10 February 2016

AAF Gp2 Match 4, Shearwater

Today was a momentous day for me as it was my first ever match on Shearwater, now I have been against this match since it was first suggested last year, my reasons are based around the size of our group and how much water we would require if everyone was to have a good day, also the venue doesn't shut to pleasure anglers so pegging could have been a nightmare.
My day unfolded a bit like this, I picked Craig up at dark o’clock and after a bit of breakfast at Maccy D’s we were soon looking at an empty Shearwater, that was my first worry dealt with so we cracked on with pegging as best we could for 45 anglers.  We were trying to avoid using the areas with fewer fish in so a lot of people were getting sardine especially along the better road bank, but that was a small price to pay as the other option would have been more blank nets.
Pegging went without a hitch, although the last two pegs and first two were a bit of a worry, but that’s fishing, Craig and I got sorted in the car park and bar one nice guy asking where was available for him to fit in and pleasure fish the draw went without a hitch as well.  Well apart from having lost the die of doom so we had to improvise with golf balls.  Craig had C8 pulled out for him and fortunately I had C9 pulled out by Pez for me which was handy.

As usual it was open water fishing so the plan was chuck a method long and see what would happen for the first 15-30 minutes then decided whether or not to feed any bait on the shorter 45 turn line. It didn’t take long to set the rods up from scratch so I also put up a waggler to fish at about 20m to the left of the swim, I tried it several times and didn’t get a touch.
My bait was 1 part 2mm pellet, 1 part 4mm pellet, 2 parts groundbait and 2 parts water that I mixed as soon as I got to my peg, I made a similar mix so that I could put a quantity of bait onto the short line if I decided to do so.
I was ready for the all in just and as Craig called it I launched the long range rod to around 80 yards and started the stopwatch, I was hoping for an early carp but after 5 minutes I had to settle for a 2lb skimmer, not a lot seemed to be happening around the lake so I decided to lay a small bed of feed on the shorter line, only six big feeders but it was laced with 2mm pellet and dead maggot.  Then it was back onto the long line for another hour or so, I was leaving the feeder in for 15 minutes at a time and on my third cast just close to me winding in the tip went around again.  Bream number two was soon in the net but by now Craig had managed a couple of Bream and a carp on his shorter line so I decided to have a look with the open end feeder.  To be honest not a lot happened over the next couple of hours, I rotated through all my rigs on all lines and Craig had a few more bream off the next peg I wasn't too sure what else was happening as it was a struggle to see but one of the guys to my right came around for a quick chat.  He said that a couple of them were on about 10lb but that he had managed a quick run of fish straight after putting a hit of bait in, so as he left I fed another 6 feeders on my short line and followed it straight up with the open ended feeder. It took three minutes for the first bite that was a Hybrid of about 2lb and the next cast it took the full 5 minutes that I was leaving the rig in for now, but then the swim went quiet.  There was an hour remaining now and Craig was on seven Bream to go with his Carp, since there was a quid on it this was the only part of the match that mattered.  I decided to look beyond the feed so I lengthened my feeder rod to twelve and a half feet and took 5 yards off the reel before re clipping it.
This definitely worked as the next five casts saw me hook 5 bream and land 4; one came off when I hit the bite a little early, something I have always struggled with to be honest.  Craig was worried for a few minutes but as quickly as the run started, it finished, and even adding more line and casting around the area didn’t yield any more fish.  With 15 minutes to go I unclipped the long rod and spanked it as far as I could, this later turned out to be just over 100 yards, but it stayed motionless to the end, were as Craig managed a few more bream in the last 30 minutes, much to my despair.
The scales showed that Bri to my right had managed 13kilo+, Craig had 14Kg and Mike on the dam wall had 15kg, he did have a 5kg carp that he managed to extract on his roach rig as well so good angling there mate.  My 8 Bream went 10kg and a bit that was enough to squeak 4th in section, Pez managed to win the match from the road bank with 19kg and Pete also had 5kg so all of the team had caught which was more than could be said for some people. 
It had been a nice day for Craig and I sat in the sun with the wind deflected by a large tree, the road bank and dam wall looked to take the brunt of the cold wind, unfortunately there were a lot of DNW’s but that’s winter bream fishing I am afraid.  I learnt a few bits on this match that should sort me out for the next couple of Wednesday matches where I am off to Shearwater again on a couple of friendly matches.

What would I do different?
I wish I had clocked the hit of feed earlier, I was aware of it, but I feel as though I was quite lack lustre trying to get the shorter line to work today, I also think that I should have plumbed up a bit more on the tip as my original short line was very rocky, which is possibly why the method didn’t work there.

Tackle used:
Feeder Long:
Rod: Browning Black Viper 14ft Feeder rod, 4oz quiver.
Reel: Shimano CI4 Ultegra 5500
Line: 8lb sensor 0.18mm hooklength
Hook: 14 QM1
Feeder: Large 42g Guru Hybrid feeder with Black elastic

Feeder Short standard:
Rod: Drennan Medium feeder at 11.5ft to start but extended to 12.5ft later in the day, 2.5oz tip.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 6lb Maxima 0.19mm hooklength
Hook: 16 QM1
Feeder: 30g small Kevin Leech feeder, used a large to top up still 30g

Feeder short Method:
Rod: Drennan Medium feeder at 11.5ft.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 6lb Maxima 0.19mm hooklength
Hook: 14 QM1
Feeder: Small Guru Hybrid feeder, Black elastic

Rod: Drennan Acolyte 14ft.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 2508
Line: 0.16mm Mainline, 0.1mm hooklength
Hook: 18 B911 F1 QM1
Float: Dave Harrell 3AA sensilite waggler, only two no9 shot down the line.

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