Sycamore fisheries

5th July , peg 28 Rowans canal


After struggling to catch the large numbers of fish that i required to compete in matches recently , i decided on a return to Sycamore fisheries to contest the Saturday open which was to take place on the match canals and try a few different things to see if i could improve things .The weather leading up to the match was pretty bad with gales plus heavy rain but it was forecast to get better during the night ,so when i woke i was surprised to see dry conditions with patches of blue sky so things looked rather promising .

When i arrived at the complex there was a club match taking place on Davids pool but other than those anglers there was relatively few people knocking about , as it came closer to draw time it started getting a bit busier and it turned out that twenty anglers would be contesting the open with their being ten on each canal so we would have an empty peg either side . My home for the day was peg 28 on Rowans which is the same one that i struggled on when i last fished a weekend match here, so i wasn’t expecting a great deal but like i mentioned earlier it was more of a learning exercise today .


I set up three rigs today to cover a few options  and would have liked to set up a rig really tight to the near bank but on this peg no one had done any gardening to it so i couldn’t do it ;

1ft 0.3 Matrix series 3 float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 20 hook which had a micro bait band attached .


2.5ft 4×12 malmams speedy float with a spread bulk of number 9 stotz as the shotting pattern ,0.12 garbo main line and a short 6 inch hook length of 0.10 garbo line , attached was a size 20 gamma black hook

malmams winter wire

malmams winter wire

4ft 4×14 malmams winter wire with a spread bulk of number 9 stotz as the shotting pattern , 0.12 garbo main line and a short 6 inch hook length of 0.10 garbo line , attached was a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

My bait was;

2 pint red maggots

1 pint micro dusted with ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders


When the all in sounded i put a medium cupping kit with a ball of pellets on to my right hand pellet line and i would top this up every twenty minutes with a smaller ball , i intended to leave this for at least an hour allowing the fish time to settle and then fed a medium cupping kit full of maggots on to my left hand margin i used this as my initial feed to try to draw some fish into the area , also it would keep them nailed to the bottom where they should be easier to catch and not suffer with line bites .

My first drop on my maggot line resulted in a couple of small tench before the f1s moved in and i then began loose feeding over the top after every fish , by doing this i soon had them lined up and had about 10lb in the first hour . I decided to rest my maggot line and give my pellet swim a try hoping that a few fish might have settled on the feed , but 15 minutes without any sort of indication wasn’t what i was looking for so i re-feed was in order with another ball of micro plus ground-bait and went back on to my left hand line .

The maggot swim was starting to get a bit iffy with line bites-foul hooked fish and i also began bumping fish off too and they was the bigger stamp of carp which i could do without losing i even got broke a couple of times too , so i changed to a bigger size of 20 hook and cut out the loose feeding reverting back to using a large kinder pot which would hopefully concentrate the fish back on the bottom .This worked remarkably well with fish after fish making its way to the net but i knew that i would need two lines to catch on so i could rotate them and not put too much pressure on each , so with my deeper pellet line still not producing and thinking that the fish didn’t want to be in that deep a water i decided to bring it further up the slope and see if that would work any better .


While i was fishing my maggot swim i began kinder potting small balls of micro-ground-bait every five minutes and after a while i went on to it , lowering a 4mm expander among the feed and after a couple of lift-drops my float dipped under with a nice sized mirror making its way to the bank , by rotating between the two lines i began putting some nice fish in the net and it was noticeable that pellet produced a bigger stamp of fish but i didn’t get as many bites using it .


We was fast approaching the last hour and i was wondering whether to put another net in and i decided it was better being safe than sorry but i don’t know if it was the disturbance of lowering it in or by getting up off my box because it definitely had an effect on my pellet swim , so i concentrated on my maggot line for the rest of the match and this produced a further 13 f1s including one right on the whistle which is always nice .


I felt that i had fished a good match with a couple of things working well for me but i still had some quiet spells which shows the importance of having two lines producing fish that you can rotate , i did a lot better than the last time i fished this peg but was it to do with my tactics or the fact i had a bit of room only time will tell . When the scales came to me i needed to get over 52lb for second on the lake because i knew that i hadn’t got the 88lb which was winning the canal and my 48 carp plus silvers went a respectable 56lb.


I was pleased with how things went today from a poor area the few tweaks i did to my feeding and rigs seemed to work , i have a couple of things to think about before the Wednesday evening match back here but things are definitely improving and if i can get the fish in quicker that will improve my catch rate too but when using small hooks i would need to be careful .



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