Today i have been back to heronbrook as a guest for the Stockton heath lads it was the second round of the winter league and as it would be my last match here due to another winter league commitment at Old Hough that i have contested for the last few years so i was looking forward to getting a good draw plus catching a few fish but how wrong was i and after yesterdays good result at Partridge lake I came back to earth with a bang .On arriving at the fishery i caught up with the rest of the team before grabbing a breakfast and all the talk was on how hard it might fish because the weather recently had been awful with heavy downpours plus strong winds although it was still quite warm , at the draw i was handed peg sixteen on match lake i got told it was the worst one on the lake and i already knew the lake wasnt fishing great i would have much prepared to be on match pool as at least you was guaranteed a few bites on that water .
At least i could drive round to my home for the next few hours which i knew was a good winter peg due to the fact it was at least five foot deep all over the peg but today though it was very warm for the time of year and I knew it was going to be a struggle , i decided to set up a few rings to cover my options ;
Top kit plus one at the bottom of the near slope were upon plumbing up i found five foot so i used a 4×12 joof float with a staggered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached to it and my main line was the usual 016 garbo main line .
Thirteen meter swim where it was nearly a top kit deep and i used a 4×14 joof float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached .
Right hand margin in 4ft a couple of feet away from the bank because it fell away quite steeply and this is where it levelled out before dropping off again , i used a 4×14 Md diamond float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my six-inch 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 lwg hook attached .
Left hand margin in three-foot tight to the bank because the slope was a lot more angler friendly on this side and i decided to fish a negative swim with pellets here , i used a 4×12 Md pellet float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length and attached to it was a size 16 lwg .
As i had an island around twenty meters away i set up a feeder rod with a 1/8 ounce straight lead which had an eighteen inch hook length and my hook was a size 16 lwg .
Bait for the day was ;
2 tins of corn
3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets
2 pints of 8mm pellets
When the all in sounded i started my match at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets i kept flicking half a dozen 4mm pellets around my float and it was unbelievably slow going , i missed a couple of indications and i altered my shooting pattern so that my hook bait fell slower this got me two quick f1’s , i felt that i had it sorted but i only had a couple of missed dips on the float in the next half hour but as no one around me was catching I didn’t panic . All the time I had been pinging a couple of 8mm pellets towards the island and this was my next line to go at with the straight lead but all I managed was the odd liner which had me scratching my head as i really felt this would get me a few fish but especially as the lad towards my right was catching f1s on the tip rod although he was using a method feeder I found out later this never works on the match lake so I wasted another hour.
I went on to my 13m swim next at the bottom of the far shelf and after kinder potting in some hard 4mm pellets a few times from a height to try to draw some fish into the swim , this kind of worked for me as I caught two quick f1’s then nothing so I was back to square one and that seemed to be how my match panned out today as i added on another section going out to 14m where it started sloping up to the island which got me a couple of fish then nothing , in the back of my mind I just knew that I should be concentrating in shallower water with it still being quite warm . After re plumbing up along my right hand margin at six meters I managed to find 2ft but the slope was too steep to fish there and I found 4ft just as it levelled out a bit before another drop off, I began by kinder potting in a few grains of corn and after a couple of feeds i caught an F1 before twenty minutes without a sign .
A switch to my pellet line got me a couple more fish and I knew that I had made the right decision to fish in shallower water it was just that i made the switch three hours too late , for the rest of the match I rotated between them both catching fish from each before resting it and I did lose a barny rubble with a hook pull after a five-minute fight on my corn swim which cost me at the end , but i must have doubled my catch in the last ninety minutes from down the edge and maybe it was just the time of day but im not too sure .When the all out sounded I had a very long wait before i put a very disappointing 30lb on the scales for last in my ten peg section although I had 31lb on one side of me, 33lb the other and 46lb won the money section so i wasnt too far away but it was still a bit gutting the team didn’t do great either so all in all a very poor day , but like they say you are only as good as your last match so hopefully i can put it behind me when i contest the first round of my winter league at Old Hough next weekend .