive 196lb. Bagger won his, in fact most of the usual suspects won theirs.

Day two and with a small (not really! Massive!) hangover we were off to canal for day 2!

70 anglers fishing and would you believe me and Frosty had swapped pegs from the day before. Canal 42 I was to sit on and although a great peg normally for some reason of late it hadn’t been very good. A good long chat with Frosty and we were both set up and ready for action. 42 is next to an inviting looking bridge but with that man O’Connor sat the other side of it I was reliably informed we’d struggle there. I started short on maggots and got off to a flyer with 15lb in so many minutes. This soon died and I was left searching for a large part of the match. Odd fish was all I could muster until I went down the edge. It wasn’t great but at least I was hooking the odd fish. Sodding fish, Christ they pull. In a blink of an eye these thing strip all your lacy from your pole and bottom you out.. it’s incredible. The head shakes are so violent I got broke twice and most of you will know the sort of gear I use!    

I’ve had an 8lb barbell… that pulled my arms off. It gets to a point.. I can’t pull any harder as I'd smash my kit up.. this thing just swims about with no thought for me what so ever. Left me feeling belittled and ashamed!

I caught an odd barbell but it was mainly better carp. I was fishing down to the end of a spit and the odd one would run around the back of it. I hooked one thing that really took the p##s! in a split second this fish had shot around the spit and the 6 joints of pole I was holding was now at a right angle. There was a serious amount of pressure on it and I thought it was going to come back as it couldn’t possible pull any harder… it then proceeded to drop a gear and one almighty bang was left with me holding 2 feet of number 6 section with carbon lying everywhere! I picked up an in-tact number 5 but alas the number 4 was now in lot of pieces and half of it was still attached to the top kit the fish has buggered off with! If anyone finds it please leave to one side for me! ;-)  

I could see Jordan opposite giggling and when asked if he enjoyed that he said he’s never seen a pole bend like that before… impressive stuff!

I weighed a naughty 90lb for nowhere only needing 111lb for 2nd on the lake. By my own admission Id fished a poor match clearly affected by the previous days f##k up. Richie next door fished another brilliant match to weigh 99lb but it was Lee Peanut who won the lake with a well angled 136lb.

As the results came in it was tough at the top. Joey F1 was my bet and he didn’t disappoint as his maggot approach caught him 150 odd to win the lake for a 2nd day. Well done mate.. thoroughly deserved!

Bagger Bennett was 2nd and Connor Barlow 3rd. well done to all who fished. An amazing event.

Sunday after the festival was National Day and with 12 teams of 5 lined up nobody could see past the favourites Drennan North West. This was the one we wanted to win. My Shakespeare Superteam Bait-Tech side comprised of myself, Donk, the Wern, Eggy and Bob and as this was the first time we had all fished under the team banner we were keen to make it count.

There's only one man to draw in team events.. The Wern is awesome. His ritual is to ask what pegs you want.. he asked me.. I named 5.. he brought me one of those 5! Easy no?

Split over 5 lakes I offered to take one for the team and head down the Clay pit. Although secretly my favourite lake I wasn’t going to make that to clear to the others. 29 was my home and I must be honest I ran to it. Lee was off to wrestle beasts on Belvedere, Bob on weir, Donk on Stretton and Eggy seems to get on particularly well on Canal. We had rain that night and the temperatures plummeted. This was definitely going to have an effect but how many would go there looking for a bagging match having judged it on the previous festival results?

Setting up on the peg that man Richie rocked up in the car park. As I glanced across at peg 26 (bung hole) I hoped he wasn’t heading there… that glint in his eye as he got out of the car said it all.. joy.. another battle ahead!

