- Peg 18
- 26lb 10oz
- 70 roach for about 10lb
- 16lb of bonus fish, 3 perch and 6 skimmers
- 2nd overall
|26lb 10oz.... not quite enough|
I was disappointed to draw peg 18 and felt that I would struggle to catch and wouldn't compete with pegs 32, 30, 28, 9 and 13. As the fish do tend to shoal in this area, especially the roach. So I felt the odds were against me. But as always I was going to maintain a positive approach, dispute me having a little moan!!
I had half a kilo of frozen joker which was going to feed in groundbait, well did have half a kilo, but my mate Jon Walker got his "mints" on some. I plumbed up carefully, and felt 8 meters would be the minimum I would fish due to the cold weather and 13 meters been my main area of attack. So I cupped in one soft ball of groundbait and 5 big balls at 13 meters packed with almost all my joker, 1/2 pint of caster. This was an awful lot of bait, but I planned that once the fish settled on that, I wouldn't stop catching, well that's the plan. I also fed to the right by the bush at 4 meters, but didn't expect to catch there, and I didn't. Also cupped two balls at 8 meters.
I found that resting the lines, and by feeding a ball of groundbait and resting it for fifteen minutes, I would caught these skimmers or a "big billie" Also fishing three inches over depth with single red maggot was better. I did catch a few fish on double maggot, but single was far better! Also never caught on caster, even after feeding almost two pints.... The caster was the key to catching this better fish, as it is a good holding bait, but didn't make sense why I couldn't catch on them???
The last forty minutes was an nightmare, as there was carp everywhere, and they did mess up my silver lines. I hooked three and lost all three, one of which was a huge fish..... one of them twenty pounders maybe. I will get my first twenty pounder out of this lake, yet to have one, but not much chance on 0.09!! It was a surprise though how much it took to finally break me, with balanced tackle it's amazing what you can get away with!
I was surprised to way in 26lb, as I thought I would be knocking 20lb but not that much. I knew the fish were good quality, and I believe that 50lb-60lb is achievable on the right peg and conditions. I honestly felt the lake fished well, as it was flat calm, bright and cold!!
In reflection, I think I would fish two lines at 13 meters, one would be raw joker with caster and few dead red maggots. The other line would be groundbait with joker and caster. I would start on the raw line, as this would normally work instantly and therefore catch these early fish, whereas the fish took longer to settle over the groundbait. Once I started to rotate lines, I would feed groundbait on top on the raw joker line. I would hope to catch for an hour on the raw line.... I think the fish will be smaller, but hopefully I would do 4lb-6lb in the first hour, and then more over the groundbait line. However, if the lake goes clear due to the cold weather, then I would only feed it raw. I think joker is a good holding bait, I think you will catch a lot of fish on maggot and caster. But joker is such a good holding bait and for the sake of tenner you could really improve your day!!
|Jon Walker, with his new patterns|
|Walkers floats........... they are GREAT!!|
|0.5 and 0.75 Colmic floats|
|Dan the man next to me!!|
|Mick with 19lb 8oz for 3rd (Peg 13)|
|John Bennet with his 13lb of small roach (peg 10)|