May 18th , peg 44 canal pool
Today was my first fisho qualifier at Heronbrook fishery and after contesting some of the opens on the venue in the previous three weeks i felt well prepared and was really looking forward to the match , although it was going to be a very long day because with it being a midweek qualifier i would have to set off at 630 so i could get to the venue on time with all the rush hour traffic and limited speed zones on the motorway . I arrived at the fishery just after eight o’clock and there was already a few people knocking about that i recognised so after grabbing a bacon buttie i went for a chat before having a quick walk round the waters that would be in the draw bag today ,when i got back to the cabin it wasnt far from draw time so i joined the queue about half way back and it didn’t look like there was a lot of anglers here no doubt they had got caught up in the traffic on the way here but as it turned out it was a full attendance of 160 with about a dozen reserves getting on too .
After a bit of a confusing start to the draw with people coming in from every angle i managed to get my pick and out i pulled 44 on canal which was probably the worst area on any part of the lakes and i had absolutely no chance so it was all over at the draw bag but this is the very nature of these big competitions especially the fisho qualifiers when every lake is tightly pegged , it would be hard work to even get my section from there as well but i had a couple of positives to take from it one was i didn’t have far to walk and the other was i had fished this area before on the spring league and although i struggled for less than thirty pounds it would give me an idea on how to target it .
On settling in at my home for the next few hours it was just a long straight length of canal with ten anglers in a row and it was 16m tight to the reed lined far bank , i also had a nice reed lined margin as well and to be honest it looked really nice but for some reason the fish don’t want to be down this part of the water. Like i mentioned earlier i had fished this area before so had an idea how to target and i choose to set up ;
Three foot deep tight across to the reeds and i planned on fishing pellet here so i used a 4×14 roob float which would give me total control of my rig if the wind gets up during the day , my main line was 014 garbo which had a four-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .
Four foot deep rig at 14m just at the bottom of the far shelf and i planned on fishing pellet here so i used a 4×14 roob float which would give me total control of my rig if the wind gets up during the day , my main line was 014 garbo which had a four-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .
Top six line where it was nearly six-foot deep and i was going to be fishing meat here loose feeding six cubes every ten minutes there was also a few bubbles coming up already so i hoped that this would be my best area of my peg , i used a 4×14 speedy float which had a bulk at three-foot plus two droppers allowing for a slow fall in the bottom half of the water my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i upped my hook length to 012 garbo because i might pick up a couple of carp among the f1s .
Margin swim at three-foot which i found on my top three along each side and i used a 4×12 speedy float with a similar shotting pattern to the above as i would be using meat there ,main line was the usual 014 garbo and i upped my hook length to 012 garbo because i might pick up a couple of carp among the f1s .
Shallow rig set at two foot i would use this in the channel and also along the far bank tight among the rushes were i planned on flicking a few hard 4mm every few minutes , i used a 02 matrix series three float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo that had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached to it .
Bait for the day was ;
Three pints of 6mm cubed meat
Three pints of 4mm pellets
One pint of soaked micros
Small tub of 4+6mm expanders
Small tub of mixed hard pellets
As usual for these matches they give you ages to set up and i was ready with thirty minutes to spare and it gave me chance to try to figure out how to get the best out of the peg , with the weather taking a turn for the worse in the previous few days with a lot of rain plus a drop in temperature i decided to start my match rather negatively tapping in a few micros then keeping my rig still over the top of it and i also began on my four-foot rig thinking that most anglers would go right across by doing this it should allow for the fish to back off into a safety area well that was the plan anyway . When the all in sounded i went out to 14m and tapped in some micros it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a f1 about a pound , i was thinking that i might be able to catch a few more of these before needing to put in another line but after this early f1 things went quiet with no more bites in twenty minutes , then i had a really fast dip on the float which after a sharp lift saw yards of elastic pulling out of my pole and i managed to get it on to my top kit before it darted under my landing net causing my hook length to break not the start i wanted ! !
I put on another hook length upping it to an 012 garbo just in case there was any more carp knocking about and it took another couple of feeds to settle the fish down again , i was getting a few indications on the float but i was struggling to connect with them and when i did it was either a hand sized skimmer or a gudgeon hitting the net , i put in a couple more lines along the far-bank but apart from another f1 right at the extreme of my peg i wasnt increasing my catch a great deal and as a few people had caught the odd fish tight across i decided to follow suit picking up my three-foot rig , i was still being rather negative with the feeding and could always go more positive later in the match . Yet again it took nearly twenty minutes before i started getting indications and there just seemed to be no numbers of decent fish along this part of the canal because all i was catching were small silvers , i had fed meat at six meters for the past ninety minutes and i hoped that a few fish might have settled on it , i had a bite almost instantly which was a positive sign and not long after i had another f1 yet again it seemed to be a loner things weren’t going too well but apart from the end peg to my right who had three small carp i hadn’t seen many other fish come out .
I spent a fruitless twenty-minute spell on my meat line and i had seen the odd fish swirl right among the far bank reeds when i cattyed in a couple of pellets and as i expected them to be carp i changed rigs straight away putting a 6mm pellet on my shallow rig , i didn’t have to wait long for my float to shoot under at last i had found a few fish i thought but up popped a chub about six-ounce and i had another similar sized fish on my next chuck before the swirls disappeared . I then had a ninety minute spell of catching absolutely nothing from any of my lines and as i had no other option i big potted on all my lines to try to force the issue but this did not improve matters , with just over an hour of the match remaining i dropped back onto my margin swim yet again i had a quick f1 on my left hand swim and i hopped this might get me out of trouble like on most of the matches i had fished at Heronbrook but guess what it was another loner , a look on my right hand margin resulted in a motionless float for fifteen minutes then out of the blue my pole was nearly pulled out of my hands and i had to put some pressure on to try to stop it getting in the reeds which resulted in my hook length snapping ,after putting on a new one i had another ten minutes of inactivity and with the clouds getting darker as it threatened some rain i made the decision to pack up with half an hour of the match remaining like most of the anglers around me , if i had caught that last carp i might have stayed as it would have put me right back in the hunt for the section because a bit further down the section one lad had a dozen f1s but that was about as good as it got .
So that was my first fisho of the year over with catching five f1s plus a few bites+pieces for about ten pounds and after such a good build up it was a shame that i couldn’t at least have a day’s fishing on these sort of events there is always certain areas that are a waste of time and to be honest i had been reasonably lucky in my other qualifiers because i had usually drawn areas with a few fish , but it is still disappointing when you have looked forward to it putting a lot of time+effort+money into getting things prepared , to make things worse it took me over two hours to get home because of a crash on the motorway so a very long day and i just hope my next qualifier is a lot better which is on the oaks sessay but i wont be able to get down for a practise before hand .