Sycamore fishery

14th May , peg 28 Rowans canal


Today was my last chance to go fishing for a few weeks so i decided to head off to Sycamore fisheries and fish the evening open match but to be honest my heart wasn’t really in it after a hard day at work and suffering a touch of fisherman’s blues , anyway off we headed but getting stuck in the rush hour traffic didn’t improve my mood one bit but at least it was sunny with little in the way of breeze .

As the evening match here was a rover we had a quick look at the canals+Davids pool to see where the best areas seemed to be and we also unpacked our gear because you only get thirty minutes from drawing your peg to starting the match which is a lot shorter than you can imagine especially if you are at the back of the queue .

When we got back to the cabin there was quite a few knocking about including a few from Balmoral fishing club there was also a couple of anglers who recognized me from my blog and came over for a chat which was nice and made a change from the usual whispering and staring that i normally get . We paid our pools and picked the numbers for the order of when we get to choose pegs , i pulled out 19 which meant i was way down the list but John my travelling companion had 11 so he had a good chance of picking a decent area . When it came to draw time Phil announced that only Rowans-Silver birch will be in the bag today and that because we had twenty people fishing there would just be the even numbers to pick from .


One by one all the better pegs went and when it came round to my choice i settled on peg 28 Rowans which wasn’t the best of areas but a lot better than those that was left , John had peg 36 Rowans which is where we did well fishing shallow the last time we pleasure fished on here so i expected him to do well from their and that he did as you will find out later .

winter wire

When i got to my peg i decided to just set up two rigs ;

Near margin , top kit and i used a 4×12 Malmams speedy float with a bulk of number 9 stotz six-inch above the size 18 guru lwg hook , here i would be fishing worm in the last ninety minutes .

Far bank , 13 meters and i used a 4×12 preston chianti float with a bulk of number 11 stotz six-inch above the size 20 gamma pellet hook , this is where i expected to catch majority of my fish in the first two hours of the match .

My bait was an all pellet attack apart from a few worms that i had remaining from the other week;

1/4 kilo worm very finely chopped .

1/2 pint micros

1/2 pint 4 mm

1/2 pint ground-bait

small tub expanders

I went onto my 13 meter line which was 1 ft away from the far bank and plumbed up a few areas to find the same depth of around 2 ft , i then went onto my top kit and plumbed up on my left hand side margin i also found 2 ft and if i had used the same bait i could have used the same rig for both areas . It was soon time for the all in so i shipped out to the far bank with an expander on the hook and fed a mixture of micro-4 mm-ground bait through a small cad pot then lowered my hook bait in with it , i then proceeded to lift-drop to try to encourage a response and it took two feeds before i managed my first fish which was a nice stockie mirror carp , a couple more quickly followed before i started getting phantom bites that i just couldn’t hit which was a surprise because i had been careful not to overfed and went for a small cad pot full after every other fish .


To try to solve the problem i moved my bulk further away from my hook in case they was line bites and went a few inch shallower this kind of worked with a few more stockies coming my way but it wasn’t long before they returned and because i had caught a couple on the drop i tried fishing just 1 ft deep but this did not produce a single bite , in the first hour i had eight fish in the net which was probably what i had expected because the margin was my main line of attack .

With my original far bank swim starting to fade i moved 2 ft to the left and started again , on this line i started catching f1s and it seemed strange how the shoals of different species could be so close together with out inter mingling , i was soon suffering with the phantom bites again and i tried pushing my rig up the slope and kept a static bait this produced a couple more before i found out what could be the culprit i caught a f1 just two-inch long , speaking to Phil the owner after the match he said that he had not re-stocked and that it was the same size as he had put in three years ago ! ! !


Any way back to the fishing i had fed my margin with a small cupping kit full of chopped worm plus micro every thirty minutes so i decided to give that line a whirl while i let my far bank line have a rest , i put an inch long segment piece of worm on the hook and lowered it in among the feed , it wasn’t long before my float shot under with a nice sized stockie making its way to the net and then a big f1 but just when i thought i could be in for a nice weight they vanished and i began getting plagued with small 6 oz tench and although they was nice to hook it wasn’t what i needed to catch .

So i re-fed with another cupping kit full and went back on to my 13 meter line i rotated my two lines picking up a few fish from each before putting a cad pot of feed in , we was approaching the last hour so i decided to concentrate on my top kit line and began putting a few fish into the net , when the tench got in on the act i put another cup full in which encouraged the bigger stamp fish to come back and it was noticeable how harder they fight than those at Partridge lakes but i’m sure that will all change when they have been caught a few more time .


Just as the all out sounded i landed a nice sized barbel for Rowans and i ended up with 25 f1s-stockies plus a few silvers for 28lb which wasn’t bad for this peg and was the best weight in the middle of the section but not really good enough to challenge today and i am finding it hard to get to grips with this venue although i can do well on a pleasure session here .

John ended up winning the match with 77 lb all caught shallow , so much for an all pellet attack ! ! ! I knew what he was doing because he was in my eye sight but i couldn’t be bothered fishing that way today and was content picking up the odd fish from my various swims during the afternoon i also think i need a bit more practice pellet fishing which i have always seemed to struggle at . So that will be my last fishing trip for a few weeks and my return should hopefully be on Chapel pool practicing for the next round of the Angling times Super cup , although i was thinking of stepping back from match fishing for a while and start doing my own thing because i feel its starting to get a bit clicky on most waters and i really can not be arsed with it all , i just want to go fishing catch a few fish and enjoy my day out but that’s just me .




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