Well after the Christmas break this was to be my first match of the year which was to take place down at Rycroft Fishery Hemmington Nottingham.
With 16 of us booked in the numbers were good and I was looking forward to catching a few fish and blowing the cob webs out. On stepping out of my back door early on the Sunday Morning I felt the cold gale force winds blowing on my face (looks like we were going to be in for a difficult match) the winds were howling.
After the 15-20 minutes trip down the motor way I was at the fishery waiting for everyone to turn up.
With the lads slowly but surly turning up we had the full 16 turn out which was good as there is always one or two that I thought wouldn’t have bothered due to the wind and weather in general. What a day for my first match of the year !!!
With the wind being like it was it was decided that we would split the match over 2 lakes 1 on Clover lake and one on Moat lake enabling us to peg it out with our backs to the wind (now that was a bonus)
On the draw I wanted to draw Clover Lake but ended up with drawing Moat lake peg 13. Oh well the draw never goes the way I would like it so of I went to my peg to have a look.
Even though the fishery is only 15-20 minutes its not a fishery I tend to fish on a regular basis I had collected snippets of information on both lakes and was told that moat had a sunken island running parallel to the bank running through the lake at around 13 meters.
After settling down I decided to keep this one simple with a line out on the pole at 13 meters and one on the inside just off slightly to the left with the wind the way it was I was going for anything fancy just 2 simple rigs fished in front of me.
With the match pegged on one bank and the wind blowing into the opposite bank I also set the bomb rod up to cast tight to the far bank/pegs.
For my pole lines I set up a Sackup SF Silver back 4x12 a true all rounder and has the benefits of a wire stem to help with stability but also sensitivity so I could see the bites clearly should the silver fish move in but also has the strength should the odd carp come in for a feed.
Line of choice is slightly different to what I have been fishing with and I am now using Browning Hybrid Power mono line supple, strong and durable I wanted to see how it preformed. Main line was 0.12mm to a 6 inch 0.10mm hook length finished off with a Tubertini 808 size 16 hook. All connected to double 6 preston slip elastic set soft on a pulla bung. My shotting pattern was a bulk of number 9’s with a few droppers to register the float.
My inside line was exactly the same as my 13 meter line I wanted to keep everything as simple as possible.
As for feed on the pole lines this would dampened down micro pellet fed when required but in very small amounts just enough to catch one fish at a time. On the hook I planned to change between a 4mm expander, sweet corn and red maggot should the bites become hard. I wanted to feel my way into the match so no cupping kit was set up just toss pots on the top kits.
As for setting my bomb rod up this would be my trusty Browning force 10ft rod matched to a Browning Back fire reel with 5lb line. For those that are not familiar with Browning’s rod range the force range is one of the best I have used for what they retail at. Classy looks with a slim blank that has plenty of back bone in it to land any size of fish associated with today’s match fishing. It’s a rod that I like to use in the summer and is a proper bagging tool.
After clipping on a Browning Hybrid distance lead I attached a 1ft hook length plan was to fish a PR36 size 18 hook and fish popped up bread on the hair. This has caught me plenty of fish in the past and its just a case of finding the depth the fish are at through swapping and changing hook length lengths.
With the all in being called it was on to my 13 meter pole line. With the winds now blowing a full on gale that must have been reaching 40-50mph it wasn’t a line that I was going to stay on for long, even with the wind on my back it was still hard to control the pole. After an hour sat on the 13 meter line I fed my inside line and went out on the bomb casting tight to the far bank peg this is where I felt I could mug a fish or 2 should the fish follow the wind. After another hour and only a few indications that a fish or 2 could be there I reeled in and went on my inside pole line not a bite on that either after another hour!!
After another half hour the tip shot round and after a bit of a scrap carp number 1 was in the net (happy days)
With nothing else coming to the net after another hour and sitting on my pole lines I completely change tactics and swapped my distance lead for a small 20gram Kobra method feeder and threw it out just past my 13 meter pole line, within 15 minutes the tip shot round again and carp number 2 was in the net result!.
Straight back out saw the tip swing round again but this time I lost it gutted with the lake fishing hard every fish counted.
Looks like I may have found a few fish sat at the back of the sunken island. The last half hour saw no more action and all out was called.
What a match the weather was the worst I had seen it this year and to be honest I was glad the match was over.
On the weigh in it was clear that most had struggled with low weights coming to the scales 17lb odd was winning the lake even though I knew I didn’t have that my 8lb odd was enough for 2nd on the lake.
With the results in from both lakes it was clear that Clover had fished a lot better that what Moat lake had.
Winner on the day had 20lb 9oz from clover with the other lad picking up 2nd overall on my lake I was left to take the section money by default which was a surprise.