Sunday, 27 November 2011

Open - Road Side / Cottages / Iron Bridge and Potters

  • H1 (end peg)
  • 2nd section
  • 5th overall
  • 10lb 7oz

The canal is full of big perch and the moment.

The match

There was eight end pegs and I was lucky enough to draw one of them, with the canal been clear and could be difficult because of no boat traffic and therefore an end peg with extra room is always going to be a great benefit to me. However Iron Bridge is the favoured section as it can throw large weights of perch, as Alan Jones in the spring had over 30lb of perch in a match and a 3lb 14oz!  Iron Bridge is full of tiny roach and a good chance of catching skimmers as well. On arrival to my peg, after dropping Alan Jones off to A1 (another end peg) I had two of my team mates Neil Richards and Mark Saunders in my section, so was in for a changeling day.  I was concerned of lack of activity,  as there was no little fish topping and after speaking to Neil Richards he informed me that it should be good as he had fished it in the week and caught plenty of little fish, but even he agreed he was surprised to see very few fish topping.  The colour is like a weak tea colour which is like it throughout the whole match length.

I was going to have two chop worm lines, one at 13 meters down the track at a 45 degree angle and one at 11 meters to the left of my tiny bush on the far bank in two foot of water.  Both of these chop worm lines were going to be feed with lob worms and fish a lob worm tail on the hook with 0.112 hooklength and a 16 B611.  I had one squatt line at seven meters in three foot of water on the shelf, which I had six rigs for that one line, with was 0.2-0.4 gram Sensas series 21 floats with 0.0075 and 0.064 to 22, 24 and 26 IM1 hooks.

The match didn’t go to plan to start with and ended up fishing in 18 inches of water, right in the bush on the chop worm line and had four perch for about 6lb – 7lb.  I was disappointed with my match, as couldn’t line up the roach and they were tiny 35-40 to the pound.  I needed one more perch to win the match, it was so close bewteen the top eight.

H1 10lb 7oz                myself
H2 5lb 3oz                  Mark Saunders
H3 7lb 10oz                Pete Collins
H4 4lb 14oz                Mr Bonnie
H5 10lb 15oz 8           Neil Richards (2lb 9oz perch)
H6 4lb                         Jamie Cox
H7 5lb 14oz                Andover guy (sorry I forgot your name) (2lb 4oz perch)
Neil Richards fished really well, 10lb 15.8oz (4th overall and won H section)

Pete Collins

Mark Saunders

Open at Wharf 30/11/11
  • 8lb 9oz
  • 1st place
  • 8 people fished

Best days fishing i've had for ages!  Loads of bites (makes a change)

Jamie Cox with a nice bag of small fish (4lb plus)

Neil Richards was 2nd with 7lb

Why I couldn't catch this perch during the match?
Lost a BIG perch, which snagged me in the middle of the canal!
peg 1 6lb
peg 2 4lb 8oz
peg 3 4lb 14oz
peg 4 4lb7oz
peg 5 2lb 13oz
peg 6 8lb 9oz
peg 7 6lb 7oz
Peg 8 7lb

Midweek Open

I was so eager to fish this midweek match, even though it was only an eight pegger as I wanted to prove to myself that I could do better.  Also had some banter with Neil and had a pound side bet with him and with him drawing the end peg (peg 8) in the bay I was up against it.  The other side of me I had Nigel Franks who is no mug on the canal.  I felt confident of catching on the squatt and planned to feed squatt and fish squatt at 7 meters again.  Now the feeding on the squatt was important as I planned to lose feed to every 2 – 3 fish and try and build up their confidence of squats falling through the water and then hopefully a couple of hours in I would be able to up the feed to every fish and this would hopefully increase my catch rate, as the fish weren’t settle and you couldn’t line them up.  This worked well and I did start to motor in the third hour and was doing well.  The chop worm lines, weren’t as productive as hoped for, but all fish caught across against the boat.  In the last twenty minutes saw me get very frustrated as I lost a big fish on the squatt gear that broke me!  So decided to try and catch some proper fish, and went on the chop worm ten minutes to go a bump one perch and then hooked another one with two minutes to go and this was big and it snagged me in the middle of the canal which was frustrating and despite me trying to dislodge it, which didn’t work and in the end I had to pull for a break!  So I was relived to win the match, but should have had double figures.

It fished harder than we all expected, the water was very clear and with no boats, it was difficult to catch.  Last tewenty minutes saw me lose something rather large on the squatt gear, which broke me after 1 minute.  Then lost a big perch on the gear right at the death, which snagged me in the middle of the canal, so disappointed and therefore fished on afterwards and had two big perch and bumped one! Just shows when that light faded the bigger fish switched on and they wouldn't feed when we were fishing the match.

My thoughts
Chop Worm
I WOULDN’T go crazy on chop worm, as it was surprising how little big fish were caught and we were in the Wharf.  You have to have open mind to catch these fish, but you could cost the team by fishing it too long.  I would suggest feeding a chop worm line in three foot of water, and I would be positive in the way I feed it, and your only looking for one fish at a time, unless you’re on a shedful then you need to reefed it and move onto a productive line.  There is no, well very little caught down the track, fished two matches and feed it and caught nothing, so I wouldn’t waste your time fishing it.  If you draw a feature peg, then these big perch are going to be under them.  I would suggest fishing 4 x 12 float with 0.11 hook length and 16 B611 and a springy Vespe pink hollow.  Lob worms would be better and fish a tail, and don’t be frighten to put a tiny piece on, like the size of maggot.  DON’T drag you bait around to start with, as you could spook the fish your feeding for.  ONLY drag it around after a couple of minutes.  Fish a longer line than normal, as you don’t want the pole over there heads.  You should get an indication straight away within 5 minutes. Remember to keep feeding your squatt line regular as this is your bread and butter.  I can’t believe how many anglers stop feeding their squatt line when fishing the chop.  At 2.30pm I would put a big pot of worms in somewhere, and 2.55pm I would be one that line.  I had 1lb perch on Sunday a minute to go and lost a fuc$ing munter yesterday at the same time, which snagged me.
Squatt Line
ONE line, I know a lot of people wouldn’t agree with this, but believe me if you have lines everywhere you are going to get wasted!  I suggest marking your pole at three foot, don’t guess it know it!  This should be about 7 meters and hopefully be on the slope, and you can vary your presentation by fishing half a meter further and therefore fishing 6 inches over depth and drop back half a meter and then you will be maybe up to 10 inches off bottom.  If things don’t go to plan, then maybe start another line somewhere else.  I would suggest fishing 0.2 gram floats with bulk 1 foot away from hook and fish 24 IM1’s and 0.06.  Feeding two balls of black groundbait, with a little lose to create a cloud.  Loose feed squats every two to three fish and try to up the feeding of squatt after a couple of hours, the fish don’t want it to start with, as you need to build their confidence up.  I start to bag yesterday in the middle of the match.  ALSO be careful of bank runners, I had a go at Gary Williamson (he’s off my Christmas card list, but still love him) as he stood right behind me and then my swim slowed up and caught two eyes in ten mintues and then had a women with a small child said “look fatty caught a fish” and never had a bite for 5 minutes.  
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