Sycamore fishery

Silver birch peg 11 , May 5th


After yesterday’s disappointing club match on Blundells pine canal , i was eager to have a good day and catch a few fish with the bank holiday match on Sycamore fishery my intended target there was a good chance that i would especially after my recent after work sessions on their .But on the morning of the match my supposedly fresh maggots i bought on Saturday had almost fully castered which wasn’t what i wanted and could it be an omen of bad things to come .

As we had done on the previous match we called at mcds for breakfast and discussed how we would target the match today , i had decided on an all shallow hard pellet approach and John was shallow with maggot exactly the same methods which caught us plenty of fish on our last two visits so we was understandably looking forward to a good match .

As usual for me on a match at Sycamore fisheries we were the first to turn up because it was only a short drive from my house, so we had a quick chat with Phil the owner and then went for a walk round the complex it seemed that quite a bit of work had taken place since my last visit with a new car-park and fences been erected around the lake .When we got back to the cabin we saw a couple of lads from my Balmoral fishing club who had said yesterday that they was going to attend today and they was looking forward to a good match , as we were chatting the car-park was filling up all the time and when it came to draw time their was 28 anglers attending it meant there was 14 on each canal which would make the fishing hard .


The match canals on Sycamore fisheries are usually heavily biased towards the corners so it might come as a surprise but today i really didn’t want to draw one but that i did with peg 11 being my home for the day and not only that but 3 of the 4 Balmoral anglers all had corner pegs plus all 4 of us was on Silver birch .The peg i was on had 30lb come off it the day before and in my opinion it isn’t always the best thing to fish the same peg as the previous day because of all the feed and pressure on it but with so many anglers in attendance there was really nothing that could be done plus i had to contend with an unusual strong head wind which i have never seen on here before and it would make loose feeding pellets a bit difficult by hand .

As mentioned earlier my tactic for the day was shallow fishing and i set up another rig for the margin while i was priming my main line of attack and the rigs i was using are ;

1ft shallow ,0.3 matrix series 3 float with 0.10 garbo line direct to a size 18 f1 eyed hook which had a micro band attached .

2ft shallow , 0.3 matrix series 3 float with 0.1o garbo line direct to a size 18 f1 eyed hook which had a micro band attached .

3ft margin – top shelve , 4×12 preston chianti with a spread bulk of 11 stotz and 0.10 garbo line direct to a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


My bait was the pretty standard ;

2 pint 4mm pellets

1 pint maggot-caster

small tub hard 6mm pellets

When the whistle for the all in sounded i went on to my top kit which was on the scum line to my right and i was flicking a few maggots over the top of it , i also was attempting to catty a dozen pellets left handed on to my 8 meter shallow kine which took me a while to figure out how best to do this .

Twenty minutes without a bite wasn’t exactly what i expected to happen today finally after what seemed like an age i had my first fish , it wasn’t the hoped for carp but a little tench it was a start though . Another blank ten minutes before my next bite which resulted in a foul hooked fish which took me to the island before shedding the hook , this line never recovered from the disturbance so i had a quick look on my shallow line at 2ft depth which did not produce a bite .While i had this rig on i decided to set up a new line at this depth towards the island and began kinder potting in some 4 mm pellets before lifting-dropping to try to induce a bite without success and my mate Tony on the opposite corner peg was also really struggling , we were both really running out of ideas on what to do next and it seemed there was a shortage of fish down this side of the canal .

So three hours in and after a multitude of swims too many to mention , i still only had the one little tench in the net and i came to the conclusion that by loose feeding pellets to try and get them shallow i had overfed my peg also the rig i was using for the top shelve wasn’t stable enough in the conditions . So i decided to set up a heavier slightly deeper rig to fish at the bottom of the near slope and fished it well away from where i had been loose feeding pellets , i choose to fish my remaining maggots here and began trickling in the fed being careful not to over do it like i had on my other swims .


After a couple of feeds i finally began getting a few indications but the fish were not giving themselves up easily which wasn’t surprising after two consecutive matches , the wind was also playing havoc with presentation and was blowing my rig towards me to try to rectify this i went over depth by a few inch which gave me a static bait , this isn’t some thing i would normally do when f1 fishing and their delicate bites but i had no other option and it worked on the day with me finally putting some fish in the net .

In the final two hours i managed a mixed bag of about 11lb which wasn’t to bad with 25lb getting second on the lake , overall it fished a lot harder than i imagined it would and i dont think its time to give up on the shallow fishing just yet on their . I learned a lot today after not fishing it in a match for about nine months and i don’t think you could expect to frame straight away although it would be nice .