Rowans canal peg 28 , October 25th
After last week’s struggle at Partridge lakes i decided to let the fishing there settle down a bit which would hopefully be soon and choose to go to Sycamore fishery instead i hadn’t been back there since my mini meltdown after an evening match around three months ago but felt it was the right time for a return , with the extra hour in bed i was up mega earlier and as per usual i was the first to arrive but at least this gave me chance to have a walk round the match canals to see if anything had changed i was glad to see that the path around the canals had been done as it can get quite waterlogged during the autumn months , plus i also wanted to check where the fish was showing themselves i noticed that there was some occasional bubbling coming up from the 3ft deep lines on either channel especially on the thirty numbered pegs which is usually a good area to be in any way .
On getting back to the cabin i booked on all the usual faces were in attendance and it soon came round to draw time , i was a bit disappointed with the turnout as only twelve had turned up so they put us all on Rowan canal which was fishing the best but a match is a match and as it turned out i was last to pick with peg 28 Rowan sticking to my mitt not the best area to be in but i should be able to catch a few if im lucky . The weather leading up to today’s match was a bit indifferent to say the least with plenty of rain and cold overnight temps even a touch of ground frost for the first time this year it was also calm and bright not your ideal conditions , yesterdays match here was won with just fifty pounds so i expected a similar weight to be needed today which with the stamp of fish in here you wouldn’t need a great deal and every bite matters .
I had decided to try a new method today which was dobbing because this seems to be the best time of year to give it a whirl and to be honest it isn’t something that i had even given much thought in the past but if it can pick you up a few extra fish then every little helps i felt that here would be an ideal place to start with the big carp hugging the far-bank reeds .
Dobbing rig , plumbed up along the far-bank and found an average depth of around 2.5ft so i set my rig to start at 2ft which would be six-inch of the deck i also had quite a long lash between pole + float this would enable me to keep the pole tip out-of-the-way in the clear shallow water ,float was a 4×10 malman roob which had two number 11 stotz down the rig and I’m not to sure this was the right float to use a heavier one might have been better my main line was a more robust 0.14 garbo this would allow for a slower fall of the hook bait and i had a 4 inch 0.12 hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached .
Pellet rig set at three-foot which was where i had earlier seen the fish bubbling , i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk above the short 4 inch hook length line was the usual 0.12 garbo and main line was 0.14 garbo .
Channel maggot rig , i was surprised to find under five foot as the deepest part of the peg which was a good bit shallower than the other side so i wasn’t too sure that it would work today and i used a RW slim float the shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .
Elastic on all rigs was my orange size ten matrix hollow which is ideal for this time of year .
Bait for the day was the usual ;
Two pints of red and white maggots
One pint of micros
Small tub of 4mm pellets
One slice of steamed and rolled bread cut into four pieces .
As the all in sounded i put a piece of punched bread on my hook and pushed my rig out towards the right of my swim where there was a nice patch of overhanging reeds the ideal place i thought to get me a fish or two , i lowered my rig in a gap between them and after about five minutes i had my first bite which took me a bit by surprise because there was no signs of any fish being present before it buried of course i missed it thought . I re baited the hook then shipped back out to the same place this time i was a bit more on the ball as it soon flew under and my first fish dobbing was a mirror carp nearly 5lb which was a good start , it took me a bit longer to get my next fish which was an f1 about a pound this took the hook bait just as i was lifting the rig and at first i thought it was foul hooked but the hook was right in the middle of the top lip , i then had a spell of missed bites which began doing my head in as no matter what i did i couldn’t hit them and after moving a bit further in front of me i then managed another carp which was similar size to the other one .
After an hour i had over 10lb in the net which was the start to the match i wanted as those anglers within eye shot seemed to be struggling and i know decided to target my peg with the more usual tactics starting with my 3ft pellet line i planned on feeding this swim by tapping in some micros rather than my usual dump of bait because i didn’t want to over feed in the cold conditions , after working my rig and tapping some micros in every couple of minutes i was still bite less so i decided to feed a bit heavier by filling a small cad pot full of micros then lowering my rig in over the top then keeping it really still this is a tactic that has worked well for me on other waters but this also failed to work which was a bit puzzling , I set up another line to my right in the same depth before starting again i began with the same feeding regime but yet again i was still bite less no matter what i tried and before i knew it over an hour had passed without me adding to my net .
All the time i had thrown a dozen maggots on to my channel swim at six meters so with nothing else working for me i had no option other than to go on it a bit earlier than i would have liked , first drop on it and my float had only just settled before it dipped under with a 10 oz f1 hitting the net which was a bit more promising i missed my next bite but by working out how to lay my rig in as the fish wanted i managed a little run of fish for half an hour but i then started foul hooking or bumping them off and this must have disrupted the shoal because they seemed to drift off , as i had caught a few fish on maggot down the track i decided to re-try my far-bank 3ft line with the same bait i altered my shotting pattern for a more staggered bulk and only trickled the maggots in but yet again i struggled to get a bite on either of my swims across which was strange as i was catching at 2ft when dobbing with bread .
I had noticed a couple of people on the other bank catching a few carp along the near shelf and it’s always worth keeping an eye on how your fellow anglers are getting on , i decided to follow suit and plumbed up a line on either side of me using top 2 plus 2 after a couple of feeds with maggots i managed a solitary carp about 3lb on my left hand swim before another long period of inactivity it seemed there was a lack of fish down this part of the canal , I had continued to feed my track line and i hopped that the f1s had settled back on it but they hadn’t as all i could catch were small chub not a good sign .
As we was fast approaching the last hour of the match and with me being well out of contention for a framing position i decided to spend the remaining minutes back dobbing bread because this was my only line which had produced a prolonged run of bites and as i hadn’t done a great deal of it i could do with the practise , yet again i started at 14m to my right four-inch off the deck i had another decent carp virtually straight away and just maybe if i could get another five i had an outside chance of getting in the money because they seemed to be a decent stamp using this tactic . By changing to two pieces of punch on the hook and leaving more bristle showing i slowly began to add some fish to my net i really had to work at it though altering depths before trying every little nook and cranny , with ten minutes left i felt that i needed a couple more fish but unfortunately i lost another big carp but i did manage one right on the whistle and with only 36lb on the clicker i was sure that i hadn’t done enough .
Hind sight is a lovely thing though because i reckon if i had stayed dobbing all match i would have caught enough to frame because low 50lb nets got second +third with 70lb winning and my net went just under 40lb which was a bit more than i had thought , it was still puzzling why my pellet lines didn’t really kick of today as they failed to produce a solitary bite and i felt that the depth of my channel swim might have been the reason why the fish didn’t want to settle but i couldn’t be certain . I have decided to fish the big open at Weston pools next Sunday its been awhile since my last visit and I’m quite looking forward to it just hope the weather isn’t to bad .