Today i was contesting the Memorial Charity Fishing Match held at The Cunneries Fishery in Eccleston with all proceeds going towards the Golborne Colliery ex Miners in memory of 10 young miners who were taken from us as a result of an explosion at Golborne Colliery on the 18th March 1979 and although the weather was forecast to be pretty awful with a strong easterly wind plus constant rain which might have put a few people off but it was all for a good cause , so even in those conditions i was quite looking forward to it especially as it was going to be spread all over the complex which would give us a bit of room and to be honest i needed the practice on here before the teams of three starts in April which is my first proper venture with the Team Daiwa Adlington angling squad and as i hadn’t fished the Cunneries fishery in well over a year i could do with the heads up , although i had done plenty f1 fishing at Partridge lakes during the last few months so i didn’t expect things to be that different today .
On arrival to the complex i was quite surprised on how things had changed since my last visit the new lakes had come along well and the parking situation had improved a lot too , so after parking up i made my way round to the cabin and booked on to the match even a couple of hours before the start there was a lot of people milling around , for a change there wasnt many anglers that i knew although it was only to be expected as i had not been on here that much but i didn’t have to wait long before i saw a friendly face and we had a walk around the lakes to try to find the sheltered areas because the wind was increasing every minute . As it was quickly approaching draw time and with over seventy anglers due to be contesting the match i decided that i could do with an early pick before all the draw bags picked the flyers , while we was queuing up they started the raffle which took an age but it was all adding to the proceeds for the charity and when we finally got round to starting the draw i did not have to wait too long before it was my turn in the bag of doom , it looked like things had returned to normal as i picked out peg 37 which at first did not mean a great deal but i soon found out that i was on an end peg near the car-park with the wind blowing into it so no pressure then .
I didn’t have to far too walk before i found my home for the next few hours and on settling in i saw that i had a nice reed lined margin along the side of the s-canal which was a bit closer than i would have liked as it began a meter to my left , i also had the point of the island to target plus an empty peg too my right so to be honest everything looked perfect and i just hoped that i didn’t mess it up because a few of my mates said that i had a chance of winning the match from here . I wasnt going to over complicate things today regarding rigs so that i could concentrate more on getting my feeding correct which is something that i had struggled with since it turned to pellet fishing and i choose to set up ;
Four foot pellet rig which was the shallowest water that i could find and to be honest it didn’t plumb up that great towards the point of the island but i finally managed to find a flat spot just to the left of some over hanging reeds , i also found two areas along the left hand margin at 4m+6m where it was the same depth and i used a slightly heavier 4×14 malman roob float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length .
Four foot maggot rig which was fishing in the same area if they did not want pellets today and i used a lighter 4×10 rw maggie float as this would allow me to hopefully pick up a few fish on the drop , i had just four number 11 stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached to it .
Maggot channel rig i was a bit disappointed to only find five foot when plumbing up and it did go slightly deeper towards my right so i went out to a manageable six meters in that direction where the bottom flattened out a little , i used a 4×12 rw maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line by hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo .
Bait for the day was the usual f1 stuff for the time of year ;
2 pints of red and white maggots .
1 pint of micros .
1 pint of crushed expander ground-bait .
small tub of mixed expanders .
When the all in sounded so did the rain and it stayed that way for majority of the match the wind was also blowing quite strong from right to left but i noticed that i had a little calm area towards the point of the island due to some over hanging reeds where i was able to present my rig properly , after a couple of feeds of micros through a small kinder pot i began getting the occasional indication and not long after i had my first f1 but even though i was putting the odd fish in the net the swim just didn’t seem to be getting any stronger , i was also having a few line bites and i felt that i needed to adjust my feeding to get them back on to the deck so i removed the lid on my kinder pot which enabled me to begin dumping the micros in , this worked for a forty minute spell but i must have over fed the swim because the fish deserted me .
I had been loose feeding a dozen maggots into the corner of my left hand margin where the scum was settling so i decided to rest my far bank swim and give that a try , i had a big f1 almost straight away but i then got bited out with silvers which was a bit frustrating because if i did get my rig to the deck i would get an f1 and even after i altered the shotting on my float so it was all above my hook length it didn’t really improve things , i also tried increasing the amount which i was feeding but that just didn’t seem right in the conditions the f1s just did not want to settle this might have been down to the fact that all the rain had caused a little river running in under my platform which was muddying all the water in my margin and with two hours of the match gone i only had 15 f1s in the net this seemed to be more than those anglers within eye shot but i was certain that somewhere on the complex somebody would be bagging a few fish .
My next idea was to go further along my left hand margin but this time i was going to use pellets and this worked extremely well as i went on a run of six in six drops before things slowed down so i went back across to the point of the island and picked up a couple more , by rotating between the two swims i kept putting f1s in the net but it was only when i changed to a different type of expander did things really kick off , i wasnt bagging by any means but my catch rate increased dramatically but i did not want to empty either swim so i dropped onto my channel swim which i had fed with half a cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes since the all in , yet again i had a big f1 straight away before i had a run of little ghost f1s which was nice to catch but not what i needed if i was going to do a weight today so i came of this swim but continued to feed it incase i needed it later in the match .
We was fast approaching the last hour so i decided to concentrate on the two swims which had produced for me earlier in the match and i was back putting f1s in the net , with twenty minutes remaining i had a run of tench from my margin line which wasnt a good sign as the f1s must have gone and i also noticed that the daiwa team captain plus my team sponsor was watching so the pressure was on for a good finish , my margin swim had died a death so i had to resort to going back on my far bank line and this worked a treat as i managed three f1s including one right on the whistle which was needed as you will find out later .
When the all out sounded i had forty f1s on my clicker and i reckoned i had around fifty pounds because they was a small stamp for on here , but when my mates came over they reckoned that i had a chance of winning but i wasnt so sure because i never felt comfortable today and don’t feel like i had done the peg justice , after what seemed like an age they finally turned up because i was last on the complex to weigh in and i needed to beat 53lb i reckoned that it could be close as it turned out for a change i had luck on my side because my two nets went a touch over 54lb so i had somehow managed to win the match this was biggest individual result so far and it still hasn’t sunk in yet .
I would like to thank all those involved in running the match and to those that took part in awful conditions because we raised nearly a grand for the charity , I’m back out again tomorrow for a get together with the squad and some lads from the Adlington angling club at Widdows fishery where we are having a little team match .