It was finally the day that I had been looking forward to for a few weeks and the Intercorps was upon us again, team for the day was myself, Pez, Martin, Kev, Craig and Adi, with Dave and DJ running the bank. I had passed on the information from the day before and over breakfast we discussed tactics as well as putting the world to rights.
Pez being team captain did the draw and it put me on peg 14 on Falcon lake, not really where I wanted as I would have preferred Skylark after the day before but I was there to do a job so off I todled. Falcon is a newer lake and it showed with the banks looking very bare and all the intel that we had received said that it would be a fish race and that it would either be shallow fishing for A LOT of small fish or paste for fewer bigger fish. As we could all fish paste that was the team plan, Pez and I thought it would be a bit like Orchard lakes so short paste and heavy ish feeding would be the way.
I set up 2 identical paste rigs, a slapping rig just in case and a margin rig, I also pulled a short method rod out just in case I had to re rig but didn’t think to make any new bait for it, speaking of which I had hemp and 6mm pellet for the paste line and meat for down the edge.
I was ready with plenty of time to spare so got to chat to Colin on the next peg and Boris a couple further along as I thought that they would be my main competition in the section. The all in sounded I went straight out again with a whole cup of hemp and pellet, and started throwing meat down the edge, just for a chance of a quick fish I put the slapping rig straight over the top and bites were instant, but I missed 5 on a 6mm pellet and when I hooked one it was a nearly transparent F1 so that top kit got thrown up the bank and not looked at again.
I shipped the paste rig out over the top and started to get indications straight away and that set the tone for the first couple of hours, I kept feeding down the edge to my left and right but could not get fish off those lines so I continued to plug away at the paste. I decided to feed heavy to try and keep the fish on the deck, so every time I hooked a fish I would feed two small handfuls of 6mm pellet and if the foul hookers became a real problem then I would put in a cup of hemp and pellet and then try the edge for a couple of minutes before going back over the paste line. This tactic along with varying the consistency of the paste through the day kept fish ticking over into the keep net, which was just as well as Colin to my left and in my section was catching steadily shallow and he was also finding the odd larger fish in amongst the tiddlers.
I tried a few things throughout the day to get a bigger stamp of fish, such as the method over the short line and upping the feed down the edge but nothing really seemed to be helping and with an hour and a half to go Colin put some groundbait in down the edge to his left where he had some lilies. As he was doing this I broke my reserve paste rig so had to re rig, to this end I pinged the method rod across to the far bank and as I was trying to remove the old rig I just about caught the rod but before it disappeared. I caught about 15lb in a very short time but then ran out of groundbait so had to go back on the paste line until the end of the match. As the seconds ticked by Colin managed a couple of lumps and some better fish from down the edge, but I was keeping up with him back on my paste line as the all-out was called.
We knew it would be close as we were chatting after the match and waiting for the scales, Dave came round and pointed out that Kev thought that he was well down his section, Pez was around second, I was first or second, and Adi was top 4 we thought. The scales showed that it was better than we thought with Kev taking his section and as they came around Colin weighed just over 30 kilos and I managed to squeak him by a couple of kilos, those method fish had saved my bacon and I won the section. Adi managed second and Pez had a third in section and we thought that it was all over when Craig and Martin reported back that they had both had bad days on Skylark and had both come mid-section. We discussed the day over a carvery and calculated that we had 16points and we thought that the AGC had squeaked it, we were wrong.
Rocky gave the results and handed out the section monies, then gave the results for the teams, the AGC was third with 16 points but only 1 section winner, the Royal Artillery were second with 16 points but no third in section and the winners were the Royal Signals with 16 points but Pez’s third in section was enough to clinch the title for us. Next year we get to choose the venue so that should be fun.
What would I do different:
I would have had the method set up and some extra groundbait ready in future as it produced a much better stamp of fish and the bites were easy to hit. It only takes 5 minutes to try it and the groundbait can always go down the edge.
I should also have put my margin line further away from myself as it may have produced a few more fish.