This was Browning Andover’s first trip to this event and we were all looking forward to it, none of us had seen the venue but funnily enough even though we had all set off at different times from different places we all meet up at the same services on the route across. I had left the house at 4am, picked John up at 5am; we had a couple of stops on the way there and still arrived with loads of time for a second breakfast before the draw. The draw was an interesting affair, but finally I ended up heading for peg 25 on Wood Lake, it was on the side of a point and I had a small bunch of lilies at about 15m, a small sparse bush to my left margin and a tuft of reeds in my right margin. I had not repaired my pole or had anybody look at it; however, I borrowed a few sections from Dave G but decided against using them unless I was struggling. I set my stall around the pellet feeder to the lilies, a 5m pellet line and corn down the edge, the thinking being that if I was going to catch one of these tactics should do it for me.
The pellet Rig was a Frenzee FP500 on 0.16mm to a 0.14mm bottom and an 18 B911 hook to start, this was set on yellow Reflex hollow elastic and a small kinder cup was put on the tip of my tension puller kit. My Corn rig was a 0.2g FP850 float on 0.18mm mainline and a 0.16mm bottom to a size 2 Tubertini 175. Finally my pellet feeder was set on a Force 10ft Carp Feeder and a Black Magic 030 Front drag reel, 8lb mainline and a 0.20mm hooklength with a 16 QM1 and micro bait band. For bait I had 1pt softened 2mm, 1pt softened 4mm carp pellets, 2pints Hemp, a tin of corn and a few expander pellets. At the all in I shipped out with my pellet rig and a 4mm expander on the hook, I tipped in a small nugget of pellet mixed together and awaited events. Within 2 minutes F1 no.1 was on its way to the net and this was followed by a string of skimmers, with lots of fizzing happening I decided to try scaling down my hooklength as the water was very clear and cut back on the feed. This worked to some extent with a couple of F1’s finding their way to the net but the guys around me were all catching proper carp so I needed to find a way to catch them to catch up. I cast out the pellet feeder to the lilies and fed some pellet and corn by hand down each edge, I had a couple of small F1’s on the tip but noticed fish mopping up all my feed down the edge. I had a look on the corn rig but they would not settle and the angle of the sun was causing them to spook too easily so I decided to rotate around my other lines for a while.
Up until the start of the forth hour I had around 30lb in the net with a couple of small carp succumbing to the pellet feeder and short pole but I was going nowhere fast, it was at this point I decided to concentrate on the margins as I had been watching fish mooching about for most of the afternoon. I tried the corn rig and had a quick fish but it did not feel right so I got off my box and set up a margin paste rig, this transformed my match and by getting into a rhythm of hooking a fish, feeding both sides then concentrating on the opposite side I was able to start to amass a weight.
By the end of the match I had arm ache as the fish were so fit but I ended up with a respectable 118lb, this put me 4th overall on the day.
The day was finished off with getting to play with the new Z12 pole, a small meeting, some food and a raffle that saw me win a new rod (When you’re on a roll!!) before the small 3hr drive home. Everybody had a great day and I cannot wait till next year.