We all had our plans and mine pretty much mimicked my day on there in the festival. Only difference being I had a few pellets with me. It was a hard day and fish continuously backed off. Rather than keep pushing them out of rang I hung back and looked to rest the shallow lines and let them regroup. An odd look in the edges provided the odd fish but with peg 1 and Ben Roberts on 4 seemingly bagging it looked to be between me and Richie fighting it out for 3rd. A battle I was winning until Richie started plundering units down both edges. I had a cushion but this was disappearing fast but with my edges not producing like I had hoped I was staring down the barrel. 10 minutes to go and I was starting to twitch. Sometimes you simply know that 1 or two fish will make all the difference. The float rammed under and I was attached to a small and angry carp. Back in and I was in again. How and why they had decided to turn up then is anyones guess. I now had to try and get thejm in a quickly as possible to get in for another before the whistle. Not easy when they are fighting like they do. I managed 4 in that last few minutes but felt it wasn’t enough.

I was surprised to find out peg 1 had weighed 82lb. I thought he had 182lb! Ben the same. 77lb I thought was a lot more. probably as I was facing them all day and must have seen them both catch all their fish.. I estimated at 70lb and Richie the same. A bit dejected I thought I was going to be 5th but was pleased to bung 81lb on the scales to pinch 2nd. The curse of 1lb had cost me again! Too much last time, too little this time! Still, that will do as every point counts!

Back at the ranch and we had amassed 17points. No enough we thought. Eggy 3rd, Bob 2nd, Lee and Donk 5th, me 2nd. Top result looking at it and looking around the lakes. John Harvey won individually with 130lb. Well done mate! And.. it seems as most teams had had a bad or indifferent result which meant our 17point was enough to win by 6 points. Nice to finally win it. It’s a nice event, we all know each other and have a great laugh. A massive thanks to Richie, Mike, Giles and everyone at Weston. Superb as always!

And Finally…

Back to Viaduct for the all winners final last Saturday! This is usually my start to the autumn and winter fishing at Viaduct as I never seem to get there during summer these days! 70 turned up for this with a grand up for grabs all talk was of Cambell lake as it was fishing incredibly.

Into the bag and yet again another big match was greeted with a poor draw… I don’t know what I’ve got to do to get a chance down there…

Spring peg 24 was my home for the day and although a nice peg for the lake I knew deep down it wasn’t going to be strong enough to win the match. Bomb rod, 2 waggler rods, short pole and edge was the plan of attack. This also gave me chance to test a few new baits we are working on for next year. I’ve been catching a lot recently on corn doused in Juice. I’ve caught loads on it and although it not the ‘done thing’ at viaduct I elected to fish it over meat. (gasps in horror!)

I had two lines out, one as close to the island as I could feed next to the trees and the other halfway in open water where id ping pellets for skimmers and odd carp. I started on the bomb with a glugged 11mm.. no signs and after half hour without a liner I picked the waggler rod up and dropped onto the shorter line. A quick bite saw carp number 1 on and a small 5lber was soon in the net. Another 8mm in the band and into the red Juice, back out and it wasn’t long before number 2 was on. This slowed a little but I was soon on 5 small carp. Not much being caught elsewhere meant this was a slow and steady day.. don’t force anything..

With the waggler all but dead and strangely no skimmers feeding I had a drop in the edge where I had gently been throwing corn. The float sat there before thumping under and as big brute wallowed about before being scooped. This pattern of slow and steady continued and although it was only an odd bite these fish were too big to have them solid in the peg, you had to wait for single fish. Big enough however that you can easily play the waiting game for them. I managed 4 from the edge, each time resting it and drip feeding Juiced up corn. 2 of them must have pushed 20lb and I ended up with 9 in total for 91lb and a lake win. The 4 edge fish went 65lb so you can see why it’s worth waiting for. All caught on double corn. Looks like I’m a corn freak these days rather than a meat head!

Andy Power got a sniff and proceeded to smash it from unfancied 105 on Cary. 225lb all caught early before they pushed out of the narrows. Talk about taking your opportunity! Another grand for him.. well done the ginger prince!

Tunnel beckons.. winter is coming at last! Time for a bit of grafting in our fishing… can’t wait.

Until next time…

  

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