I was back at Old Hough today for the 6th round of my winter league which so far I was leading the way even though i had struggled on the last two matches with a 3rd+4th at Bradshaw’s fishery and i need a top two finish on any of the three remaining matches so that i could drop my worst result , but with conditions turning colder there was definitely areas on Boulders+Goose that you didn’t want to be in so a good draw would be an advantage .
The weather over the past few days had been awful with a big drop in temperatures plus a cold easterly wind with sleet so you could say winter has finally arrived this of course would have a big impact on the fishing because you are usually targeting carp+barbel among the silvers on these waters , when i arrived at the fishery i met up with the rest of the lads and we was all unsure on how it would fish today but most of us agreed that 20lb would be a good weight on the day .
It soon came round to the draw and with all the hands coming in from all angles as everyone rushed in to find their fate so for a change I left it till the end to have my pick in the bag of doom and I had a choice of two which was between the best peg on boulders or the worst on goose , surprisingly I ended up the latter of the two and it seemed like my drawing arm has deserted me for the time being but to be fair i have had my fair share of decent pegs so far this year .
On settling in at my home for the next few hours I had the wind smack in my face so it was going to be a cold one and with it only being just over eleven meters wide I didn’t have a lot of room to set up lots of different swims which i felt would be needed in the conditions picking up the odd fish from each so i decided to set up ;
a dobbin rig set up at two foot deep and i would poke my rig in between all the overhanging reeds , i used an Md 4×12 dobbin rig i had all my bulk under the float with a couple of number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru pellet hook attached to it .
pellet channel rig positioned at eight meters to my left where i had a bit of open water to go at my float was a 4×16 Md pellet and my shotting pattern was an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru pellet hook attached to it .
maggot rig which i put eight meters towards my right in the calmer water my float was a 4×12 Md maggot float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot .
long margin at four meters towards my left where i had a dead reed bed after dragging my plummet around a found a snag free area where it was nearly three-foot deep and my float was an Md diamond to help keep my rig still in the choppy conditions , the main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru Lwg hook attached to it .
My bait for the day was a bit of everything ;
3 pints red and white maggots
1 pint of micros
1 pint of black swim stim
1 pint of corn
1 slice of bread
small tub of mixed size expanders
When the all in sounded i started my match by dobbin bread all along the far bank and had nothing to my right in the calm water which was a surprise as i expected a few carp to be sitting there out of the cold wind , a switch to the left hand side and I hooked a small carp which might have been foul hooked as it came of at the net i thought that it was a positive sign with maybe a little group of fish sat in that area but all that I could catch after that was small silvers even after working my rig right to the point of the island , i decided to change this swim to an on the deck corn rig and found a flat area at the side of some over hanging reeds where i had hooked the carp earlier so i tapped in a few grains of corn+micros then left it to settle for a while .
I went on to my maggot swim which i had fed with half a small cupping kit every twenty minutes since the match started i found that this worked remarkably well on my other rounds on here and i found that you needed to feed the small silvers off before the bigger fish moved in although on here the silvers wasnt as big a stamp as on Boulders pool , i managed to catch a few ide but the bites were really finicky the shyest of bites often produced the bigger fish and they seemed to be just sat over the feed not moving picking off the maggots , so I decided to rest it for later in the match but i would still be feeding it like i had done at the start and i switched to my pellet swim that i had earlier put in a golf ball of ground-bait+micros , this just produced small hand sized skimmers which to be honest i expected they was coming quite frequently and maybe i could pick up a bonus fish or too but i was happy putting something in the net .
When I saw the odd carp coming out I gave my left hand margin a try with corn and after about five minutes my float flew under I was then playing a decent carp for the next few minutes , I was about to net it when the hook pulled out and for a split second it just sat there out of netting range before slipping back into the depths in the back of my mind i knew that in the conditions it was going to cost me dear , no more bite ensued in the next twenty minutes so i reefed it with some corn+ground-bait and while it settled I rotated all my swims for the next few hours adding next to nothing to my net . With ninety minutes remaining I finally managed a good run of big ide down the track but even after feeding it all match the bites was still very finicky which i did not expect and with the sun finally going behind the clouds it enabled me to fish my left hand margin again so i spent the remainder of the time there this got me three small carp and two missed bites before the all out sounded.
After packing up i caught up with the scales man and peg two had run away with the match pulling out thirty pounds of carp then there was a few people struggling to break five pounds , peg eleven had 12lb and I managed to finish 4th with 11lb but the lost carp cost me dear as 13lb had come second from flyer peg 18 , when the winter league is all over and I just hope that I won’t live to regret it but overall it fished really hard with most angler’s falling to catch 5lb on both lakes as the fish had decided to shut up shop in the cold weather.