So it is that time of year again when the Christmas matches start and the first one that I was able to get on this year was the Army Fur and Feather. The group 2 match had taken place on the same venue the week before in -7 degrees so whatever was going to happen it wasn’t going to be as bad as that. I managed a cheeky practice on Saturday, I meant to go to Waldens to practice chucking a waggler around but got coerced into fishing on Selwood. 6 hours later and 2 swims I had 1 foul hooked carp to show for my efforts!!
Back to the day in question and there were only 22 anglers booked in, I was actually surprised to find out that we would be on Cottage, the outer and the inner with so few anglers but it isn’t my train set so that was the way it was going to be. There were plenty of friendly faces from all over, a lot of them were surprised to see me… apparently I can only carp fish now, but banter, breakfast and tackle shop done it was time for the draw.
I managed to pull peg 51 on outer off the tree, this meant nothing to me until I got to it and even then I didn’t really know what to expect.
I set up a long pole dobbing rig, a heavy silvers rig, a light silvers rig, a bomb and a small method feeder. My day took a massive turn for the worst whilst setting up though as I managed to break my flask!!! It was now going to be a long day.
I was more than ready for the all in and as it sounded I fed a small ball of groundbait and dead maggot at 11 o’clock and then a few dead maggots and expanders at 1 O’clock both at 11 meters, I would have liked to have fed the lines further apart but they have installed ropes across the snake lake to prevent the cormorants from landing, works for that but it gives the fish room to back off into.
My match started slowly and I spent 30 minutes trying to dob a carp out from the far side to no avail, then I moved onto my silvers line, again with no indications from either swim, I had been feeding 4-6 maggots every 5 minutes or so at 2+2 so at just over an hour and a quarter I dropped the heavy rig over it more in desperation than anything else. I was gob smacked when the float didn’t settle and just kept on going, Roach number 1 in the keepnet. It was at this time that I took stock and realised that there were carp coming from Cottage, a few on the inner and most of the people to my right were now catching decent silvers and a few carp pretty consistently. I gave it another 15 minutes and then went to the café for a brew in disgust (and a slice of cake).
When I got back to my swim Nige in 53 was still blanking, but top match angler Chris on 49 was still putting a few fish into the net from a long line at 14m. Now I am not usually shy at copying what’s working but this time I decided to make my 11m lines work, a frustrating hour later I was plumbing up one of my rigs at 14m as I still had not had a touch on that closer lines. This was my turning point and I was soon catching small roach almost one a bang for 4 put ins, this was still rubbish though as everyone to my right was still netting fish with annoying regularity.
I decided to fill it in and go for another brew ( well the pain killers were wearing off and I needed a stretch), on getting back to my swim after being told my Dave M himself that I am rubbish I went straight across for another couple of roach. I still could not get a bite on any of the shorter lines and I put 3 bits of bread on a bomb and started to pack my kit up…. nothing happened and the all-out was called thank goodness.
I was packed up well before the scales got to me (and loaded, if it hadn’t of been for guaranteed Christmas prizes I would have been gone) the top end all the way down to Chris all had between 12 and 25kg of fish, I had 600g and Nige managed 150g!!!!!!!! As always a nice fair winter venue, with ample parking!!
Back at the results, Bri on peg 41 I think won it with 25kg then I think it was Dave on Cottage with 18Kg, then Ian with 17Kg etc, etc. I hadn’t blanked hey Mike J but again I got a reminder why I try not to fish Withy I am afraid, Great Café, Great shop, Friendly staff, brilliant layout, Crap fishing!
What would I do differently?
I should have taken a light carp rod and a buzzer and chucked a method for the day. I might have even caught something.
Elastic: blue Colmic
Line: 0.17mm to 0.13mm
Hook: 1 T175
Float: 0.2g Drennan Carp
Pole Silvers Heavy:
Elastic: Yellow Hydro
Line: 0.15mm to 0.10mm
Hook: 18 B911 F1
Float: 0.4g AS4
Elastic: Number 5 slip
Line: 0.13mm to 0.10mm 0.08 later
Hook: 18 B911 F1 20 Gamma green later
Float: 0.2g AS3
Rod: Drennan 10ft Ultralight bomb rod
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 4lb sensor to 0.15mm
Feeder: 8g ollivette
Rod: Drennan 10ft S7 Carp feeder
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 8lb sensor to 0.17mm
Hook: 16 QM1
Feeder: Micro pellet feeder 24g