29 December 2015

Todber Manor Fisheries, Open Match 29/12/2015

Today we were supposed to be off to the Dorset Stour to practice for the impending AAF match that is going to be held on there, however, the weather Gods had other thoughts so Pez organised a quick open on Ash Lake at Todber Manor Fisheries.
As it turned out there were 9 of us for the draw, Pez had decided to go a quid with both Pete and myself so only time would tell if he had made the right choice there, it was good to catch up with everyone post-Christmas and the talk was soon about the fishing, the favoured pegs were in the middle of the lake so that is where we all wanted to draw.  I pulled peg 14 which turned out to be permanent peg 85 so it was off for the longest walk and another end peg.  I am doing quite well at the draw bag of late, I hope this continues. Pez and Mark, however, managed to bag the ‘flyers’ in the middle of the lake so I was in for a battle for my quid!

As you can see from the picture I had tons of room and this was added to by the fact that Pete on the next peg was actually on 83! So there was a blank peg to my left as well.  I had been told in the shop that the end pegs don’t tend to do too well so I decided to concentrate on skimmers as I know that there are a few in the lake, my main line was 13m in line with the big tree, I put a throwaway line long down to my right, a waggler was set up and a short pole line just in case I could get them to move closer to the bank.  Next job was the bait and I mixed 1 pint Sonubaits 50:50 method mix with ½ pint Sonubaits F1 and ½ pint VDE Secret Noire, I soaked some 2mm and 4mm pellet and opened a tin of corn and before you knew it the all in was upon us.
I fed 3 tangerine sized balls of groundbait with chopped worm and caster on the long line before feeding 20 4mm pellet at 13m down the edge to my right, I then cast the waggler across and tried to feed some maggots over the top, this proved to be a problem though as it turned out that it is quite a bit wider than the middle pegs that I practiced on last time so I was struggling to get any bait across to where I was fishing. Despite this I had a skimmer on my first cast and then a few small roach graced the net, due to their size and the fact that I was struggling to get any bait across to where I wanted to fish the waggler was soon being put up the bank.  I tried down the edge for a start and tapped in 10 pellets and followed it up with a 4mm expander, I didn’t have a touch in 5 minutes and knew that this line was wrong for the day so it was back onto the waggler for a bit as I wanted to let the long line settle for at least 45 minutes.  I moved the waggler line to the right so that I could actually cast into bait and again started to catch roach so I decided to stop wasting bait on that line.  Greg two pegs to my left had taken a few fish on the tip at this point so I got off my box and pulled the bomb rod out of the bag, a single piece of corn was cast across and within 3 minutes or so carp number 1 was on its way to the net.  I managed a few more small carp on single corn but I was itching to get onto the pole line as Pete had gone onto his long line and caught almost straight away, the fish were smaller but he was getting bites quicker.
The decision was made and I went over the long line with the double bulk rig, and I started to catch skimmers straight away, they varied in size from 4oz to a pound but were great fun to catch, the best bait was a small worm head just bigger than a caster, and as it was a double bulk rig 4 inches overdepth every now and again I would get a very pronounced lift bite that was usually a better skimmer.  I found that regular top ups were needed to keep the skimmers in the swim but feeding on their heads would see them back off for a few minutes.  The usual sign would be catching a roach or a tiny tench and if that happened I would top up with a golf ball of worm and groundbait mix, sometimes they would be straight on it sometimes a chuck or two on the tip would see me putting a pound in the net whilst I was waiting for the skimmers to return.
It was during one of these forays on the tip about an hour and a bit from the end when I managed a carp on single corn that was close to double figures so a nice boost to the net.  The short line failed to produce any real hope as I only managed two small roach from it and the long pellet line got big potted onto for the last couple of hours in an attempt to get a big fish feeding but due to the strengthening wind the fish seemed to stay along the far bank and in the deeper water.
I started to struggle at one point with presentation on the light double bulk rig so got off my box and set up a 0.6g standard rig with about two feet of line above the float, I kept it fishing well over depth and this saw me continue to catch when Pete was struggling to present in the wind.  I also lightened up the elastic from white to yellow hydro on the double bulk rig as this then allowed me to ship the fish back quicker without pulling the hook from their mouths.  Throughout the day I only really lost two decent skimmers and bumped a number of small fish when they turned the worm over the hook point, usually when I increased the size of the worm (I am making a note of that one), and I felt as though I had fished a good match, I even managed to call fish on at the end, it was only a small stocky carp but they all help.
At the end Pete and I mused as to what could have been as he had been struggling to cast the waggler due to a slight oversight on his behalf… he was not a happy bunny so enough about that, Greg had caught steady all day on the feeder with mostly small carp falling to his tactics and to my left I had seen Mark netting a few decent fish throughout the day so it was wide open.  I was pretty confident of over 40lb of fish but as I had not been counting I could not be sure, fortunately Dave was soon on hand to put me out of my misery and after 2 weighs it turned out that I had managed 52lb 8oz which I was more than happy with.
History will show that it was enough for second on the day with Mark taking 54lb mostly on the waggler, and Greg was third with 36lb (I think) then Pete with 34lb?  Pez….well lets just say he gave both Peter and I a quid J.
Thanks to Pez and the team at Todber for running the match, I look forward to many more in 2016, Watergate Farm tomorrow and it is going to be an interesting day with 50mph wind forecast and torrential rain…eek!

What would I do different?
I think I should have scaled down my elastic on both long rigs as very few big carp showed on that line, if any.  I will also be getting some bigger floats for double bulking, the Drennan Carp 2 is ideal due to the two toned bristle so I will be stocking up on 0.6 and 0.8g floats in the future.

Tackle used:
Pole Long Double Bulk:
Elastic: White Hydro, swapped later to yellow Hydro
Line: 0.16mm to 0.12mm Cenex
Hook: 16 B911 F1
Float: 0.4g Drennan Carp 2

Pole Long Standard:
Elastic: White Hydro
Line: 0.16mm to 0.12mm Cenex
Hook: 16 B911 F1
Float: 0.6g AS2

Pole short:
Elastic: Double No. 5 slip
Line: 0.13mm N Gage to 0.12mm Cenex
Hook: 18 B911 F1
Float: 0.3g AS3

Pole Margin:
Elastic: White Hydro
Line: 0.15mm powerline to 0.12mm Cenex
Hook: 16 B911 F1
Float: 0.3g AS4

Rod: Drennan Ultralight 10ft bomb with 1oz tip section.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 8lb sensor 0.16mm hooklength
Hook: 16 QM1
Feeder: 2/3oz Guru Inline bomb

Rod: Daiwa TD 11ft pellet wag
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 4lb sensor 0.13mm hooklength
Hook: 18 Drennan Red Maggot

Float: 4AA Dave Harrell Insert waggler.

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