June 24th , Rowans canal peg 27
With the weather still being pleasant with it being calm , light winds , blue skies so i decided to have my first attempt at an evening match this year although i have had limited success on my previous tries and as it was a 5 o’clock draw i decided to try Sycamore fisheries because it is usually only a fifteen minute drive from my house but in rush hour traffic it might take a little longer , so at 4 o’clock i packed up my car before heading to the venue only twenty minutes later i was there but it would at least give me a chance to have a look at the match canals as i hadn’t been there for a few months and the first thing i noticed was the two aerators blasting away this was understandably a good sign as it’s something that you don’t normally see on here but on a negative sight was the fact both canals were low with water especially on Rowans canal which was down about a foot showing all the far bank mud line .
When i arrived back at the cabin there was a good few people knocking about including some Partridge regulars plus a few from Matrix Leigh tackle and as it turned out their would be thirty anglers contesting the match tonite , the Sycamore evening match is a rover so when you book on you get to pick out a ball which would then indicate your turn to choose a peg and as you all know i usually do well at the draw but even i was a bit surprised when i pulled out ball one giving me a choice of any , as i had walked round earlier i had picked out a couple of areas that i fancied and rightly or wrongly i choose peg 27 which was towards the bottom end of Rowans canal .
On arriving at my peg i had some far-bank cover plus two nice margins too attack and as we only had forty minutes to set up so i hastily began getting my gear together ;
My bait today was going against the norm a bit as i decided on using just meat which i felt would work well on here with all the stockies in this canal and obviously it isn’t the best idea trying it for the first time in a match situation but then again it would give me chance to compare it to those anglers around me ;
2 pints 4+6mm cubed meat
1 pint meat mush +hemp
3 pints ground-bait
As i had rushed around getting my gear ready i hadn’t noticed where the other anglers had chosen to fish and now i was waiting for the match to start i saw that four consecutive pegs to my left were taken whereas everyone else was peg one miss one but that’s rover matches for you and i had no doubt this would mean an end to any framing chance for me tonite although i would still be giving it a good shot . As the whistle for the all in sounded i tapped in some cubes of meat on to my top kit line before putting in two big pots in on the far-bank swim where i planned on leaving it for at least forty minutes so the carp could settle on it , back on my top kit with a 6mm cube of meat on the hook i lowered my rig in before dragging it up the slope a little and no sooner had it settled than it dipped under resulting in a little crucian hitting the net , another feed resulted in a little tench then a mini run of three f1s and five fish in the opening fifteen minutes was just the start that i wanted but it soon died on me which was usual for on here , i went on to my far bank swim a bit earlier than i had planned and i did manage the odd carp but it was very hard going this is what i had feared it would be like in this pressured area of the canal .
With two hours of the match remaining and just 10lb in the net i began feeding both my margins plus i decided to set up a new rig for either feeding extremely tight to the mud-bank or by fishing at half depth on my original swim because i had seen a few fish cruising by , this picked up a couple more carp plus the odd little crucian but i didn’t feel that they wanted to settle properly and maybe i had over feed at the start ? With ninety minutes remaining i went on to my right hand margin towards the empty peg this produced plenty of indications but mainly liners and i felt that i had put the swim in too deep a water but i had struggled to find anything shallower especially as you was no longer allowed to garden the peg anymore .
I put in a few big pots of ground-bait this finally got them feeding or it might have just been the time of the day but in the last forty minutes i more than doubled my catch rate managing to catch a further eight f1s+carp the all out came far too soon for my liking and as i knew that i wouldn’t be challenging for a framing position i didn’t bother weighing in but reckoned that i had around 25lb which was probably the best weight on my bank the jury is still out regarding the meat approach so maybe another try is on the cards .
Overall the match was won on Silver birch with 65lb , second was on David’s pool with 59lb and third was 55lb from Rowan’s it was noticeable that lots of barbel where coming out recently so it looked like the aerators had done the trick encouraging them to go on the feed . At the weekend I’m heading back to Tunnel barn farm which is beginning to turn into my favourite match venue i just wished it was a bit closer to home ,first i will be contesting the Saturday open on New pool and then the 100 pegger North vs South match on the Sunday helping raise funds for the England disabled and ladies teams it’s just a shame that all the english angling teams can’t get proper funding from the government .