- 800 grams
- Peg -74 (B55)
- 37th in 59 secion
- Team was 46th out 59 teams
My concern was last week’s practice match was no benefit to me, as I caught very little and unfortunately learnt very little. We had three others fish the open match and they caught very little, less than myself, so knowledge of the venue is very limited. Also the match itself is huge, fifty nine teams of ten, so five hundred and ninety anglers on the bank. This covers an immense amount of water, so of our guys have practice in a line up and the highest weight was about three pound. So the match is going to be tough, lack of big fish been caught, maybe because of the pressure on the water for the build up of this match. So to be honest, this match venue is going to be reasonable fair, which is good especially as its team event, but going to be cruel in places though.
After driving the best part of 3 hours we arrived head quarters in Doncaster, we were early so I decided to make up a couple more rigs, as we were the first to arrive from our team, as it going to be a long wait for the draw (like to stay active). Finally we got the draw, I was on B55 (meant nothing) and travelling partner Alan had drew E37. His directions had a postcode on, but mine didn’t so was more concerned travelling from E section back to B, so worst case seriono I would have to go back to headquarters and following the intrsuctors from there. There wasn’t a team talk as such, as none of us really knew the venue that well. “Ball it with leam on the slope and cup in 4 balls of groundbait with squatt and pinkies in it. Fish pencil floats, 0.5 – 0.8 gram, fish light 0.11 main lines to 0.06 or 0.07 hook lengths. Net everything”
Alan was disappointed as we discovered that he was only a few pegs below where we were last week. This was a difficult section, and starting on the correct method was so important, as there could be blanks (which they were!). So now I was hard to travel back to my section, which looked straight forward, as I built up a mental picture how to get back. So got straight there, the instructors from the organisers were spot on for us. On arrival to the peg I saw it was still tight pegging, every twelve yards and I was last to get to my peg but still had plenty of time to kit up. The slope was much closer, only eight meters which was concerning as I was worried the fish may not settle so close to me, and fishing further out would be a safer bet? I don’t know and still don’t know. Pluming up it was much shallower than last week, as it went to 15 foot, whereas was here was narrower and shallower with good shelves. This was much more like a canal, unfortunately I didn’t have a willow tree opposite, as they were would be a potentially chance of catching chub in some of these pegs to my right. However, I didn’t want to waste time fishing against the tins, also these big fish have been caught several times and therefore do tend to shut up shop.
I was very unsure if to ball it, the team had talked about balling it, but the issue was the fish hadn’t responded to it, well what I had seen and heard. So I was fishing a little bind, so I decided to ball it, four orange size balls of groundbait and 6 orange size balls of 75 per cent leam with 25 per cent groundbait. I put a handful of suffocated of pinkies and squatts (these won’t brake the balls), so was going to be positive. Then I was going to loose feed hemp and squatt over the top. Rotate the rigs, to try and keep fish coming. Roach are clever fish, so moving you float up or down a couple of inches can make a massive difference and changing from a heavy to a light float can bring surprising results. So my advice to anyone is to keep working at it, as it’s very easy to switch off and just go through the motions.
The whistle finally went and I ensured that I was the first to ball it, as my pole had been waiting in the pole arms for the last 5 minutes (hopefully not scaring the roach away) and threw all ten balls in, groundbait ones first and the leam ones there after. Then shipped out to 16 meters and cupped in my worms with a few casters.
I put a single squatt on my 24 hook, and after a couple of minutes I had caught I tiny roach, where either side were still feeding there lines. So I was relieved that I had caught, because the journey up me and Alan were concerned about blanking. The next 40 minutes saw me catch these tiny roach (45 to the pound) and the odd dumpy little perch. It wasn’t looking good, as the fish were tiny and I had 3-5oz. So decided to go long on chopworm line at 16 meters, and never had a bite, I was concerned that cupping in the worms was a bad mistake and I should of bait droppered it in. So I decided to bait drop some more worms, which I feared was too late and I was right and never caught on the chopworm.
I caught some roach late, when I switchted to a very light rig, which was a 0.2 gram float. This took a whopping 36 seconds to settle! The did produce some unexpected roach and has really opened my eyes to catching roach. It was the right time of day to catch these fish, but it did transformed my peg.
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