Open Match ‘S’ Canal peg 44 May 21st 2016
With all the recent motorway miles to venues far’a field I decided to give my van a rest and stay local, it would also allow me to have a much needed lye in. After my pretty dreadful Fish’O qualifier at HerronBrook where I got drawn right out of it and, didn’t even get a days fishing! I wanted somewhere that would give me a few bites & as the weights coming out at Cunneries had been really high, with tons being needed to frame. It was also somewhere that I hadn’t fished an open match in nearly two years I decided to go there. The ‘S’ canal would be hosting today’s match and it’s your typical F1 water but not as wide as your usual F1 water as it is between 11-13 meters wide with reed lined margins and far bank, there was also a couple of mud banks that could have done with a bit of attention.
As the draw for the open is only at 9.30am I had an extra hour in bed and arrived at the fishery at 8.30am, there was already two club matches taking place on Old Canal and Hawk Lake, this meant I had a bit of a trek with my fishing tackle as parking spaces are always a problem on here and with the new lake being dug out, it is something that needs sorting out, also with all the recent work at the fishery it looks a bit like a bomb site at the moment, however, once it’s finished it could be one of the best in the area as every lake has a very high stocking rate.
On arrival at the cabin, I booked on and spoke to a few lads that had been fishing it a lot recently, all the talk was about the weather because it was forecast to rain quite heavily for most of the day although, at the moment it was holding off but with some dark threatening clouds in the distance I didn’t think it would be too long before the heavens opened. It was soon time for the draw and when it came for my turn I pulled out peg 44 which is halfway along the fourth leg of the canal, strangely it was also the same one I had fished on my last visit. After speaking to a few of the anglers it wasn’t the best of places as the corners are usually dominant on here especially the windward ones today however was flat calm so you just never know!
As I settled down at my home for the next few hours I decided to set up;
Margin 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern, as it was nearly 4ft deep at the side of the reeds a lot deeper than I wanted but with the rain forecast it might push the fish into this area of the peg, I also used this rig for fishing across to the far bank reeds as it was the same depth in a few different spots.
Far bank pellet rig 4×12 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the four inch hook length of 010 Garbo, my main line was the usual 014 Garbo, I set this rig up because I was unsure on how the F1’s would respond to pellets as they’re not often used on this lake.
Far bank Maggot for in between the reed bed where it was just under 3ft so I used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus one dropper shotting pattern, I used the usual 014 Garbo mainline with a six inch 010 Garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook attached, later in the session I cut this rig down to 2ft and used it on my right hand margin.
Bait for the day;
3 Pints red & white Maggots
1 Pint soaked Micro Pellets
Small tub 4ml Expander Pellets
As the all in sounded so did the rain and i began my match by fishing pellets in four foot towards the left hand far-bank reed bed , i tapped in a small kinder pot of micros then lowered my rig among it and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in an f1 hitting the net at just over a pound it would be easy putting a nice weight together if they was all this size , i had a run of five similar sized fish before i began getting liners and even though i had been really negative with the feed the fish had come up in the water i had noticed that the f1s felt quite warm so it was obvious i needed to find some shallower water but before i had a plumb round i decided to give my maggot rig a go at the same depth because the slower fall in the bottom third of the water might allow me to pick a few extra fish , this seemed to work for about twenty minutes before the fish drifted off and i was unsure if it was the bait or the fact we was fishing in what now resembled a shower.Upon looking around other people were also struggling to put some fish in the net and i decided to give my three foot maggot rig a try thinking that the fish might have backed off into the safety of the reeds also with the rain oxygenating the water it should bring them up into the shallower water , i began feeding a bit negative at first as i thought the f1s might already be there and i didn’t want to cause chaos in my peg , i began picking up the odd fish but not as many as i had expected so i decided to up the feed putting in a full kinder pot after every fish caught this got me a few more and i felt that i was in front of those anglers around me with 25 in the net in the first two hours .
Finally the rain eased but this also coincided with a quiet forty minutes for everyone and after trying multiple swims along the far-bank in both 3ft+4ft only adding a couple of f1s plus some tiny skimmers , i noticed that a few people had started catching well in their margins but i had not began feeding mine yet ! ! ! I hastily chucked a dozen maggots against the reeds and laid my rig in at the side of them , no sooner had my float settled than it buried with a nice f1 and they seemed a bit bigger than those i was catching across i had a dozen in a dozen chucks and i was kicking myself for not going on it sooner , after a while the fish began competing for the maggots which brought them up off the deck so a change of shotting pattern for an on-the-drop pattern this allowed me to catch a couple more but it just didn’t work right and i tried my three foot maggot rig which was a foot of the deck this also allowed me to catch a few more but i felt that i was a bit of the pace .
I had a quick plumb around on my right hand margin to see if i could find any shallower water which would help stop the fish coming off the deck and foul hooking them, I managed to find two foot because there was less reeds on that side so I could get tighter to the bank, although on plumbing up it was almost a sheer drop so not exactly ideal but by flicking my rig out then dragging it up the shelf I hoped this would work and luckily it did as I managed another good run of fish by feeding a full kinder pot after every fish I kept the foul hookers to a minimum. It didn’t take long before the bites got a bit iffy so I decided to rest it and see if the F1’s had settled down on my left hand margin, fortunately they had, I spent the next hour swapping between both margin swims catching half a dozen from each and on the all out I had managed 65 F1’s plus a few small silvers so now it was a wait for the scales, i didn’t have to wait long as for some reason they started on the high numbers but i wasnt complaining my net of fish went 67lb so a nice average stamp this got me second in my little section , the lad to my left beat me by a pound but i nearly doubled the amount of fish he caught but he had managed to find a bigger stamp of f1 by using paste in front of the empty platform which is something for me to think about before my next visit .
Both the top two had just scraped a ton there was then a 90lb for third and after that was a couple of low eighties so i wasnt that far away , overall i was happy with the way my first match here in 18 months went and i felt that i learned a great deal , i can not wait to get back for another try maybe on an evening match as i have a few big matches coming up on a Saturday starting with the Facebook m+m match at Tunnel barn which i’m really looking forward to as i haven’t been back there since the subscriber classic last August .