April 25th , peg 6 Bank pool
Well it has soon come round again with my first attempt at a Fishomania qualifier for this year and this one was at Moorlands fishery which was a new venue for me , like i always do when attempting a big match like this i made sure i did my homework getting plenty information from the angling community on social media so i was well prepared before i went . I know a lot of people feel that you are just wasting your money trying to compete in these sort of matches because they are usually very tightly pegged making the fishing extremely hard with normally a low winning weight required and luck in the draw bag is also essential both of which suit my style of fishing , you do get a very high level of angler contesting them but you would anywhere that has matches these days no matter how big they are with venue regulars being just as good on there own water as your so-called big name anglers .
The weather leading up to today had been warm+sunny with a light breeze but predictably this all changed for the day of the match with it forecast to be exactly the opposite although i felt it could make the fishing better with the carp having a feed rather than sun bathing , i was up at 530am for the two and a half hour drive to the venue apart from the 50 mph zones on the motorway it was all straight forward getting there with it being one of the better fisho venues to find and on arrival at Moorlands fishery it looked a nice set up with four smallish twenty peg water and two larger ones i did notice that the pegs themselves where on the small side just big enough for you to fit your box on they were also very close together being about top four distance apart .
After buying the obligatory bag of fishery pellets i joined the queue for the draw which surprisingly went extremely well considering the amount of anglers present , when i picked my peg i ended up on Bank pool six one of the smallest waters on the complex and some where that i hadn’t got much information on and after driving around to the car-park near the lake i found it to be very heavily pegged with it having nine anglers on each bank although predictably i wasn’t far away from the Twitter mania hot pegs , mine was also one of only a handful which had a high bank behind me making shipping in+out a nightmare and i had to be really careful carrying my gear down the steep steps as i had visions of me slipping ending up in the water .
I decided to set up four rigs which would cover all my options and i didn’t want to fall into the trap of going over board which would only end up confusing me ;
Margin – not sure it would work with the pegs being so close together
Bottom near slope – positioned this towards my right as this angler was going to fish the pellet waggler giving me a bit more room to draw fish from , i also felt that this would be my best line
Long deck 13m – ideally i would have gone out further but for the high bank behind me hindering my shipping
With Moorlands having a strict five pint limit you needed to be careful on what you chose to put onto your side tray ;
2 pint fishery 4mm pellet
2 pint red maggots
1 pint corn
tub mixed hard pellets
tub 4+6mm expanders
I was set up well before the 11 am start and was eager to get going ,on my lake i had last years Fisho finalist Ben Emery on my right , Simon Fry a few pegs further down and Grant Albutt , Ste Openshaw , a top female angler plus a venue regular on the opposite bank which would make winning the lake extremely difficult . All too soon i heard a whistle in the distance which signaled the all in and i proceeded to put two cups of pellets +corn on to my top three-line then went out to 13m with the on the deck rig depositing a kinder pot of 4mm pellets and dropped my 8mm hard pellet among it , i began flicking half a dozen pellets at my float trying to attract a few fish but also being careful not to overfeed because as you can imagine a lot of bait had been deposited at the start of the match all over the lake .
After about 15-20 minutes i noticed a few bubbles coming up then i had a little dip on the float and my first fish of the day hit the net a nice 2lb skimmer quickly followed by one half of its size , i then struggled for forty minutes to get a bite so i went onto what i thought would be my main line and when the float shot under straight away i thought great but missed bite after missed bite wasn’t what i expected . I kept coming back with half a 6mm pellet so i figured these were just small silvers i decided to re-feed two cupping kits of pellet+corn and left it to rest for a while , i went back on to my deck rig at 13m there had been a few fish caught on the opposite bank by fishing shallow so i decided to catapult six pellets every couple of minutes at my float and keep an eye out for any signs that there was carp present either by swirls or line bites .
Twenty minutes of me doing this i finally had a bite which i missed thinking that it was a liner i picked up my shallow rig , the rules on here regarding up in the water fishing are a bit complex ;
No cupping in water
12 inch minimum amount of line between pole and float
So basically all you were left with is flicking your rig out letting the hook bait fall through the water and after thirty minutes of trying resulted in just a solitary missed bite things weren’t looking good with nearly half of the match gone and just two skimmers in the net , so i went for another look on my top three-line to see if any carp had settled but yet again i was back missing bite after bite from small silvers so i tried a piece of corn on the hook and waited for a more positive indication this never materialised so i decided to feed my margin with two cups of maggots then sat and waited on my 13m deck line the only swim which had given me any proper bites .
Surprisingly my float was only settled for five minutes before it slide under which resulted in a near double figured carp hitting the net which put up a spirited fight on my size 12 matrix hollo elastic , i decided to use this elastic as it would give me a bit of leeway when shipping over the high banking behind me and i then went on a bit of a run catching four decent carp plus a big skimmer in twenty-minute spell i was just beginning to think that i had a chance because i had heard the complex was fishing harder than expected then the bites suddenly stopped , i put this down to their not being enough bait left to hold them but i couldn’t big pot with the angle of the hill so out came the catapult and i put three pouches of 4mm pellets in .
While i let this settle i tried my margin swim but yet again i was getting all sorts of indications from the silvers , when i went back on to my 13m line i had another quick carp from exactly where i kinder potted the bait in but then had to work around the area where i had catapulted the bait in earlier to get another bite if i hit it or missed it the result was just the same a dead swim so i feed another three pouches and went else were to try to get a bite while it rested , i managed to do this another two times before the all out and both resulted in a brace of carp so i had stumbled on how the fish had wanted to feed a little too late and if i had another line which produced carp it might have been a bit different because my eight carp + four skimmers weighed 46lb ninety percent of it caught in the last half of the match which was good enough for a default section win as Ben Emery got second fishing the pellet waggler to the aerator .