I have been to Lloyd’s meadow today to contest a team match with my mates from the Stockton heath angling group against fishing in the north-west and with it being the latter teams home water we was up against it some good local anglers , even though i had never been here before I was quite eager to fish this match as it was due to take place on heron pool which held some very big perch with the record on here being over 5lb and the perch is my favourite species , i can not remember the last time i caught a decent one because they don’t tend to be in many of the commercials that i fish .
On arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the lads and we was all looking forward to a light-hearted competition we decided to run it like the angling times supercup were you only had to beat the angler at the side of you to get a point for the team , after unpacking my gear i took it round to Heron pool and it was more like a natural lake than your standard commercial water it was tear drop in shape with an island about twenty meters away , personally i felt that it was a bit small too have a dozen anglers on it especially with them putting six of us on each bank with no empty pegs between and with it still being frozen a couple of days previous then things might be a bit tough , although we had decided that it would be a silver fish match with carp counting as a pound so we should be able to get a few bites .
At the draw I was going to be on peg five which didn’t mean a great deal to me because I was new to the water and i ended up halfway along the left hand side but i was up against it for the section because my opposing angler had the end peg , I set up three rigs to cover my options ;
Margin rig set at three-foot deep which was about a meter away from my right hand bank were there was a bit of reed cover , i used an 0.3 Md diamond float my shotting pattern was a tapered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo and i was going to feed maggots quite heavily here then fish either a small worm or double maggot on the hook .
Top six rig where it was just over four-foot deep but it was six-inch deeper than my far swim and i hoped that i could catch skimmers here so i used a positive rig with a 4×14 Md maggot rig which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size 18 guru maggot .
13m i was going to be loose feeding maggots with a catty here so i used a 0.2 Md maggot rig with size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was size inch of 010 garbo which had a size 20 guru maggot hook attached .
Bait for the day was ;
2 pints of red and white maggots
1 pint of fishery micros
small tub of worms
small tub of white expanders
After plumbing up i found that it was deeper on my top six line so I started there first and after sprinkling in half a small cupping kit full of micros i hoped that a few skimmers might settle on it , i was picking up the odd small roach but didn’t feel they was coming quickly enough and i decided to leave it for a while to settle , so I switched to my 13m line and i had been loose feeding maggots on it for nearly an hour so i expected a good response but all this produced some hand sized roach but it was really hard work , other anglers around me was in a similar situation and it looked like the pressure on the water had caused the fish to back off into the space because the only people really catching was the end pegs to my right on both banks .
With two hours of the contest remaining i needed to have a review on my tactics because i wasnt catching a great deal and maybe i had over done it with the feed at the beginning of the match , so i decided to put in a new swim at 11m towards my right and I began kinder potting in conker sized balls of micros then fishing maggots over the top which was similar to how i had fished for f1s recently , by doing this simple change my catch rate and stamp of fish increased dramatically I even managed a couple of decent skimmers i found it best to fish out the ball of micros and when the bites tailed off put in another little ball , with the light beginning to fade i hooked something more substantial because when my float dipped under i lifted into the indication but even though a meter of elastic had come out of the pole tip it just stayed there before powering off towards my left before my hook pulled , it could have been one of the big perch but i will never know but i haven’t had a fish fight like that before and after my swim had settled down again i caught well up to the all out .
At the weigh in I had managed just over 10lb of silvers which was a good days fishing as i only managed a couple of fish over eight ounce but i need to stop giving people a head start because recently the early part of the contest had been a waste of time , although i got away with it a bit today as this got me 4th in the match although another pound would have put me second and more importantly the team won on the day by 3-2 with one section drawn so it was a very close run thing because they had a far superior weight difference.